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Immigration attorney, podcaster Rabia Chaudry to keynote UW-Madison Diversity Forum

October 26, 2016 By Valeria Davis

The 2016 annual UW-Madison Diversity Forum will be Tuesday, Nov. 1 in Union South’s Varsity Hall.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is hosted by the Office of the Vice Provost & Chief Diversity Officer and Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement.

This year’s forum, titled “ALL INclusive: Our Diversity Commitment in Practice,” will have an extended schedule to include student-led sessions and UW–Madison second- and third-shift employees.

“The annual Diversity Forum is an all-inclusive event, and we’re proud that this year we have realized a goal to be truly inclusive by offering sessions to all of our 24-hour campus community,” said Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer Patrick J. Sims. “It’s rewarding to have students as well as our late-night and overnight campus audiences engaged in this annual event intended to help us learn, share and celebrate in community.”

The Forum daytime session will begin at 8 a.m. in Varsity Hall.  This year’s morning keynote speaker is Rabia Chaudry, a wife, mother, attorney, president of the Safe Nation Collaborative and a National Security Fellow at the New America Foundation. Chaudry is a legal practitioner on federal immigration law with experience in civil liberties and national security.

Rabia Chaudry

Rabia Chaudry

She is the public advocate of Adnan Syed, the wrongfully convicted man at the center of the most popular podcast in history, “Serial”, and is the co-producer and co-host of the podcast “Undisclosed.” Chaudry is a frequent public speaker on civil rights, faith and gender. Her new book, “Adnan’s Story” will be available at a book signing following her address.

The Forum’s daytime breakout session topics include updates on the chancellor’s diversity proposals, overcoming implicit bias in teaching, how to build engagement, inclusion and diversity in the workplace, diversity best practices on campus, and investing in diversity educators.  The topic for the traditional Town Hall conversation at 3:30 p.m. will be “Communities in Crisis,” and will cover a cross section of contemporary issues.

Author Matthew Desmond’s guest lecture will be live-streamed in Union South’s Marquee Theater from Shannon Hall at 7 p.m. Desmond is a UW–Madison alumnus and author of “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,” the best-selling book selected for the 2016-17 Go Big Read, a common-reading program initiative of the Chancellor’s Office.

Several student-led breakout sessions will begin at 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 1, including topics on women supporting one another in faith, veterans transitioning to civilian life and campus, and a documentary on students’ recent trip to the national Smithsonian Museums.

And a new Diversity Forum session for second- and third-shift employees will begin at 11 p.m. with translations in Spanish, Hmong, Mandarin and Chinese in addition to English. The topic will be “Making a More Inclusive Campus.”

Registration is required: Daytime session:; Evening session:; Matthew Desmond event in the Marquee Theatre: