Empowering Kent State: Valuing the Strength of Diversity Town Hall Series

The Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), in collaboration with the College of Arts and Sciences, is proud to announce a continuation of last year’s town hall series. Titled "Empowering Kent State: Valuing the Strength of Diversity," this series furthers our dedication to advancing and transforming our community’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. The speakers and panelists will include students, staff and faculty from all campuses.

During the 2020-2021 academic year, we had excellent opportunities to learn about different issues surrounding culture, social justice, ethnicity, race and racism, sexism, transphobia and anti-Semitism. This year, we expand and cover topics such as (dis)ability, critical race theory and intersectionality, and international and immigrant experiences. We will offer a more interactive format in addition to the presentations and panel conversations. These additions offer both in-person and virtual group discussion opportunities so participants can debrief and discuss the larger virtual town halls. Our intent is to create space for more dialogue in which new voices will add to the sharing, discussion, healing and problem-solving.

The 2021-2022 town hall series will be facilitated by Gumiko Monobe (she/her/hers), Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies. Sandra Morgan (she/her/hers), director of external affairs and communications in the College of Arts and Sciences, will moderate.

We hope to see you at the town halls, starting in September 2021 and running throughout the academic year! Please use the links below to register for fall 2021 events. We will update this page with spring 2022 events by January 2022. 

Empowering Kent State: Valuing the Strength of Diversity (Virtual)

Thursday, Sept. 23, Noon-1:30 p.m.

Register in advance for this webinar.

Introduction for DEI Town Hall Series for 2021

  • Todd Diacon (he/his/him), Ph.D., Kent State President
  • Amoaba Gooden (she/her/hers), Ph.D., vice president, DEI
  • Gumiko Monobe (she/her/hers), Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies


  • Lo Denmon (they/them/their), assistant director of LGBTQ + Center 
  • Yuko Kurahashi (she/her/hers), Ph.D., professor, Department of Theatre and Dance
  • Mwatabu Okantah (he/his/him), interim chair and associate professor, Department of Africana Studies

Small-Group Sessions on Valuing the Strength of Diversity

Thursday, Sept. 30, Noon-1:30 p.m.

Hear Our Voices Part 1: Listening and Learning from Our Students (Virtual)

Thursday, Oct. 21, 4-5:30 p.m.

Register in advance for this webinar.

Discussant and facilitator: 

  • Daniel Diaz Nilsson (he/him/el), director, Office of Diversity Outreach and Development, EHHS


  • Dakota Bekelesky (they/them/their), special education mild to intensive
  • Gabrielle Blake (she/her/hers), senior, paralegal studies; president, Black United Students
  • Wafa Farhat (she/her/hers), Ph.D. student, teaching, learning and curriculum studies
  • Yu Li (she/her/hers), Ph.D. student, cultural foundations
  • Jasmine Price (she/her/hers), Ed.D. student, School of Foundations, Leadership and Administration
  • Amrth Ashok Shenava (he/his/him), senior, computer science
  • Mylena Stark (she/her/hers), junior, speech pathology and audiology

Small-Group Sessions on Listening and Learning from Our Students:

Thursday, Oct. 28, 4-5:30 p.m.

What Is Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality? (Virtual)

Wednesday, Nov. 10, Noon-1:30 p.m.

Register in advance for this webinar.


  • Charmaine Crawford (she/her/hers), Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Africana Studies 
  • Carla Goar (she/her/hers), Ph.D., professor, Department of Sociology
  • Lynn Itagaki (she/her/hers), Ph.D., associate professor, English and women's and gender studies, University of Missouri

Small-Group Sessions on Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality:

Thursday, Nov. 18, Noon-1:30 p.m.

Embracing Our International and Immigrant Community (Virtual)

Thursday, Dec. 2, 4-5:30 p.m.

Register in advance for this webinar.


  • Winnie Adiahachi Bush (she/her/hers), M.Ed, program coordinator, Women’s Center
  • Abdoulaye Fall (he/his/him), Ph.D. candidate, GA at Center for International and Intercultural Education
  • Susan Mark-Sracic (she/her/hers), counseling specialist, Geauga Campus and Twinsburg Academic Center
  • Debbie Rozner (she/her/hers), director, ESL Center at Kent State University
  • Suryanarayanan Elapully Suresh (he/his/him), MBA accounting

Small-Group Sessions on Embracing Our International and Immigrant Community:

Thursday, Dec. 9, 4-5:30 p.m.

Recordings of the large virtual town halls will be available after the event on our website under Resources.