Celebration of DI&A at Mines



About the Event

Halfway through the year, we set aside time for all of campus to gather to learn about progress on the Mines DI&A Strategic Plan, share updates on department and campus units’ implementation plan goals and engage in learning and skill development opportunities at the Celebration of DI&A at Mines.

event details

Colorado School of Mines
Green Center
February 15, 9:00 AM-7:00 PM


Conference Resources

Presentations and links will be made available in the Celebration Schedule below, as presenters make them available. 

Please visit the Advocate for Racial Equity Resources page for a list of the books raffled during each session.

celebration schedule


9:00-9:50 AM Workshops

Facilitating Difficult Conversations Toolkit Workshop
Facilitator: Dr. Shannon Mancus, HASS
In this session, participants will work through a “toolkit” of methods for leading difficult conversations around DI&A and justice issues. The “toolkit” will include concrete methods that can be implemented before, during and after difficult conversations in the classroom or meetings in order to make such discussions as productive as possible. This session is primarily intended for faculty or students and staff that occasionally lead conversations that revolve around issues of justice, diversity, access and inclusion.

Orediggers as Upstanders: Active Bystander Training
Facilitator: Sareen Lambright Dale, Title IX
Being an Oredigger means we watch out for each other. We recognize when situations are harmful, you need skills to safely step in and engage others in helping. This is a beginner active bystander training that reviews a variety of situations where upstanders would make a difference.

Minimize Unconscious Bias in the Graduate Admissions Process
Facilitators: Dr. Amy Landis, Mines DI&A, Civil & Environmental Engineering; Lori Kester, Associate Provost of Enrollment Management; Jessie Lubka, Graduate Recruitment Online Programs; Dale Louis Gaubatz, Executive Director of Admissions
Graduate recruitment and admissions are incredibly important for sustaining a robust research program and educational experience at Mines. This workshop is for people in departmental graduate admissions teams who want to improve their applicant pool and ensure a fair and bias-free process for recruitment and review. During this workshop participants will 1) learn about the methods employed by admissions for recruiting broadly and how departments can collaborate to improve their recruitment; 2) identify ways to minimize unconscious bias in applicant review; and 3) plan for effective recruitment strategies. Participants will leave this workshop with an actionable plan for improving their graduate recruitment and review process.

10:00-10:50 AM Workshops

Accessibility in the Digital World
Facilitators: Eryn Kelsey-Adkins, Computer Science
From screen readers to closed captions, people access information in a variety of ways, and yet, our digital documents can sometimes create barriers to inclusion and accessibility. Eryn Kelsey-Adkins, a graduate student in the Computer Science Department, is passionate about digital accessibility and is very excited to share tips and tricks to improve digital accessibility. In this round table we will discuss Digital Accessibility: what it is and why it’s important; examine the differences between accessibility and accommodation; and learn how to foster inclusion through creating accessible documents, presentations and videos.

Language Matters: Looking at Potentially Harmful Words and Phrases
Facilitator: Carolyn Freedman, Office of Graduate Studies & Megan Rose, Budget Office
Join us for a conversation about language. We will take a look at some common words and phrases and their origins, and discuss how we can work toward more inclusive language.

Addressing DI&A in Federal Proposals: Strategies for Success
Facilitators: Dr. Amy Landis, Mines DI&A, Civil & Environmental Engineering; Erika Jermé, Office of Research & Technology Transfer
Most federal funding agencies have increased their expectations for federal research to address DI&A. These days solid DI&A plan can set your proposal apart, while a mediocre plan leaves proposals little chance of success. This session will 1) review the three core elements of a successful DI&A plan, 2) introduce you to the new DI&A expectations from federal funders (i.e. it’s different for DOE and NSF), 3) review the Mines sponsored DI&A programs that you can utilize in your proposals, and 4) give you an opportunity to work with proposal experts on putting together a draft plan for your next proposal.

11:00-11:50 AM Workshops

Allies for Gender Equity
Facilitator: Dr. Chris Coulston, Electrical Engineering
During this interactive, scenario-based workshop, the Mines men advocate facilitators invite you to explore incidents of micro and macroaggressions experienced by women colleagues. Participants will practice appropriate actions to take in those situations.

Hispanic, Latinx, Chicanx: Why Labels Matter
Facilitator: Dra. Stepheny Beauchamp, Multicultural Engineering Program
Come learn more about the differences between labels in the Latinx community, how the origin of these labels shape self-identification and participate in an open discussion exploring how labeling under one name create both benefits and harm for our community.

How Faculty Can Integrate Equity into Engineering Course Content
Facilitator: Dr. Amy Landis, Mines DI&A, Civil & Environmental Engineering
Are you interested in ways to integrate equity and social justice into Mines students’ major classes and core curriculum? Are you passionate about training engineers who can design equitable systems? Do you want to help cultivate a culture of inclusion for all of the entire Mines campus? Join this workshop to discuss ways that we can opportunities to support faculty into integrating equity into their course-specific learning outcomes. In this workshop, faculty experts will give several examples of how they integrate topics of equity into ‘traditional’ engineering classes. Yes! It is possible to teach design of concrete and robotics where implications of equity and social justice are core to the technical learning! During the second part of the workshop, we will brainstorm ways that other fields and majors can learn about equity. Ultimately, we aim for this conversation to support proposal development to establish an NSF Center for Engineering Equity at Mines.

Noon-12:50 PM Keynote lunch

Mines is honored to have Regan Bryd lead the Celebration’s keynote lunch. The keynote will address Regan Byrd Consulting’s model of allyship for both individuals and organizations. Regan will share the pitfalls of allyship or common mistakes/errors those looking to be allies to marginalized communities often make.

Lunch is catered by Konjo Ethiopian Catering. Here’s a guide on how to eat Ethiopian food.


  • Participants will be able to articulate a model for individual and organizational allyship and common pitfalls.
  • Participants will understand diversity, equity and inclusion through an anti-oppressive lens.
  • Participants will have common language, tools and strategies for uplifting anti-oppressive practices and diversity, equity and inclusion within an organization.

About Regan Byrd Consulting
Regan Byrd Consulting (RBC) was established in 2017 as a premier training, consultation, and coaching resource for organizations and individuals engaging in anti-oppressive practice. RBC uses empathy, humor, and surgical precision to discuss typically difficult topics, and creates an environment of curiosity and mutual respect so that people are engaged and eager to grow. Regan Byrd trains people from all backgrounds and knowledge levels, focusing on the concept of oppression and how we can identify and resist it, together.

Regan’s anti-oppression based methodological approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion weaves together history, science, media, philosophy, ethics, personal experience, and best practices to crystallize core concepts and assist individuals, communities, and organizations in achieving their anti-oppressive goals. Regan answers questions that people have been too afraid to ask, offering new ways to think about familiar concepts. Regan is also trained in facilitation and conflict resolution and employs these skills in many of her trainings or as a separate offering.

About Regan Byrd
Regan Byrd is an award-winning anti-oppression activist, speaker, and trainer who has trained dozens of organizations on anti-oppression and allyship, including the Colorado Mid-Wives Association, the Sierra Club, the Colorado Democratic Party, YWCA of Boulder County, and Denver Public Schools. Regan has served as the morning keynote speaker for the DU Women’s Conference in 2017, the afternoon keynote for the 2018 League of Women Voters annual conference, and morning MC for the Womxn’s March Denver 2019 march. She was also a trainer at the 2018 White Privilege Symposium in Denver. She has participated in various expert panels on topics ranging from transformative justice, to the history of police, to housing justice.

Regan is also a seasoned nonprofit professional with over 13 years of experience in grassroots and social justice non-profit organizations, formerly working for the Arc of Jefferson County, 9to5 Colorado: National Association of Working Women, Hunger Free Colorado, and the Bell Policy Center. She previously served as office manager for the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center, and the Data and Systems Manager for the Bell Policy Center. Regan currently serves as treasurer of the board for the Colorado People’s Alliance and was formerly the co-chair of the board for 9to5 Colorado for 10 years, and a legacy board member with Womxn’s March Denver. Regan is a former commissioner on the Aurora Humans Rights Commission, and former board member for the youth mentorship non-profit “YESS Institute”. She is a graduate of the Transit Alliance’s Citizen Academy and Emerge Colorado, a training program for women running for office. She is a recent graduate of the Denver Metro Chamber’s “Impact Denver” leadership class of Spring 2018 and is a recent participant in the Chinook Fund’s 2020 Spring Giving Project.

Regan has a deep commitment to social justice, institutional systems change, and collective liberation. She believes this is best done through self-reflexivity, strong allyship, knowledge cultivation, intentional inclusivity, coalition building, and dismantling systems of oppression.

Regan Byrd is an alumni of the University of Denver’s undergraduate program, with dual B.A. degrees in Public Policy and Sociology, and minors in Gender and Women’s Studies, and English. Regan has been named a “Woman to Watch” by the Denver League of Women Voters, is the winner of the 2015 Lilly Ledbetter award from 9to5 Colorado and was named 2019’s “Woman of the Year” by the Business and Professional Women of Denver.

In her free time, she enjoys making fun of bad movies, exploring the Denver dining scene, competitive video gaming, and fawning over new technology.

Noon-1:00 PM panel

Allyship: Building a Stronger Community at Mines
Location: Student Center Ballrooms A&B
Allyship is an active practice that requires action – but what does that mean for each of us in our daily lives? And what can it mean for us as a campus community? This dialogue will highlight the voices and experiences of Mines students and staff members in discussion about what allyship is and is not, and provide specific examples for how each of us can be an ally within the Mines community. Presented by: Esquilin Consulting for Equity and Inclusion and Sponsored by Fraternity & Sorority Life

1:00-1:50 PM Workshops

Avoiding Implicit Bias in Letter of Recommendation Writing
Facilitators: Heather Houlton & Kelly Knechtel, Mines DI&A
Over the course of your career, you will likely be asked to write letters of recommendation for your colleagues and students. Research shows there are often stark differences in the quality of letters written for individuals from non-marginalized vs. marginalized groups. In this interactive workshop, facilitators will present common pitfalls found in nomination letters/letters of recommendation, tips for how to prepare for and write your letter and facilitate a discussion on why this matters for selection, promotion and advancement opportunities. In small groups, teams will compare and contrast two letters, highlight potential bias or exemplary components between the two and brainstorm strategies that can be used for your future letters.

Solidarity, Not Model Minority
Facilitator: Dr. Zhao Han, Computer Science & Angie Reyes, ITS
In this workshop, we will watch and discuss the documentary Not Your Model Minority to explore the origins of the stereotype and the intersections with past and present anti-Asian violence. It also examines the harm created by this divisive narrative and opportunities to build power and make progress towards addressing systemic racism in America.

The workshop will be segmented into multiple discussions where each discussion will have an assigned topic. The topic discussions will not only be centered around the Asian Pacific American community, but also extend to other communities to promote solidarity.


Creating an Inclusive Classroom Environment
Facilitator: Dr. Amy Hermundstad Nave, Trefny Center
Are you interested in exploring ways to support students in your class? Are you wanting to learn strategies to make your classroom more inclusive? During this workshop, we will start by considering the impact of classroom environments on student learning and performance. Then, we will examine several classroom scenarios and identify strategies that instructors can use to make the classroom environment more inclusive. Instructors will leave this session with a list of strategies and ideas for how to make their classrooms more inclusive for students.

Survivor Response and Support
Facilitator: The Office of Institutional Equity & Title IX
This presentation is intended for community members who want to refresh their skills on how to support a survivor and what resources our office can provide.

2:00-4:00 PM Dept/Campus Unit Flash Talks

Listen to 4-minute overviews from department and campus unit representatives on standout initiatives and progress on their unit’s DI&A implementation plan goals.

Room 1: Friedhoff 2

2:00-2:04 Civil & Environmental Engineering
2:05-2:09 Campus Life & Student Success
2:10-2:14 Library & Museum
2:15-2:19 Computer Science
2:20-2:24 Mining Engineering
2:25-2:29 Geology & Geological Engineering
15 minute break
2:45-2:49 Geophysics
2:50-2:54 Electrical Engineering
2:55-2:59 Economics & Business
3:00-3:04 Research & Technology Transfer
3:05-3:09 Women in Science Engineering & Mathematics (WISEM)
3:10-3:14 Human Resources
15 minute break
3:30-3:34 Trefny Center
3:35-3:39 Engineering Design & Society
3:40-3:44 Mechanical Engineering
3:45-3:49 Physics
3:50-3:54 Applied Mathematics & Statistics 
3:55-3:59 Chemistry

Room 2: Green Center 224

2:00-2:04 Entrepreneurship & Innovation
2:05-2:09 Athletics
2:10-2:14 Payne Institute
2:15-2:19 Humanities Arts & Social Sciences
2:20-2:24 University Honors & Scholars Program
2:25-2:29 Petroleum Engineering
15 minute break
2:45-2:49 Metallurgy & Materials Engineering 
2:50-2:54 Admissions
2:59-3:04 Office of Graduate Studies

6:00-7:00 PM panel

Allyship: Building a Stronger Ccommunity at Mines
Location: Student Center Ballrooms A&B
Allyship is an active practice that requires action – but what does that mean for each of us in our daily lives? And what can it mean for us as a campus community? This dialogue will highlight the voices and experiences of Mines students and staff members in discussion about what allyship is and is not, and provide specific examples for how each of us can be an ally within the Mines community. Presented by: Esquilin Consulting for Equity and Inclusion and Sponsored by Fraternity & Sorority Life

The Celebration of DI&A at Mines is generously funded by Shell.

What’s Needed in my Flash Talk? 

  1. Pick one thing from your department or campus unit’s DI&A implementation plan (IP) you’re really excited to share (i.e., maybe you want to locate more collaborators, maybe you want to share a best practice that others can adopt). You will have four minutes max (about 3-4 slides) to present.  Facilitators will be strict about keeping presenters on time. Some examples: AAAS and ASEE CONECD commonly do flash talks; our format is similar. 
  2. Identify a presenter (no more than two) from your department or unit’s diversity committee. 
  3. Choose your 4-minute time slot.  
  4. Upload your ppt slides as a .pptx file by 2/11/22 so we can have them all keyed up and ready to go one after another.