The ever popular, ever prescient Dr. Cornell West, illuminated the stage at Don Taft University Center at Nova Southeastern University’s Multicultural Summit. The 450 attendants were exhilarated with Dr. West’s charisma and exuberant, refreshing dialogue. Flanked by Dr. George L. Hanbury, President of Nova Southeastern University and officers from Florida Diversity Council, including Dennis Kennedy, Founder & CEO Texas Diversity Council and Debra Harris Nixon, Ph.D., Chairperson for the Multicultural Summit, West exceeded expectations, striking chords of hope and inspiration in the atmosphere preceding Occupy Florida, to take place the following day in Fort Lauderdale.
Dr. Cornell West is a Class of 1943 University Professor in the Center for African Studies at Princeton University who holds 20 honorary degrees. West earned two bachelor’s degrees, magna cum laude from Harvard and holds his Ph.D. from Princeton. West taught at Yale, Harvard, Union Theological Seminary, and the University of Paris. Dr. Cornell West has contributed books Race Matters, Democracy Matters, Hope on a Tightrope and his CD, Never Forget: A Journey of Revelations, 3 albums, 18 other books and edited 13 texts. West is the official spokesperson for the movie “The Matrix” and rudimentary in contributing to the mind bending storyline.
The event unfolded at 7:30 AM with registrations and a continental breakfast, followed by opening remarks by Dr. Debra Harris Nixon, Chairperson for the event. Eleven Multicultural Leadership Awardees were presented Leadership Excellence Awards:
Arlene Shackleford, Manager, EEO, Diversity & Inclusion NextEra Energy
Bill Morgan, Program Director, Public Sector, ADP
Delores Smiley, Ph.D.
Irwin Drucker, Director GLBT and International Supplier Diversity, IBM
Elise Vasquez-Warner, Regional General Manager, Walmart
Kimberley Spire-Oh, Attorney, Gelpi & Spire-Oh, P.A.
Maribel Ferrer, Senior Vice-President, Fleishmann-Hillard
Mariens Arroyo, Sr. Editor of Lifestyle, Family & Heritage, AOL
Ricardo Forbes, Chief Diversity Officer, Baptist Health South Florida
Ricardo Forbes, Dean of Academic Affairs, Broward Community College
Craig Grant, Regional President for Southeast Florida, PNC Bank
Breakout sessions filled quickly, led by highly informed, experienced and distinguished panelists all leaders from universities and corporations in Florida. The auditorium filled quickly with high school students, college students from Nova Southeastern University and Miami Dade College and professionals from the east, west, north and south regions of Florida. West, whose mix of eloquence and awe never fails to render excitement, embraced the youth for reawakening and facilitating the Occupy movement. Passionately West revisited his prescient themes on race, diversity, change, speaking passionately to the youth in the audience to consider their values in pursuit of their respective careers. Hard pressed to depart after the culmination of such a titillating delivery, West, with a great deal of effort, was swept out of the auditorium and was gone, leaving in his wake an atmosphere of hope.
The Florida Diversity Council (FLDC) is committed to fostering a learning environment for organizations to grow in their knowledge of diversity. The FLDC is a great opportunity for organizations to learn from some of the top corporate leaders in the area of diversity. FLDC is a member of the National Diversity Council.
2011 Florida Diversity Council Upcoming Events
College Diversity Summit
Date: Saturday, November 5th
Location: University of South Florida, Alumni Center, Traditions Hall
Orlando Talent Summit
Date: November 8th, 2011
Place: Nova Southeastern University – Orlando
Address: 4850 Millenia Blvd., Orlando, FL
Leadership Roundtable-South Florida – December 1st
Holiday Party-South Florida – December 1st
For more information contact: FloridaCommunications@floridadiversitycouncil.org