As Americas diversity increases, Americas democracy is enhancedand even strengthened.

Thats the message the nationalDiversity Forumsconflict resolution group is bringing to West Virginia University Monday (Oct. 17) as part of WVU s annual Diversity Week observances.

The Chicago-based organization will host a panel discussion on diversity and democracy at 7 p.m. in the Mountainlair Rhododendron Room, on the Downtown Campus. The event is free and open to the public.

The panelists:

  • Liz Canner, an award-winning independent filmmaker who explores often-neglected social issues;
  • Dr. Tariq Cheema, co-founder of Doctors Worldwide, an international outreach group that offers medical services to victims of natural disasters and global conflicts;
  • The Rev. Dr. Joseph W. Daniels Jr., senior pastor of Emory United Methodist Church in Washington, recognized for its urban ministry;
  • Robert S. Kallen, founder of RSK Strategies, a Chicago firm that provides counseling and capital to small businesses in food service and education; and
  • Sonya Lopez, a Texas State University grant specialist and faculty member known for her expertise in child neglect issues.

The Diversity Forums group was established in 1997 by the Rockefeller Foundation. It was formed as a branch of the Next Generation Leadership Fellowship, a group of professional and civil who address social and economic concerns as related to democracy in communities across the country.

WVU s Division of Social Work and Nova Institute are helping host Mondays panel. Both those disciplines are housed in the School of Applied Social Sciences, which is part of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.

The Presidents Office for Social Justice is also a co-host.

For more information, contact Karen Geiger in the Presidents Office for Social Justice at karen.geiger@mail.wvu.edu or 304-293-9269; or Dolly Ford in the Division of Social Work at dolly.ford@mail.wvu.edu or 304-293-3501, ext. 3102.

Diversity Week at WVU is Oct. 17-21. For a complete schedule of events and related information visithttp://www.nis.wvu.edu/2005_Releases/diversityweek05.htm.