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Cultural Connections Leadership Conference steal of a deal for leadership training

The deadline for registering online for the Cultural Connections Leadership Conference (CCLC) is Nov. 3. CCLC will take place on Nov. 4 & 5 in Hubbard Hall, with additional special sessions for graduate students on Sunday – included in the flat cost. Registration fees are $10 for students and $15 for faculty and staff. Fees will increase for onsite and day of registration.

There will be three keynote speakers including retired Colonel of the United States Air Force Kimberly D. Olson, award-winning musician from “The Slants,” public speaker and activist Simon Tam and internet personality of “The Impact Blog,” public speaker and author of four books Odell Bizzell.

Sophomore Nursing major from Frisco, TX Shiley Ferguson is one of six committee members who planned the event. For only being in her second year of courses, Ferguson is already heavily involved on campus. She became interested in being on the CCLC Planning Committee while being involved with the G-Force program and Terry Scholar program which used to be housed in the same building as the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Outreach.

Ferguson said one of the choices for the keynote speakers was personal for her: “The reason why I wanted to invite him [Tam] was because when I was a junior in high school I actually went to this leadership conference and he was one of the keynote speakers [and because of] what he had said about reappropriation, which is taking a slang term that is degrading another race or ethnic group, instead of using that, they reappropriate it and change the meaning of it.”

Leadership and diversity are the two main themes this year and are undeniably interconnected. The reason why it is important to learn about how to apply related skills in areas of professionalism, Ferguson said: “When you are a leader and you’re in those roles you come into counter with so many different, who, basically every person has a different background because it’s not just race and ethnicity…regardless if you came from the same place. It’s just beneficial to be aware…and to be open-minded.”

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