Colorado State’s Diversity Conference Features Keynote Speaker Helen Zia Sept. 22

The Ninth Annual Diversity Conference invites the Colorado State University community and public to explore "Diversity in the 21st Century: Talking About Diversity" Sept. 22-24.

The conference welcomes keynote speaker Helen Zia for a talk on "Diversity in the Age of Transition." She will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22 in the Main Ballroom of the Lory Student Center. Due to a family emergency, Zia will replace Phoebe Eng as this year’s Diversity Conference keynote speaker.

Zia is the author of “Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People,” which was a finalist for the prestigious Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize. President Bill Clinton quoted from “Asian American Dreams” at two separate speeches in the Rose Garden. She also is coauthor, with Wen Ho Lee, of “My Country Versus Me,” which reveals the story of the Los Alamos scientist who was falsely accused of being a spy for China.


Zia is an award-winning journalist and former Executive Editor of Ms. Magazine. Her articles, essays and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, books and anthologies. She was named one of the “Most Influential Asian Americans of the Decade” by A. Magazine. She has received numerous journalism awards for her groundbreaking stories; her investigation of date rape at the University of Michigan led to campus demonstrations and an overhaul of its policies, while her research on women who join neo-Nazi and white supremacist organizations provoked new thinking on the relationship between race and gender violence in hate crimes.


A second generation Chinese American, Zia has been outspoken on issues ranging from civil rights and peace to women’s rights and countering hate violence and homophobia. In 1997, she testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on the racial impact of the news media.


Zia traveled to Beijing in 1995 to the United Nations Fourth World Congress on Women as part of a delegation featuring journalists of color. She has appeared in numerous news programs and films; her work on the Asian American landmark civil rights case of anti-Asian violence is documented in the Academy Award-nominated film, “Who Killed Vincent Chin?” and she was profiled in Bill Moyers’ PBS documentary, “Becoming American: The Chinese Experience.”


Zia’s keynote address is part of the Monfort Professors in Residence program. The program was created to provide leadership enrichment opportunities for the students of Colorado State University.


CSU’s Diversity Conference also offers two diversity dialogues that will be facilitated by CSU’s Center for Public Deliberation. The first session is titled “Challenges and Opportunities for Promoting Productive Conversations” and will take place 2:30 – 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23 in the Cherokee Park Room at the Lory Student Center. The second session is titled “Working Together to Improve Conversations at CSU” and will take place 2:30 – 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24 in the Cherokee Park Room at the Lory Student Center.


The conference also offers more than 30 sessions regarding issues of diversity both national and global that include but are not limited to age, gender, disability, race/ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation. The workshops will begin at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday and run throughout the three-day event.


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