Diversity Expert Forrest Parker Keynote Speaker at "UNITY in Our Community" Forum

LA PLATA, Md. - Forrest A. Parker, an expert in multi-cultural affairs, cultural diversity in the workplace, race and human relations, and team building, will be the keynote speaker at the UNITY in Our Community: A Call to Action forum to be held January 20, 2007, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at the College of Southern Maryland (CSM), La Plata Campus, Business and Industry Building, Room BI 113. He will address “How Communities Have Effectively Achieved Unity.”

Mr. Parker, who has a B.S. degree from Ferrum College and M.E degree in counseling from James Madison University, is an experienced motivational speaker, facilitator, trainer, presenter, and consultant. He has addressed, consulted, and motivated thousands of youth, parents, and professionals.

The former Vice President and Dean of Multi-cultural Affairs at Mary Washington College, Mr. Parker also served as its Director of the Multi-cultural Center, Director of the pre-college Student Transition Program, and Director of Project SOAR, a high school partnership program with the Fairfax County Public School System. He was also the first chairperson of the President’s Council on Community Values and Behavioral Expectations.

Throughout his 20-year career in higher education, he has launched multiple initiatives addressing the needs of under-represented student populations. For example, during his tenure in administration at James Madison University, he increased the enrollment of the multi-ethnic population by 400 percent.

Mr. Parker organized and currently serves as the first Executive Director of the Fredericksburg Regional Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington.

During the morning, the forum will feature panel discussions on “The Psychology of Diversity/Racism,” “Laws and Resources,” and “Demographics/Economics of a Multi-Cultural Community.” Following Mr. Parker’s presentation after lunch, there will be seven facilitated breakout sessions: the Role of Community/Civic Groups, facilitator: Mr. Parker; Role of Parents, facilitator: Dr. Patrick Allen, Chair, Professor, Social Sciences, CSM; Role of the Education System, facilitator: Art King, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs, Center for Diversity, Towson State University; Role of Government, facilitator: Peter Murphy (D-28), Charles County Delegate to the Maryland General Assembly; Role of Religious Organizations, facilitator: Dr. Maria Brandt, Professor, Social Sciences, CSM: Role of the Workplace (Employers), facilitator: Denise Bailey Clark, Executive Director, Diversity, CSM; and What’s Missing from the Other Groups? facilitator: Kelly Burello, President/Diversity Consultant, WorldReach.

The forum is free, but space is limited. Luch will be provided. Registration is required by Friday, January 12. RSVP to 301-645-0580 or send e-mail to voehln (at) charlescounty.org.

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