Conference Addresses Culture of Respect

NEWARK, OH, March 19, 2018 — Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) and The Ohio State University at Newark boast their most diverse student populations to date with 15 percent and 27 percent minority representation, respectively. Step off campus and you find a vastly different scenario: 93 percent of Licking County residents are Caucasian. To bridge cultural differences between students and community, the Community Intercultural Relations Conference (CIRC) presents "Building a Culture of Respect: Challenging our Unconscious and Repressive Behaviors."

Now in its ninth year, CIRC welcomes nationally recognized antiracism activist Tim Wise as keynote speaker. The event will be held on Thursday, April 19, 2018, in the John and Mary Alford Performing Arts Hall at the John Gilbert Reese Center, 1209 University Drive. 

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Wise and additional speakers, Lecia Brooks from Southern Poverty Law Center and Tony McAleer from Life After Hate, will speak for free from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Those interested in a more in-depth session are encouraged to stay for lunch and a panel discussion from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is a $30 fee for the afternoon session, and registration is required. Students may attend for a discounted rate of $20. Registration is available through April 12 at Human resource professionals may receive four SHRM and HRCI recertification credits; social workers and counselors may earn 2.5 CEUs from BHP of Central Ohio, Inc. 

A major theme of the conference is respect. Speakers will examine topics meant to challenge our conscious and unconscious behaviors, biases and attitudes to help bring about a better understanding of ourselves and others. Following the conference, attendees will have the opportunity to reflect on their own opinions, mindsets and actions in order to determine the level of respect they hold for themselves and those who have a different lived experience. In the words of keynote speaker Tim Wise, "Standing still is never an option so long as inequities remain embedded in the very fabric of the culture."

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CIRC is presented by COTC, Ohio State Newark and the CIRC committee with sponsorship from United Way of Licking County, Denison University, Licking County Foundation and DoubleTree by Hilton. The CIRC committee is comprised of leaders from Boeing, COTC, Denison University, Grow Licking County, Licking County Chamber of Commerce, Licking County Job and Family Services, Mental Health America of Licking County, Ohio State Newark, State Farm Insurance, The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology, United Way of Licking County and Paddy Kutz (community representative).

For more information, contact Vorley Taylor at 740-366-9443 or

Photo: Tim Wise, keynote speaker

Central Ohio Technical College and The Ohio State University at Newark have forged an outstanding array of educational opportunities for the central Ohio region and beyond. This partnership is viewed as a model for higher education in the state of Ohio.  At Central Ohio Technical College, students gain hands-on, applicable experience to begin working in the field, or to transfer those credits toward a bachelor's degree program. The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that's challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State's more than 200 majors.