Actor and author B.D. Wong and actress and civil rights activist Yolanda King will be two of the featured speakers at the 9th Annual Equity and Diversity Conference Feb. 22-24 at the University of North Texas in Denton.
Registrations for the conference, presented by the university’s Division of Equity and Diversity, are already being accepted. The theme this year is “The Power of Inclusion,” according to Dan Emenheiser, director of diversity education.
The conference is intended to explore the passions of those who strive for peace and positive change while celebrating diversity and unity, Emenheiser said. Conference presentations will emphasize the importance of higher education and the need to strive for leadership positions in colleges and universities as well as the community and the workplace, he said.
Wong begins the conference with a lecture on “Change, Hope and Equality for Asian-Americans,” addressing issues including racial self image, race-based rejection, Asian-American parental pressure and the “model minority” myth.
Wong will also present the first general session of the conference, “All the World’s a Stage: From Exclusion to Inclusion.”
King will close the conference with a presentation based on her 2004 book, “Open My Eyes, Open My Soul: Discovering the Power of Diversity.” The presentation, like the book, will focus on the importance of embracing diversity and a common humanity.
Admission to Wong’s opening lecture is free. Tickets are required to attend King’s closing presentation.
Wong plays forensic psychiatrist Dr. George Huang on NBC’s “Law and Order: SVU.” He starred on Broadway in “M. Butterfly,” a role that earned him five awards, including the Tony Award. He also wrote a book about being a gay man raising a son.
King is the oldest daughter of Coretta Scott King and the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She has spoken at numerous religious and civic events, in presentations for many Fortune 500 companies, at educational and professional conferences and at colleges and universities across the country. She has portrayed Rosa Parks in the NBC-TV movie “King,” Dr. Betty Shabazz in the film “Death of a Prophet,” and Medgar Evers’ daughter Reena in “Ghosts of Mississippi.” Her most recent theatrical appearance was in “Achieving the Dream,” in which she plays several characters in the civil rights movement.
May Dunlap Snead, director of Technical Services and Training Programs at the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission, presents a two-day pre-conference workshop on Feb. 23-24, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For tickets to King’s presentation or to register for the concerence, call 940-565-3805 or visit www.unt.edu/edo/cwp$c.htm to register online.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 13, 2006.