We are excited to announce the second annual Elevate Conference, hosted virtually on Wednesday, Jan. 19 and Thursday, Jan. 20, to bring together our community members near and far. 

This year, we are centering the complex issue of housing justice alongside highlighting key elements of our work at Connecticut College around equity and inclusion. Our Conversations on Race keynote speaker, Dr. Rosemary Ndubuizu, will draw upon her expertise as a scholar-activist to think through with us why housing justice is not only a race and class issue in the United States, but also a fundamental reproductive justice concern. This talk is coupled with two workshops that will help us learn more about the federal infrastructure bill and why it matters for affordable housing concerns in Connecticut, and in turn, what we all can do to support local activism on this critical topic. Our goal is to work with local expert activists, Connecticut College Professor Nakia Hamlett, Finnoula Darby Hudgens, Pete Harrison, Kris Wraight and Eddie Long, to come together to address this longstanding issue in New London.

Other keynote speakers include Christopher Coleman, whose talk, “The Complexes of An Intersectional Life – Dealing with The Combination of Racism, Homophobia & Ableism” will assist us in thinking more fully about how we approach disability justice as a community. Dr. Lanitra Berger’s “Social Justice in International Education: The Moral Imperative to Elevate ” will help us  think through how we apply social justice principles to our work as members of an educational community. Students from the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, Agnes Gund ’60 Dialogue Project, Race and Ethnicity Programs, Gender and Sexuality Programs, and the Office of Student Accessibility Services, along with Conn staff and faculty, will share their knowledge and work on campus. 

Finally, Jenee Osterheldt, a Boston Globe journalist, will conclude our conference with her talk, “A Beautiful Resistance: How We Tell Stories Matters.” Her message will tie together the work we have done together thinking about full participation, dialogue, and supporting our community across gender identities, race, disability and nationality throughout the two day conference. Her call for stories that allow for complexities and reject extreme representations of vulnerable communities will serve our ongoing charge to elevate our social justice commitments.