Dealing with Difference Institute

WIU's 24th Annual Dealing With Difference Institute (DWDI) 2017: Act Now: Everyday Advocacy

In response to both national issues and local and regional budgetary constraints, Expanding Cultural Diversity Project (ECDP) will be hosting a two-day Dealing With Difference Institute (DWDI), to address the ways in which we can advocate for sustained change through rethinking education and activism.

Thursday April 6 : Keynote Speaker

6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Morgan Hall 109)

Wilson Okello (
"How does it feel to be a problem?": Education in the Face of Rationality

How do we confront societal pressures to acquiesce for those we perceive to have power over us? How do we consciously resist the schooling of our bodies to fit a historical idea of respectability? This talk will examine historical and contemporary exemplars that reflect the potency of individuals committed to equity in the multiple locations they find themselves. Additionally, the talk will hone in on critical questions for praxis as it relates to our roles and responsibilities in the transformative project of education for the practice of freedom. 

Keynote Address Co-Sponsored by the College Student Personnel Program

8 p.m. to 9 p.m.: Social Hour with Cash Bar

Friday April 7: Everyday Advocacy Workshop 

No matter what your role in education, you know that often when you push for change, there are professional and personal consequences. We also know that the attack on education and teaching has increased in our present climate. Using the framework of teacher advocate Cathy Fleisher, we will discuss the ways everyday advocacy can remodel the narratives around issues we care about in education. The goal of the workshop is to facilitate ways for you to think through what you want others to know about a specific issue in education. Each participant will come with a topic a topic in mind, thinking about this statement: 

When it comes to my work in education, I want people to understand  _______________. 

Throughout the day, we will work in action groups around our topics:

Friday’s Agenda

Horribin Hall 1

8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.                        Continental Breakfast

9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.                        Welcome, Introductions, and Background

9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.                      Core Idea 1: Being Smart

                                                            Naming and reframing the issue

                                                            The role of research in the process

                                                            How others “understand” the process


10:30 a.m.  to 10:45 a.m.       Break


10:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.        Core Idea 1: Trying it Out

11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.        Core Idea 2: Being Safe

                                               Naming allies

                                               Building networks

                                               Building lines of communication with allies


12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.          Lunch (in HH1)


1:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.            Core Idea 2: Trying it Out

2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.            Core Idea 3: Being Savvy


                                                                          Identifying the message

                                                                          Identifying the audience

                                                                          Identifying the desired results


                                                                          Laying the groundwork (proactive)

                                                                          Influencing a particular decision (calls to action)

3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.                        Core Idea 3: Trying it out


3:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.            Break


3:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.            Bringing it all together, wrap-up, next steps


All WIU faculty, staff, and students are welcome to join us for this Institute at no-cost. Those outside of the WIU community are asked to pay a $10 registration fee. Registration includes Breakfast and Lunch.


Click here for DWDI 2017 Registration


Please note: Due to Macomb School District’s SIP Day, childcare will be provided for the afternoon session for those who need it. Please be sure to complete the childcare information on the registration so that we know if there is a need.

Questions? Contact Dr. Rebekah Buchanan ( or Dr. Jim LaPrad (