Through its two-fold focus, the conference first encourages participants to critically reflect on theoretical ideas about institutionalized discrimination in higher education is and how it is perpetuated today. The conference then seeks to provide tools to help students enact policies and programs and found student organizations that combat systems of inequality in higher education.
We began with an afternoon of brainstorming ideas about what we wanted the conference to address. We let these ideas sit for a couple weeks and continued e-mailing comments over the e-mail list-serve before meeting again and narrowing down our brainstormed themes, cutting and pasting different ideas in different ways until we finally came to a theme we liked. There was a lot of debating and melding of ideas.
We want all students, white, black, middle-class, affluent, working class, international students, to think about why addressing these issues is important for the educational experience elite liberal arts colleges impart on all of their students. We want to raise questions and problem-solve about how academia as a whole can affect change in larger society.