Inaugural IU Diversity Leadership Conference focuses on 'Building Social Capital'

Oct. 16, 2013


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- ESPN sportscaster Sage Steele, WRTV journalist Rafael Sanchez and founder Rue Mapp will address the first Diversity Leadership Conference at Indiana University Bloomington on Nov. 8.

This new event, which will take place at the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St., is a merger of the Hudson and Holland Scholars LEAD Conference and the Office of Mentoring Services and Leadership Development's Men and Women of Color Leadership Conference.

The Diversity Leadership Conference retains the same focus on scholarship and student development in the areas of leadership and self-efficacy. Sponsors include Target Corp. and the IU College of Arts and Sciences' Themester program, "Connectedness: Networks in a Complex World."

Speakers' presentations will be centered on the theme, "Building Social Capital: What Is Your Net Worth?" The theme focuses on how social capital connects us to just about everything.

"We will offer sessions to help students and participants unpack the types of social networks they have available to them and give meaningful insights on how better to connect responsibly to the world around them," said Patrick Smith, executive director of IU's Office of Mentoring Services and Leadership Development.

"The sessions will help students and guests navigate this often tricky network to find their own voice, brand and vision for the future."

The conference is open to all college students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the community. While it is free to attend, registration is required and can be done on the Diversity Leadership Conference website. The deadline to register is Oct. 25.

In addition to IU, other participating schools include Ball State University, Franklin College, Ivy Tech Community College Ohio University and the University of Louisville.

More about the conference:

The conference will begin at 9 a.m. with keynotes by Steele and Sanchez, followed by concurrent sessions on a variety of topics from 11:45 a.m. through 2:15 p.m.; boxed lunches will be provided. Mapp will be the third keynote speaker at 2:30 p.m.

A career fair will take place in the Solarium from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Among the participating companies are Altria, Ascension Health, Cintas, Coyote, Discover, Inroads and Westin Hotels and Resorts.

Representatives of the Kelley School of Business, IU School of Education, IU Maurer School of Law, IU School of Optometry, IU School of Informatics and Computing, IU School of Public Health and IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs also will be available to discuss graduate programs.

A dance party for conference participants will take place from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall of the IMU.

A portion of the conference has been oriented toward high school students. Between 125 and 150 students -- primarily those in the seventh to the 10th grades from the Monroe County Community School Corp. -- will attend.

Other sponsors are the IU Office of Community and School Partnerships, the IU Alumni Association, the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs, the School of Public Health, the City of Bloomington, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana and Residential Programs and Services.

For more information, contact the Office of Mentoring Services and Leadership Development at 812-855-3540.

More about the speakers:

Sage Steele

Steele earned a Bachelor of Science in sports communication in 1995 from the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (now the School of Public Health-Bloomington). She joined ESPN in 2007 and is a co-host of ESPN's flagship show, "SportsCenter." She also serves as on-site host of daytime "SportsCenter" segments from the NBA Finals and hosts the Scripps National Spelling Bee. She has been a contributor to "First Take" and "Mike & Mike in the Morning" and has been a guest co-host of ESPN2's "SportsNation." 

Steele began her television career at WSBT-TV in South Bend, Ind., as a producer and reporter (1995-97) and then worked at WISH-TV in Indianapolis (1997-98) as the weekend morning sports anchor and weekday reporter. Her career continued as she worked in Tampa, Fla., as a sports reporter and at Fox Sports Florida. In April 2001, Steele became the anchor for the debut of Comcast SportsNet, serving the Washington D.C./Baltimore region. She anchored the flagship show SportsNite for six years and was also a beat reporter for the Baltimore Ravens from 2001 to 2005.

Rafael Sanchez

Sanchez is a graduate of Franklin College, where he completed his bachelor's degree in journalism, political science and Spanish. He joined WRTV in Indianapolis in 1998 as a consumer investigative reporter Today, Sanchez is among the team of moderators for the station's Sunday political program "Indianapolis This Week," and he's a fill-in anchor when needed.

Over the years, he has received a number of Emmy nominations and other awards for excellence in consumer and investigative reporting from the Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists. He's also received recognition for his civic involvement from the Indiana Black Expo, the Forest Manor Multi-Service Center and the Mozel Sanders Foundation. He is a member of the Franklin College Board of Trustees.

Rue Mapp

Mapp is CEO and founder of Outdoor Afro, a social community that reconnects African Americans with natural spaces and one another through recreational activities such as camping, hiking, biking, birding, fishing, gardening and skiing. Consistently low numbers of African Americans who participate in outdoor activities led her to use digital media as a tool to connect with people of color who share outdoor interests. Outdoor Afro emerged naturally from these experiences.

Mapp has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley. She also is a successful entrepreneur whose game and hobby store, It's Your Move, remains an important part of the Oakland community. In 2010, Mapp was invited to the White House to participate in the America's Great Outdoors Conference, where President Barack Obama signed a memorandum to help reconnect all Americans to the Great Outdoors. She was invited back to take part in a think-tank to inform the launch of the first lady's "Let's Move" initiative.

For two years, she was a program officer at the Stewardship Council's Foundation for Youth Investment, managing its grantmaking program. Backpacker Magazine honored her as part of its Root 100 of the top black achievers and influencers for 2012. She has received the Josephine and Frank Duveneck Humanitarian Award and the National Wildlife Association's Award for Communications.