After hate graffiti and racial exclusion from Trump rallies, Valdosta State doesn’t have the best track record for inclusivity. Their new “Moving AHEAD Together” seminar may be the first step in changing that. The two day conference hosted by the Florida and Georgia state affiliates of the Association of Higher Education and Disability aims to “influence campus culture in an effort to break down barriers.” This appears to be chiefly focused on making the campus a more accessible and welcoming place for students in minorities, especially disabled students.
The conference is held in three distinct parts; a pre-conference workshop, the first day of the conference, and the second day of the conference. The pre-conference workshop is designed for “new professionals in the disability services field” in order for them to interact with seasoned disability services professionals. The official conference starts off with a luncheon and keynote speaker Tony Thomas (a well known higher education attorney, political speech writer, and civil rights activist) followed by an interactive session on out of the box thinking in order to break down barriers. The second day is headed by nationally known disability lawyer and consultant, Jeanne Kincaid and will include opportunities to network with colleagues and explore the disability history exhibit. Hopefully this seminar can be the first step in making Valdosta State a more accessible place for students in minorities.