The Johns Hopkins Gazette: March 29, 1999
Mar. 29, 1999
VOL. 28, NO. 28


"Diaspora and Communities" Presents First Symposium

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

A symposium on "Affirmative Action for the New Millennium," to be held on Wednesday, March 30, marks the start of a series of public events sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Diversity Leadership Council in a program titled "Diaspora and Communities." The two-year series has been funded by a Hewlett Foundation Pluralism and Unity grant.

The purpose of the first symposium, which will include an open forum, is "to stimulate discussion about the future of affirmative action," says Ronald Walters, chair of the Diversity Leadership Council. It will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. in 111 Mergenthaler, Homewood campus.

The featured speaker will be another Ronald Walters--a political scientist at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a former adviser to Jesse Jackson, as well as a frequent commentator on race and politics. He is a professor of Afro-American studies and of government and politics and senior scholar, Academy of Leadership.

He will be joined on the panel by two Hopkins faculty members--Walters, professor of history, and Frances Ferguson, professor of English and co-director of the Program for Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality--and Carmen Nieves, president of the Federation of Hispanic Organizations and executive director of the Child Health Foundation.

"Exploring different frames of reference in an effort to understand other points of view, rather than just debate them, is crucial to building alliances across difference," says Cecy Kuruvilla, senior organization development/ diversity specialist and staff to the council. With this in mind, sign-up sheets will be available for Hopkins faculty, staff and students to form small groups for ongoing faciliated dialogue on various diversity dimensions.

More information on the Diversity Council and the Hewlett Foundation grant can be found at