Difference Matters author to speak on March 25

(03-11-2011)

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Difference matters -- our race, culture, ages, gender and social class -- in everything we say and do in society. Guest author Brenda Allen will lead a participatory lecture on how to communicate difference humanely, at 3 p.m. Friday, March 25, with a book signing and reception from 4:30 until 5:30 p.m., in the Adams State College Student Union Building room A131. 

Allen's proven ability and flare for presenting complex and oftentimes sensitive topics in nonthreatening ways carry over in the latest edition of "Difference Matters". Her down-to-earth analysis of six social identity categories reveals how we send messages about who we think we are in society, and what we think of others. Sometimes our unexamined biases show up in unintended ways, putting ourselves down or even hurting others and Allen, a superb storyteller, illustrates her discussions with real-life experiences, many of which are her own. She also offers practical guidance for how to communicate difference more humanely. While many examples are from organizational contexts, people from a wide range of backgrounds can relate to them and appreciate their relevance.

Allen, an associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor in the University of Colorado Denver Department of Communication, research and teaching areas are organizational communication, diversity, group communication, and critical pedagogy. In addition to performing her duties at the university, she presents keynote speeches and conducts workshops and consultations on a range of topics, including self-empowerment, diversity, strategic planning, presentational speaking, and teamwork. She directs the HERS institute for developing women leaders.

Allen has received numerous awards and accolades, including the Francine Merritt Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Lives of Women in Communication from the National Communication Association and was the first award recipient for Outstanding Achievement for Commitment to Diversity UC of Denver. She received her bachelor's degree from Case Western Reserve University and master's and doctorate degrees from Howard University.

Allen will be at the Adams State campus all day working with various groups. Her visit is funded by Adams State and is sponsored by the Center for Equity in Learning and Teaching (CELT) and President's Office.