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Diversity Day on Wednesday to feature talks from 2 prominent personalities

Sponsored by the Austin Peay State University Department of Social Works Student Minority Affairs Club, this weeks Diversity Day Program will feature talks by two prominent personalitiesboth of whom either generate or report the news.

The Diversity Day Program, which is open to the public, is slated for 11 a.m.- 2 p.m., Wednesday, March 28 in the Morgan University Center, Room 303. Refreshments and lunch will be served free of charge.

According to Donna Foy, president of the Student Minority Affairs Club, the program will feature two top-notch speakers.
Sponsored by the Austin Peay State University Department of Social Work's Student Minority Affairs Club, this week's Diversity Day Program will feature talks by two prominent personalitiesboth of whom either generate or report the news.

The Diversity Day Program, which is open to the public, is slated for 11 a.m.- 2 p.m., Wednesday, March 28 in the Morgan University Center, Room 303. Refreshments and lunch will be served free of charge.

According to Donna Foy, president of the Student Minority Affairs Club, the program will feature two top-notch speakers.

Greg Akili, Los Angeles, will address the topic, “National Challenges of Diversity in U.S. Society.” Akili is a special assistant to the speaker of the California State Assembly and adviser to the national Democratic Party.

Tennessee's only Hispanic television news reporter, Christine Maddela, WKRN-Channel 2, Nashville, will discuss “Challenges to Hispanic Culture in Tennessee.”

Previously, Akili was the state director for the California Vote Project, a major voter initiative. In the 1970s, he was an organizer for the United Farm Workers Union, raising the visibility of one of the most economically disadvantaged groupsmigrant farm workers. Later, he was a founder of the United Domestic Workers Union in California, which works to unite culturally diverse workers in the service sector of society.

Additionally, Akili has served as executive director of the national Federation for Housing and Community Development, Commission for Housing for the city of San Diego and senior organizer for the Service Employees International Union, the largest national union for employees in such service areas as motels and restaurants.

Maddella came to Tennessee from her position as the Washington, D.C., correspondent for the CBS affiliate in El Paso, Texas. Now with WKRN-Channel 2, she serves as co-anchor and correspondent for the Weekend Edition news report.

One of only a few Hispanic television newscasters in the U.S. outside the Spanish language Univision TV news service, Maddella has had extensive experience working with Hispanic issues at both the national and state levels. While in Texas, she investigated and presented a significant series on legal and illegal immigration into the U.S.

According to Foy, besides the talks by Akili and Maddella, the Diversity Day Program will include discussions on disability rights and gay/lesbian issues by other activists.

Founded in 2001 at APSU, the Student Minority Affairs Club's mission is to promote awareness of diversity and cultural issues. Funded by the Student Government Association, the Student Minority Affairs Club received APSU's 2004 Outstanding Leadership and Development Award in 2004.

For more information about the club or the March 28 Diversity Day Program, please contact Foy by telephone at (931) 378-0922 or the club's faculty adviser, Dr. Peter Stoddard, associate professor of social work, at (931) 221-7108. -- Dennie B. Burke