SMU Staff and Faculty Attend National Forum on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE)

NCORE (the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity) is the leading national forum on issues of race and ethnicity in American higher education. The conference focuses on creating and sustaining comprehensive institutional change that improves racial and ethnic relations on campus.

Last week, six representatives from Samuel Merritt University (SMU) attended NCORE in New Orleans, participating in a variety of workshops and critical dialogue.

"My all-day pre-conference was Women of Color and White Women in Conversation – about unlikely allies in the academy. There were a lot of opportunities to hear from experts and network with others," said Audrey Berman, Dean of Nursing. "A very useful session for me was Rising Above Cognitive Errors: Guidelines to Improve Faculty Searches, Evaluations, and Decision-Making. We will be using the resources to really improve our search committee training and processes."

"I attended a great workshop entitled The Impact of Fisher v. University of Texas on Affirmative Action Policy, said Pamela Carrasco, Assistant to the Chief Diversity Officer. "It was about what would happen if affirmative action is abolished – which is a possibility. It was a very important topic for everyone in higher education."

Mary Grefal, IT Program Coordinator, attended an all-day workshop that covered Christianity and other religions. "We discussed how people in other countries perceive Americans and how people perceive those of other races," she said. 

"In one of the workshops I attended, we discussed perceptions, and how we come into situations with our own thoughts and ideas," said Veronica Paniagua, Executive Administrative Assistant, Academic Affairs. "We discussed how to be aware of when we judge people, and how to be consciousous of it. It was enlightening, and I came back thinking, everyone should go to this conference."  

Outside of conference hours, attendees were able to enjoy the music and food of New Orleans. Several of the attendees took a bus tour through the areas of the city most impacted by Katrina.

Next year NCORE takes place in Indianapolis, Indiana.

photo (from left to right) Dr. Audrey Berman, Pamela Carrasco, Irma Walker-Adame, and Mary Grefal

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