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The legal editor of BuzzFeed and a California college professor who is an expert on community, identity, and diversity will headline Diversity and Inclusion Week at the College of Communication and Information.

Jason Laker

“CCI Diversity and Inclusion Week: Unifying and Transforming Our World” will begin September 28 and will conclude with the annual Diversity Festival in Circle Park on October 1.

The four-day event provides participants with an opportunity to gain diversity skills and knowledge, along with a chance to dialogue about diversity and inclusion issues with leaders and experts. The event will include two keynote addresses, an open forum, a festival, and eight panel discussions, which will cover a variety of topics from self-identity to lessons learned from home to law enforcement and workplace challenges. All events are free and open to the public.

Jason Laker, San Jose State University professor and Salzburg Fellow, will deliver the first keynote at 10:10 a.m. on Monday, September 28, in CCI’s Patrick Auditorium.

“Dr. Laker is an outstanding speaker and will do a great job of kicking off Diversity and Inclusion Week,” said Alice Wirth, chair of CCI’s Diversity and Inclusion Week Planning Committee. “His ability to communicate and challenge will provide our students and faculty with a thought-provoking diversity and inclusion keynote.”

He has received recognition and awards for his courses on subjects of community, identity, and diversity and is a frequent presenter at national and international professional conferences. In 2014, he served as the keynote speaker for UT’s inaugural Diversity Summit.

Chris Geidner

The second keynote speaker will be Chris Geidner, legal editor for BuzzFeed in Washington DC, and brother of UT journalism and electronic media professor Nick Geidner. He will speak at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, September 30, in Patrick Auditorium. Geidner focuses on LGBT, criminal justice, and election law issues and has won numerous awards for his writing.

“Chris Geidner’s keynote will bring a fresh, contemporary perspective on journalism and social issues to our students from someone who is on the front lines of covering many key news issues,” said Wirth. “His keynote will be a definite highlight of Diversity and Inclusion Week.”

Select sessions will be live streamed during the week. View more details and a full schedule of events.


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,