Fall 2016

Having Healthy Racial Conversations: Reducing Fear through Racial Literacy


Howard C. Stevenson, Ph.D.

Tuesday, Sept 13, 2016
8:30 am – 12:30 pm
Luzerne County Community College
Education Conference Center Cafeteria

Recent racial conflicts, confrontations, and protests have affected how America considers its legacy of violence and equality. Lost in these socially mediated events, is what happens emotionally to youth and families, to authority figures who also have children and families, and to social activists trying to hold America accountable to its highest ideals. This workshop will teach participants how to navigate the stress of having face-to-face racial conversations and experiences in order to move beyond racial fight, flight or fright reactions. Participants will be taught to recognize and resolve their racial stress reactions in order to make better decisions regarding racial interactions with others.

Dr. Stevenson is the Constance E. Clayton Professor in Urban Education, Professor of Africana Studies, and former Chair of the Applied Psychology and Human Development Division in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Fuller Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary.

From 1994 to 2002, he was faculty master of the W. E. B. DuBois College House at Penn. In 1993, Dr. Stevenson received the W. T. Grant Foundation’s Faculty Scholar Award, a national research award given to only five researchers per year which funds five years of research. In 1994, Dr. Stevenson was a Presidential Fellow at the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies, where 35 other community activists and researchers from 30 countries to present their community health intervention projects. In 1995, Dr. Stevenson served on a 12-member academic panel to consult on the development of a National Strategic Action Plan for African-American Males, sponsored by the National Drug Control Policy Office in the Office of the President. Dr. Stevenson has served for 29 years as a clinical and consulting psychologist working in impoverished rural and urban neighborhoods across the country.

His research publications and clinical work involve developing culturally relevant “in-the-moment” strengths-based measures and therapeutic interventions that teach emotional and racial literacy skills to families and youth. This work has been funded by the W.T. Grant Foundation, Annenberg Foundation, and the National Institutes of Mental Health and Child Health and Human Development. Dr. Stevenson has studied racial literacy and socialization for the last two decades and is a leading expert on African-American psychology. His research identifies cultural strengths that exist within families and integrates those strengths into coping interventions to improve the emotional well-being of children, adolescents, and families.

Dr. Stevenson’s recently published book, Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools: Differences that Make a Difference (Teachers College Press), focuses on how educators, community leaders, and parents can emotionally resolve face-to-face racially stressful encounters that reflect racial profiling in public spaces, fuel social conflicts in neighborhoods, and undermine student emotional well-being and academic achievement in the classroom.

Being an Ally to the Transgender Community

Mara Keisling (She, Her), Executive Director

National Center for Transgender Equality

Thursday, October 20, 2016
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Wilkes University
Breiseth Hall, Room 106

Friday, October 21, 2016
9:00 am – 10:30 am
Prudential Financial
30 Ed Preate Drive, Moosic 18507

Many schools and businesses pride themselves on being “LGBT-friendly.” Yet how prepared are they to serve transgender people well? People with the best of intentions may not have the awareness, skills and knowledge they need to be supportive. This presentation is for all of us who want to become more comfortable and competent working with people whose are “trans” and/or gender-nonconforming. Mara Keisling will discuss her personal journey as well as the work being done to create inclusive environments for transgender employees, students, and customers.

Mara Keisling is the founding Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. Mara is a transgender-identified woman and a parent. As one of the nation’s leading voices for transgender equality, Mara has appeared on news outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. She is regularly quoted in national and local print and broadcast media.

Since NCTE’s founding in 2003, the organization has led or participated in coalition efforts that have won significant advances in transgender equality.

Mara is a graduate of Penn State University and did her graduate work at Harvard University in American Government. She has almost twenty-five years of professional experience in social marketing and opinion research.

Microagressions and PC


Linda Trompetter, Ph.D.

Thursday, Oct 27, 2016
12:00 pm- 1:15 pm
PSU Worthington Scranton,Business Building, Room 201, Hawk lecture Hall


Friday, Oct 28, 2016
12:15 pm – 1:45 pm
PSU Wilkes-Barre, Academic Commons 103


Action begins with awareness. In this workshop, participants will examine their own cultural lenses, learn about the dynamics of difference, and how microaggressions take place in organizational settings. The concept of “political correctness”, and how it relates to microaggressions, will be discussed and analyzed. Participants have the opportunity to replace misconceptions with useful facts and information, while participating in active dialogue and workshop activities.

Dr. Linda Trompetter established The Diversity Institute at Misericordia University in 1992, and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Diversity Education Consortium in 1998. She served as its executive director from 1998 to 2016. Trompetter now serves as Program Director for NEPDEC. She holds a Master of Theological Studies degree, with a concentration in ethics, from Harvard University, and the Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. Her academic and social justice work centers on human rights, prejudice, and discrimination.

Trompetter is a welcome presenter across the country on diversity education, multicultural learning environments, and successful strategies for addressing diversity concerns on college campuses and in the corporate environment. She is a principal in the consulting firm Consult4Diversity (www.consult4diversity.org), and recently visited Israel and the Palestinian Territories to work with professors developing culture-sensitive curriculum materials for Israeli and Palestinian students.



Arsalan Iftikhar, J.D.

Thursday, November 3, 2016
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
King’s College, Burke Auditorium

6:00 pm – 7:30pm
PSU Worthington Scranton
Study Learning Center, Sherbine Lounge

Arsalan Iftikhar is an international human rights lawyer, global media commentator and author of the book SCAPEGOATS: How Islamophobia Helps Our Enemies & Threatens Our Freedoms, which President Jimmy Carter called “an important book that shows Islamophobia must be addressed urgently.”

He has served as Senior Editor for The Islamic Monthly and for nearly a decade. Arsalan was a regular on-air weekly commentator for National Public Radio (NPR), and was named one of the top 12 Muslim Twitter accounts in the world by The Huffington Post in May 2011. Arsalan has served as an adjunct professor of religious studies at DePaul University and is a member of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) and Reporters Without Borders (Reporters San Frontieres, www.rsf.org).

Arsalan was awarded the 2013 Distinguished Young Alumni Award from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. Throughout his career, Arsalan’s interviews have appeared in virtually every major media outlet in the world including: CNN, BBC World News, Al-Jazeera English, The TODAY Show, National Public Radio (NPR), FOX News Channel, MSNBC, Associated Press, C-SPAN, Voice of America (VOA), Agence France-Presse (AFP), USA TODAY, NBC Nightly News, The Washington Post, CBS News, Los Angeles TimesThe New York Times, Rolling Stone, TIME, Newsweek, The Economist, ABC News “NIGHTLINE” & “Meet The Press” on NBC News (and many more worldwide).

Arsalan’s published columns and written articles have appeared in major publications around the world including: CNN.com, USA TODAY, TIME.com, The Atlantic, Esquire Magazine (Middle East edition), Houston Chronicle, Detroit Free Press, The Providence Journal, San Diego Union-Tribune, Charlotte Observer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Kansas City Star, Miami Herald, The Jakarta Post and many more.

Throughout his career, Arsalan has given dozens of keynote speeches and guest lectures at prestigious institutions & global venues around the world including: Harvard University, Stanford University, Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern University, The University of Chicago, Brown University, University of Michigan School of Law, The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs, Cornell University, Washington University School of Law, The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), The Newseum, Rockefeller Foundation, The British Museum in London, the U.S. State Department International Speakers Program and The Aspen Ideas Festival.
For more information on Arsalan Iftikhar, visit www.themuslimguy.com.

Skills for Having Difficult Dialogues


Dr. Jim Calderone, Ed.D., ACSW, LSW


Monday, December 5, 2016
Wilkes University, Henry Student Center,Miller room ,second floor

1.) Understanding the context of the conversation and incorporating this understanding into our planning;
2.) “Setting the stage” for meaningful discussion;
3.) Integrating “best practices” in our facilitation of difficult topics;
4.) Dealing with the normal testing, resistance, skepticism, and anger which these discussions may trigger;
5.) Preparing one’s self as facilitator for leading difficult discussions;
6.) Following up with participants after the discussion.

James Calderone has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Wilkes University in English, with a Secondary Education Certification, a Master’s in Social Work from University of Wisconsin/Madison, and a Doctorate in Education from Temple in Adult Development. Calderone also holds a Certificate in Spiritual Direction from Marywood University.
Jim is a full professor in the Social Work Department at Misericordia University and a Licensed Social Worker. He has also served as Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Education at Misericordia. He has been accepted into the Academy of Certified Social Workers. Jim is active as an ordained priest in the American Catholic Church in the United States, and is director of the St. Martin Luther King, Jr. Pastoral Outreach Center in Kingston, PA.
Dr. Calderone has served on the Advisory Board of the Diversity Institute at Misericordia University, and has been an active diversity consultant and trainer. He has completed the Anti-Defamation League World of Difference Program, and presented at many national conferences on diversity planning, curriculum, and training. He currently works with Consult4Diversity, a firm providing assessment and training to colleges, universities, healthcare systems, and businesses.