NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Topics ranging from discrimination in professional environments to poverty and race within the education system to the modern-day contextualization of Jesus will be discussed during the third annual Diversity Conference, to be held Saturday, Jan. 28, on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

Organized and hosted by SFA's Office of Multicultural Affairs, the conference gathers East Texas professionals, SFA students and faculty members, and the Nacogdoches community to join conversations about various diversity-related issues.

"The overall purpose of the conference is to educate the SFA and Nacogdoches communities on all aspects of diversity, multiculturalism and social justice," said Veronica Weaver, OMA director. "In addition, the Diversity Conference seeks to provide a platform for presenters to share their diversity-related work with conference attendees and engage in vital multicultural dialogue."

More than 150 individuals attended the conference last year, Weaver said, and organizers hope to double that number. This year's theme is Facing Diversity.

"This theme was chosen by our OMA caucus members because diversity is, at times, something that people do not want to discuss for the risk of being uncomfortable," Weaver said. "During this conference, we want to not only discuss diversity but embrace it. Diversity includes many things such as ethnicity, gender, religion, ability and so much more. During this conference, all these topics and more will be discussed."

Dr. Kwame Antwi-Boasiako, chair of SFA's Department of Government and a professor of political science and public administration, will serve as the conference's guest speaker at 9 a.m. The event will consist of four blocks with a total of 16 panels. Topics range from mental health, race, sexual orientation, diversity and education, art, religion and more.

New to this year's conference is the addition of a lunchtime activity aimed at allowing participants to interact with each other. Organizers also are encouraging artists to submit pieces to the Diversity Museum, which will be held concurrently with the conference.

The conference will take place from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Baker Pattillo Student Center Grand Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public. Day-of registration will open at 8 a.m. Pre-register by Friday, Jan. 20, to receive lunch. To register, visit

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