NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Five presentations by Stephen F. Austin State University faculty and staff members will take place during the fall and early spring semesters as part of the SFA Office of Multicultural Affairs' ongoing Consciousness Speaker Series.

The series' goal is to connect students and the Nacogdoches community to SFA's faculty and staff members while also exposing them to progressive issues in diversity, multicultural education and social justice. The OMA also hopes the series will help make campus and local communities more aware of the extraordinary scholarship and advocacy SFA's faculty and staff members have to offer and facilitate relationship-building across the campus.

In previous years, the OMA invited out-of-town speakers to present in the series. However, this year's event will spotlight the research of SFA faculty and staff members.

"We wanted to tap into the academic resources we have on campus, so we reached out to all faculty and staff members who were interested in talking about anything related to multicultural affairs, social justice or diversity," said Dr. Griselda Flores, OMA assistant director. "I think when most people think about diversity or multicultural education, it's often focused on racial issues, but there is so much more than that. For example, one part of the series focuses on yoga and another on religious freedom among Native Americans."

Olegario Madera, outreach coordinator for SFA's Department of Secondary Education and Educational Leadership, will kick off the series at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, in the Baker Pattillo Student Center Multimedia Room, Room 2.101, with a discussion regarding the transition to higher education for students of color.

The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided and participants may bring a sacked lunch.

Remaining presenters for the Consciousness Speaker Series include Aloma D. Marquis, School of Art faculty member, who will discuss the act of dismantling racial injustice at 11 a.m. Oct. 11; Cyndra Krogen-Morton, SFA kinesiology and health science faculty member, who will talk about finding self-awareness and compassion within the practice of yoga at 11 a.m. Oct. 18; Dr. Luis Aguerrevere, associate professor in SFA's Department of Human Services, who will discuss the influences of the Hispanic culture in presenting physical and mental symptoms and disabilities at 11 a.m. Nov. 14; and Dr. Darrel McDonald, SFA professor of geography, who will discuss Native American modern religious freedom at 1 p.m. Jan. 24.

For more information, contact the OMA at (936) 468-1073 or at