Posted: April 19, 1999

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

A conference entitled "Diversity In Rural Minnesota" will be held Thursday, April 22, at St. Cloud State University in Atwood Memorial Center. The conference is sponsored by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, Minnesota Public Radio Civic Journalism Initiative and St. Cloud State University.

V. Robert Hayles, a diversity consultant who was formerly the vice president for Pillsbury, will be the keynote speaker. Les Green, director of St. Cloud State's Office of Cultural Diversity, and Morris J. Anderson, chancellor of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, also will speak.

The program begins at 8:30 a.m. and will conclude about 3 p.m. Minnesotans from faith communities, justice systems, businesses, social services, educational institutions and other sectors of society have been invited to attend.

"In our morning sessions, we hope to identify the challenges, benefits and strengths of increased diversity in rural Minnesota," said Dolores Fridge, associate vice chancellor for MnSCU's equal opportunity division. "In the afternoon we want to come back with recommendations of how to create more inclusive, harassment-free environments."

The day's schedule includes:

8:30-8:40 a.m. Welcome by Les Green
8:40-9:50 a.m. Address by Dr. Robert Hayles
9:50-11:45 a.m. Small group discussions
12-12:45 p.m. Lunch and Chancellor Anderson speaks
1-3 p.m. Panel and small group discussions