Skip navigation
panoramic view of campus buildings with Center for Multicultural Excellence wording across bottom

Diversity Summit on Inclusive Excellence


Advance registration is required for all events. Please use the links at left.

Thursday evening filmmakers

Official poster for documentary American Promise, showing faces of two young, Black men

American Promise spans 13 years as Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson, middle-class African-American parents in Brooklyn, NY, turn their cameras on their son, Idris, and his best friend, Seun, who make their way through Dalton, one of the most prestigious private schools in the country. Chronicling the boys' divergent paths from kindergarten through high school graduation, this provocative, intimate documentary presents complicated truths about America's struggle to come of age on issues of race, class and opportunity.

See both the film's own and the PBS website for additional information and resources.

One or both filmmakers will join us for a reception, screening and post-film talkback. This evening is sponsored by TIAA-CREF and The Denver Foundation.

Friday morning, opening keynote: Teaching Inclusive History

headshot of Dr Marybeth Gasman from University of Pennsylvania Marybeth Gasman is a Professor of Higher Education in the Graduate School of Education (GSE) at the University of Pennsylvania. She holds secondary appointments in history, Africana Studies, and the School of Social Policy and Practice. She also directs the Center for Minority-Serving Institutions at Penn GSE. 

Dr. Gasman's areas of expertise include the history of American higher education, historically black colleges and universities, minority serving institutions, African American leadership, and fundraising and philanthropy.

She has written or edited 15 books, including Envisioning Black Colleges: A History of the United Negro College Fund, Supporting Alma Mater: Successful Strategies for Securing Funds from Black College Alumni (with Sibby Anderson-Thompkins), Uplifting a People: African American Philanthropy and Education (with Kate Sedgwick), Gender and Philanthropy: New Perspectives on Funding, Collaboration, and Assessment (with Alice Ginsberg); Understanding Minority Serving Institutions (with Benjamin Baez and Caroline Turner), Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Triumphs, Troubles, and Taboos (with Christopher Tudico), and Philanthropy, Fundraising, and Volunteerism in Higher Education (with Andrea Walton). Eight have won research awards.

Dr. Gasman's articles have been published in the American Education Research Journal, Educational Researcher, Teachers College Record, the Journal of Higher Education, the Journal of Negro Education, Research in Higher Education, the Journal of College Student Development, among others. She is a regular contributor to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Diverse Issues, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, and The Washington Post; and her research has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, USNEWS, CNN, and on National Public Radio.

Dr. Gasman is currently the co-principal investigator on two major grant-funded research projects related to Minority Serving institutions. She is a Vice President of the American Education Research Association. In 2010, Dr. Gasman was awarded the Ozell Sutton Medallion for Justice by Philander Smith College, and was named a member of the board of trustees at St. Augustine College.

Friday lunch keynote: Honoring Sand Creek: Healing from Legacies of Historical Trauma

photo of Dr Ramona Beltran, in front of wall mural of silhouette in motion Ramona Beltrán, PhD (University of Washington), is assistant professor in the DU Graduate School of Social Work, whose scholarship focuses on the intersections of historical trauma, embodiment, and environmental/social determinants of health as they affect health and risk behaviors in indigenous communities.

She is particularly interested in centering cultural protective factors, strengths and resiliencies in indigenous populations as they work to interrupt the intergenerational transmission of historical trauma. She uses decolonizing methodologies with an emphasis on qualitative methods that incorporate innovative geo-spatial photographic technologies and digital storytelling to support community-based research.

Beltrán believes narrative is both a powerful clinical practice and research method that helps individuals, families and communities articulate the conditions of their own existence, as well as solutions to their most pressing issues.

With more than 15 years of experience using arts, dance and movement, digital media, and narrative with Latino and indigenous communities, Beltrán also has worked on numerous research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health that examine health, mental health and substance abuse disparities in these same communities. Her intellectual contributions can be found in invited chapters in edited books, journal articles and news media, as well as national and international conferences and symposia.

Beltrán is passionate about teaching and believes that social work classrooms can be uniquely transformative spaces in which students learn to bridge theory and practice through embodied and experiential learning. Whether in the classroom, in community-based research or through community activism, Beltrán believes that social work practice and scholarship have the capacity to mobilize in co-authoring new stories of healing and equity as we strive toward a socially just society.

Dr Beltrán will be joined by Mr Otto Braided Hair, Northern Cheyenne, and Sand Creek survivor descendent.