Days of paper presentations, workshops/interactive sessions, posters, and colloquia.
Delegates from all over the world who attended the Nineteenth International Conference on Diversity in Organizations, Communities & Nations.
The special focus of the 2019 Diversity Conference addressed intercultural learning in the wake of global refugee experience. In times of crisis, the refugee presence challenges senses of nation and the practicalities of service provision. We find the “global other” confronting both our identities and our institutions. Socioeconomic crisis accentuates differences and skepticism towards the “other.” These modern border crossers bring the challenges of globalization and ubiquitous learning into our doorstep. They prompt the social psyche to collective storytelling. What are the refugee stories? And how much do they influence challenge or extend national narratives of citizenship? Does the mix of “natives” and “foreigners” create an everyday global awareness? Or How much does the refugee presence alter the nature and dynamics of territorially-defined governance systems?
The refugee experience involve a multifaceted border crossing through diverse ‘territories” within organizations, communities and nations. These territories are defined by both physically marked borders and intangible lines, often invisible in space (symbolic, imaginary, temporal, or epistemological borders). Spatial and intangible borders can be seen from particular, embodied viewpoints, and might be crossed by the gaze and other senses, before being crossed by the body. Border crossing may be successful or unsuccessful and it always offers an occasion for story or narration. The proliferation of narratives connects individual experiences to the larger narratives of nation building and can, thus, be apprehended as a performative renegotiation towards an inclusive citizenship. Border crossing and its narratives are politically defined in public discourse. The reactions coming from different stakeholders, from humanitarian to racist, alert societies to the need to address diversity in an open and democratic way. To this end, narratives are important to influence policy decisions and create a localized cultural response to diversity and equitable service provision.
Dr. Eugenia Arvanitis is Assistant Professor of Interculturality & Diversity in Education at the University of Patras, Greece. She teaches at the Post Graduate Program "LRM Language Education for Refugees and Migrants" of the Hellenic Open University. Dr. Arvanitis has worked for a number of divisions in the Greek Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs (2006-2012), and she has been involved in policy development for intercultural, adult, and immigrant education (e.g. drafting working papers and expressions of interest for major national programs funded by the European Commission through the National Strategic Framework of Reference).
Dr. Arvanitis lived for a decade in Australia gaining valuable experience in multicultural educational and ethnic language maintenance policies. Her PhD research involved an in-depth analysis of teaching practices and educational policies in Australia in the late 1990s with particular emphasis on Greek language classes and after-hours schools in Victoria. During 2001-2004, she was coordinator of the Greek Language and Cultural Studies Program (BA International Studies) at the School of International and Community Studies, RMIT University and the Manager of the Australian-Greek Resource and Learning Center at RMIT University, Melbourne.
Since 2015, Eugenia has coordinated the Forum on Intercultural Dialogue and Learning at the University of Patras, Greece, which attracts funding from Greek organizations and the European Commission. She also acts as an Intercultural Expert at the Intercultural Cities Network, a world-wide program run by the Council of Europe. Eugenia was a visiting researcher and scholar at the National Europe Center, Australian National University, and the Fulbright Foundation at the University of Illinois (2017). She is an Associate & Research Partner in several scientific organisations such as PASCAL International Observatory, the International Association for Intercultural Education, the European Society for Research on the Education of Adults (ESREA), and the University of Illinois (Common Ground: Scholar & Learning by Design project teams). In recent years, she has focused on the dissemination of the Learning by Design. She supports the web based platforms ‘Nea Mathisi’ and 'Scholar,' which support professional and intercultural learning in school-based activities. This has involved collaborative work with a number of other Greek academics, school administrators, and teachers to co-design and evaluate a set of interactive WEB2 tools aimed at developing cutting edge pedagogical practices that enhance leaner performance and intercultural capacities of both teachers and students.
The Nineteenth International Conference on Diversity in Organizations, Communities & Nations featured plenary sessions by some of the world's leading thinkers and innovators in the field.
The Refugee Panel was held during the Pre-Conference Community Tour and Forum on Intercultural Dialogue and Learning. The panel featured representatives from refugee camps and various local government authorities.
The Border Crossing Narratives Panel featured academics and experts who will discussed the 2019 Special Focus, "Border Crossing Narratives: Learning from the Refugee Experience."
"Archaeological Museum of Patras Hugs Diversity"
The Museum Presentation on Diversity was held on the second day of the conference. The presentation featured representatives from the Archaeological Museum of Patras.
The Diversity Panel was held during one of the conference tours, Option A: Visit to Community Migrant Group of Patras. Representatives from various universities in Greece discussed current challenges of intercultural and refugee education.
The Nineteenth International Conference on Diversity in Organizations, Communities & Nations featured local student artists from the University of Patras performing a diverse repertoire of ethnic music during the Conference Welcome Reception.
For each conference, a small number of Emerging scholar Awards are given to outstanding graduate students and emerging scholars who have an active academic interest in the conference area. The Award, with its accompanying responsibilities provides a strong professional development opportunity for early career academics. The 2019 Emerging Scholar Awardees are listed below.
Department of Educational Sciences and Early Childhood Education, Patras, Greece
Laboratory of Sociology and Education
Virtual Posters present preliminary results of work or projects that lend themselves to visual representations. Download the posters below.
Lightning Talks are 5-minute "flash" video presentations. Click the button below to view the videos on our YouTube channel.