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Student Leaders Collaborate to Ignite Change and Empower Diversity

Ignite student leadership conference

 A new diversity and inclusion conference developed by the Office of Multicultural Affairs will launch on October 19 to inspire and motivate Stony Brook students to increase their self awareness, diversity awareness, and leadership strategies for creating a more inclusive campus community. All students are welcome to attend the “Ignite: The Student Leader in You!” conference, especially those that are not in formal leadership positions, but seek to learn ways to strengthen our diverse campus community through inclusive practices.

Ignite student leadership conference“This conference is designed to help students explore ways to strengthen our diverse campus community. It is open to all students, including those who are aspiring to become campus leaders who will help to shape Stony Brook as a diverse learning environment where everyone feels they belong and have a place,” explained Cheryl Chambers, Associate Dean for Multicultural Affairs.

Stony Brook alumna Christina Vargas, Chief Diversity Officer/Title IX Coordinator, Suffolk County Community College, is the keynote speaker. Ms. Vargas is responsible for developing, leading, and providing oversight for strategic initiatives and priorities related to diversity and inclusion at Suffolk Community College. She will ignite the discussion of  exploring new ways to lead widespread transformation through the collaboration of student leaders to promote sustained dialogues and facilitate and engage in challenging conversations with their peers.

Following the keynote speaker, student attendees will participate in various workshops where they will explore common interests and existing challenges with the desire to take action through respectful dialogues and planning for improvement and positive change. The conference will feature a “Nourishing Diversity through Food” lunch that showcases the recipes of celebrity guest chefs from our Heritage Month celebrations that the Faculty Student Association brought to campus.

“We want students to use the knowledge they gain from this conference to educate their peers about social justice principles, allyship, and coalition building as approaches to addressing diversity and inclusion issues,” stated Dr. Jarvis Watson, Interim Chief Diversity Officer.

“Ignite: The Student Leader in You!” is coordinated by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, in conjunction with the Undergraduate Student Government, Office of the Chief Diversity Officer, Student Affairs, Faculty Student Association, Academic Affairs and other campus areas. Primary funding is provided by a Presidential Diversity Initiative Grant.

For information and to register visit

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