Conference focuses on diversity, Nov. 9-11

Princeton alumni and other University community members will gather on campus to focus on diversity issues during a conference Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 9-11.

"Kaleidoscope: An Alumni Conference on Race and Community at Princeton University" is intended to bring together alumni, faculty, students, senior administrators and trustees to reflect on changes that have occurred at Princeton in recent years, to identify today's challenges and opportunities, and to look ahead.

"The Kaleidoscope conference is an opportunity for all Princeton alumni to explore issues related to race and community and to examine the ways in which an expanded commitment to diversity allows Princeton to achieve more fully its highest aspirations for teaching, research and service to others," University President Shirley M. Tilghman wrote in a letter to invitees.

The event follows a successful conference, "Coming Back and Looking Forward," for black alumni that was held in September and drew some 500 participants.

It will start with a reception on Thursday evening and will continue through a dinner and performance on Saturday evening. Conference sessions will begin on Friday morning with welcoming remarks by Tilghman and an opening address titled "Reflections on Diversity at Princeton" by President Emeritus William G. Bowen.

That session will be followed by presentations on campus diversity initiatives by University administrators and a luncheon panel of several students focusing on campus diversity experiences. The rest of the day on Friday will be devoted to discussions on topics including "Race in the Arts" and "Politics and Race" led by faculty members and alumni.

A Friday dinner will include a presentation on "The Princeton-Dillard Relationship in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina" by Danille Taylor, a 1974 Princeton graduate who is dean of humanities at Dillard. Princeton and Brown universities formed a partnership in September 2005 to help the historically black institution in New Orleans restore operations after its campus was devastated by the hurricane. It re-opened in January 2006. The dinner will be followed by performances by students and alumni.

During the day on Saturday, participants will be able to attend sessions on undergraduate and graduate admission and outreach and on the Princeton Prize in Race Relations. A conversation with Tilghman is scheduled for 10:30 a.m., followed by a luncheon featuring a presentation on the Princeton University Preparatory Program targeting high-achieving, low-income students from area high schools by faculty member Miguel Centeno.

Concurrent sessions led by faculty and alumni on Saturday afternoon will explore topics ranging from religious diversity at Princeton to access to higher education. The event will conclude with a dinner featuring an address by faculty member Albert Raboteau and a performance titled "Refried Latino Pride" by spoken-word poet Joe Hernández-Kolski, a 1996 Princeton alumnus.

The conference is sponsored by the University in partnership with the Association of Black Princeton Alumni, the Asian American Alumni Association of Princeton, the Association of Latino Princeton Alumni and Native Americans at Princeton.

It is free and open to all members of the University community. Those who would like to attend the meals must register by visiting the conference Web site or by calling the Office of the Alumni Association at (609) 258-5830.