Spotlight on diversity

W.I.L.L. conference to feature empowerment of minorities

The annual W.I.L.L conference is approaching in mid-March and meanwhile, preparations are being made for the event.

This will be the thirteenth year that the W.I.L.L, or Women Investing in Leadership and Learning conference has been taking place.

“Our theme this year is diversity in the workplace,” said Harmin Gill, a junior double majoring in psychology and nursing. “The main topics that we’re trying to cover are achieving success in career building, empowerment, workforce diversity, and minorities in leadership.”

“It’s basically just to include everyone on campus and show them diversity is a good thing, instead of a bad thing. We’re trying to empower the minorities on campus, whether it’s by race, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, or the like. We just want to be able to empower everyone, and help them achieve whatever they want to be able to achieve,” said Gill.

There will first be an optional meet and greet from 6 to 6:30pm with hors d’oeuvres served in the University Center ballroom, before splitting up into smaller groups for specific simultaneous breakout sessions in separate rooms with interactive discussions to participate in.

The four faculty and staff members who will be leading the breakout sessions include Matthew Jones, Tracy Busch, Teresa Cook and Jina Jackson Rockwell.

Following the breakout sessions, attendees will head back to the ballroom, where the rest of the time will feature the keynote speaker for the conference, Vivian Pickard, who is a Ferris Alumni and is the current president of General Motors Foundation.

“When I was there last year, some of the things that our keynote was speaking about really hit hard,” said Gill. “You really see how different people’s struggles are, and it makes you want to do more for yourself. No matter who you are, it just makes you want to be a better version of yourself, and it makes you want to try harder and break whatever stereotype is holding you back.”

Although the conference is more specifically aimed towards people in minorities, Gill said that the event is open to everyone who is interested in attending, and that it could be beneficial to everyone who comes. “It’s going to be an awesome event,” said Gill, who hopes for a large turnout.

The event will be held on Thursday, March 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the University Center ballroom.