‘Building Inclusive Communities’ Global Conference at UMass Boston

Office of Communications | December 01, 2015
‘Building Inclusive Communities’ Global Conference at UMass Boston

Experts on social inclusion from across the globe will convene in Boston December 3-4 for a conference aimed at cultivating new strategies to increase opportunity and participation for underserved populations everywhere.

UMass Boston’s internationally recognized School for Global Inclusion and Social Development (SGISD) will host the Building Inclusive Communities Global Conference 2015 at the Park Plaza Hotel in downtown Boston. Registration is now open.

Experts from a broad range of disciplines will gather to discuss methods for increasing inclusion in five crucial areas – education, economic opportunity, health and wellness, research, and funding. By addressing social inclusion from a variety of angles, participants will get a detailed view of how these issues persist in a global society and what can be done to solve them.

“People with such diverse viewpoints don't normally come to the same table, and that's why we created this conference,” said William Kiernan, dean of SGISD and director of the Institute for Community Inclusion. “This is a forum where challenges can be discussed, similarities discovered and exchanged, and from this, ideas and solutions fostered."

Among the key speakers at the conference are Maitreyi Bordia Das, lead social development specialist at the World Bank; Ray Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America; Atyia Martin, Boston’s chief resilience officer; and former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin. 

The conference offers a networking opportunity to learn from experts in the field, as well as the audience, and for attendees to get out of their silos. The experience will foster new ideas and concrete tools for participants’ professional, community, and personal development.

Attendees will also take part in building an inclusive community “tool-kit.” In this session, they will have the opportunity to record concrete ideas, action-steps, and goals that stem from the cross-disciplinary discussion, and to select those that seem most reasonable and useful for application in their own work.

To facilitate action-steps and goal-creation, the conference will introduce participants to the 30-Second Habit—a post-session tool consisting of a 30-second recap of highlights from that session. The short time limit encourages interpretation and prioritization, while organizing takeaways by what is relevant, realistic, and a strong fit for each participant’s organization.

BIC will offer post-conference opportunities for attendees to discuss how the application of ideas has worked for them, and to receive expert advice on challenges they’ve encountered. They will be able to share which conference takeaways have been effective for them, and to describe how solutions they’ve implemented are making a difference in their lives and work.

On December 3, UMass Boston will also host the Beacons for Global Inclusion Awards at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate on its Columbia Point campus. The awards were created in 2014 to honor individuals and organizations who empower people to achieve inclusion in their communities. This year the honorees are Dorothy Stoneman from YouthBuild, and Partners In Health.

About the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development
In our interconnected world, understanding the causes of social exclusion is crucial. People worldwide are excluded from their communities for reasons including disability, age, race, gender, and sexual orientation. Classes at the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development (SGISD) focus on research-supported practices that increase inclusion regionally, nationally, and around the world. Instruction is delivered on campus, online, and through international exchange programs. To learn more, visit www.umb.edu/sgisd.


About UMass Boston
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the University of Massachusetts Boston is deeply rooted in the city's history, yet poised to address the challenges of the future. Recognized for innovative research, metropolitan Boston’s public university offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s 11 colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 17,000 students while engaging local and global constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service. To learn more, visit www.umb.edu.

Tags: school for global inclusion and social development

Comment on this story

Comments (2)

Posted by Colleen Locke | November 06, 2015 - 8:36 a.m.

You can register online for the Building Inclusive Communities conference here:

Colleen Locke
Digital Communications Editor

Posted by Jessalyn Gustin | October 05, 2015 - 11:21 a.m.

Is there a registration form?