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Advocate, Author Williams to Speak at Ferris on Building an Inclusive Campus

Damon WilliamsFerris State University will be hosting members of the West Michigan Presidents’ Council Compact Committee at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 10 in College of Business Room 111. This event, open to the university community, will feature keynote speaker Damon Williams, whose session is titled “Building an Inclusive Campus with an Eye Towards the Retention of Faculty, Staff and Students of Color.”

The presentation is consistent with the WMPCC’s commitment to promote inclusion and the acceptance of people of diverse cultures, and to address issues of racism at member institutions and across the West Michigan region. The following day, Williams will travel to Grand Rapids to speak at Ferris’ Kendall College of Art and Design at 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 11, when the WMPCC meetings move to that location.

David Pilgrim, vice president for Diversity and Inclusion at Ferris, is excited about the message Williams will bring to the university.

“We look forward to the presentation from Dr. Damon Williams,” he said. “As we continue our work toward becoming a more diverse and inclusive university community, presentations like this one help us explore ways to recruit and retain faculty, staff and students of color. Dr. Williams will help us, and, equally important, he will challenge us to be a university that is strengthened by its diversity.”

Williams, the former chief diversity officer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is vice president of programs, training and youth development for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

Williams also is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Negro Education and serves on the ACE Equity and Inclusion Advisory Board, the UC Berkeley Equity and Inclusion Advisory Board, the Gallaudet University Diversity Advisory and the National Diversity Council Executive Board. His many books include the recently-published Strategic Diversity Leadership: Activating Change and Transformation in Higher Education and The Chief Diversity Officer: Strategy, Structure, and Change Management, co-authored with Katrina Wade-Golden.