Frontier Nursing University (FNU) continued its initiative for fostering a more diverse, culturally-conscious health care workforce through the 9th annual Diversity Impact Student Conference, held from June 6-9, 2019.
The conference, hosted by FNU’s Diversity Impact Program, had over 60 attendees and was open to any FNU students, alumni, faculty or staff who want to make a difference in providing care to rural, diverse and underserved communities.
The theme for Diversity Impact 2019, Every Voice, Every Story: 80 Years and Beyond, coincides with the “$.80 for 80” campaign celebrating 80 years of service FNU graduates have provided to mothers, babies, and families across the globe.
The four-day program was designed with workshops and activities to help attendees explore how to fully experience, live and create meaningful connections within diverse communities.
Presenters at this year’s conference spoke on positive marginality, psychiatric-mental health, LGBTQI, Hawaiian culture, expression and storytelling through creative movement, intersectionality/diversity, and indigenous/Native American midwives.
This year’s Diversity Impact Event was highlighted by an inspiring lineup of speakers:
- FNU President Dr. Susan Stone, DNSc, CNM, FAAN, FACNM
- Keynote Speaker Nicolle L. Gonzales, BSN, RN, MSN, CNM
- Premier Speaker Dr. Heather Shlosser, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PMHNP-BC
- Dr. Sheri Sesay-Tuffour, CEO of American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM)
- Jane F. Houston, FACNM, DNP, CNM
- Nena R. Harris, Ph.D., FNP-BC, CNM, CNE
- Kalena Lanuza, DNP, FNP-C
- Devon Peterika, MS, BA
- Ralph Newell and Sydnee Reese, Diversity in Higher Education Workshop
The conference programming also included interactive learning opportunities for attendees. On the second day of the conference, Trance4mation Games, LLC & Diverse: Issues in Higher Education facilitated an activity that engaged attendees to open up and speak their truth in civil discourse to one another, while also understanding the importance of expressing empathy towards others.
During this session, attendees participated in The Keep It Real RX game where they were challenged to go beyond ordinary conversation into deeper understanding of one another. The Keep It Real RX game facilitated meaningful dialogue, spontaneity, relaxation, bonding, a full range of communication, and mutual enjoyment. In a fun and entertaining way, participants were able to explore their imaginations, express emotion, overcome shyness, develop creativity, reflect on and share their beliefs and experiences, take risks and loosen inhibitions. They heard different points of view and ways of handling things which gave them new perspectives and helped them to gain confidence in speaking in front of a group, while having a great time listening and sharing with one another.
Another group activity promoted a cultural excursion allowing attendees to “Discover the Gift of Aloha”! In this session, participants were taken on a journey into the art of creating Hawaiian leis while exploring the cultural history of Hawaii and its origins in Polynesian culture.
New at this year’s conference was an on-site counselor for one-on-one interaction with students and group debriefing sessions, which was very beneficial and very well received.
To wrap up the conference, students engaged in a collaborative activity by using storytelling through creative movement. Groups presented a role and created a skit to show expression and storytelling through dance.
To learn more about FNU’s Diversity Impact program, visit Frontier.edu/Diversity.