Diversity Challenge Overview

Virtual Conference - October 23-24, 2020 - Boston College



Boston College Magazine (Fall 2020) highlights this year's Diversity Challenge in a recent article:

Goodbye ‘Isms,’ Hello Future

20th annual Diversity Challenge, our first virtual conference, featured robust roster of speakers and panelists.


Goodbye “Isms,” Hello Future

The Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture (ISPRC) invites you to join us in celebrating the 20th anniversary of ISPRC and Diversity Challenge. The theme for this year is “Goodbye ‘Isms,’ Hello Future.” Racism, racialized ethnocentricity, and xenophobia have spread their tentacles of oppression in virtually every domain in U.S. society as well as other countries. Over the years, communities of Diversity Challengers have convened to share their scholarship, mental health interventions, educational strategies, social justice community advocacy, or their encouragement to foster our shared efforts to move toward a mutual goal of ending racial and ethnic cultural oppression in whatever forms they occur.  This year, rather than focusing on a specific theme, ISPRC is asking participants not only to imagine a future world without racial-cultural oppression, but also to share their work, thoughts, or presence to make a reality of that which we can imagine. Toward the goal of ending racial-cultural oppression in the future, over the years, Diversity Challenge has invited Challengers to focus on addressing the following 19 conditions of oppression or marginalization:

2001   How to Survive Teaching Courses on Race and Culture

2002   How to Keep High-Stakes Tests from Making People Mentally Ill

2003   30+ Years of Racial Identity Theory: What Do We Know? And How Does It Help Us

2004   Making Race and Culture Matter in Community-Focused Interventions

2005   Making Race and Culture Work in the World of Work

2006   Do Immigrants Catch or Carry Race and Culture

2007   Race and Culture Intersections in Scientific Research and Mental Health Service Delivery for Children, Adolescents, and Families

2008   Race, Culture, and Trauma

2009   Racial Identity and Cultural Factors in Treatment, Research, and Policy

2010   Race and Culture in Teaching, Training, and Supervision

2011   Intersections of Race or Ethnic Culture with Gender or Sexual Orientation

2012   What to Do about Race and Culture and Violence

2013   Intersections of Race, Culture, and Health and Mental Health

2014   Racial or Ethnic Discrimination Across the Lifespan

2015   Race, Culture, and Social Justice

2016   Race, Culture, and Educating our Youths: Developing People Not Widgets

2017   Race, Culture, and Criminal Justice throughout the Lifespan

2018   Making Race and Culture Work in the STEM Era: Bringing All People to the Forefront

2019   Race, Culture, and WHMP: Survival, Resistance, and Healing in the Current Social Climate

Please choose a theme and share what you remember about it if you ever attended Diversity Challenge as a presenter or participant. Share where you were then with respect to the topic, where you are now, and where you hope to be in the future.  Perhaps you are or were a Trailblazer, someone who persisted in intervening to address issues of racial-cultural oppression that others were oblivious to in your community, teaching, research, practice, or work.  Alternatively, maybe you were or are an Igniter, a Challenger whose current work, skills, or interests inspire others to take up your challenge.  Of course, we also welcome the Visionary—the Challenger who can show how the future will or does look better because of the contributions you have made or hope to make in one of the previous Diversity Challenge theme areas.

Remember our 20th anniversary is not only a celebration of Diversity and ISPRC. It is also a celebration of Diversity Challengers and all you have done over the years to keep in the forefront of society’s consciousness racism and ethnocentrism and the many social categories and domains with which they intersect.

Complete Call for Proposals



The Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture at Boston College invites you to join us for the Institute's 20th annual national conference in the suburbs of Boston, a city known for its struggles and efforts to address issues of racial and ethnic cultural diversity in U.S. society. The Institute was founded in 2000 at Boston College, under the direction of Dr. Janet E. Helms, to promote the assets and address the societal conflicts associated with race and culture in theory and research, mental health practice, education, business, and society at large. The Institute solicits, designs, and distributes effective interventions with a proactive, practical focus. Each year the Institute addresses a racial or cultural issue that could benefit from a pragmatic, scholarly, or grassroots focus through its Diversity Challenge conference.

As a result of attending the conference, my thinking about the ways gender, race and ethnic identity develop among women and girls and its psychological outcomes has deepened in complexity and understanding.
Diversity Challenge participant