Forum Spotlights ‘Our Community, Our Future’ April 12

April 1, 2014
Dana Jones

Dana Jones

The Diversity Institute at the College of Southern Maryland presents the 2014 Unity in Our Community Diversity Forum, focusing on “Our Community, Our Future,” from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., April 12 at North Point High School, 2500 Davis Road, Waldorf.

The day will feature a keynote by Dana Jones, chief executive officer for the United Planning Organization (UPO), as well as vignettes of “The Bully Plays” presented by the Thomas Stone High School drama department and break-out sessions on defying stereotypes, bullying/cyberbullying, and on youth leadership/empowerment.

Jones, a native of Southern Maryland, has dedicated his adult life to bringing quality services to neighborhoods and citizens. He served as president/CEO of the Southern Maryland Tri-County Community Action Committee prior to his service with UPO. Since becoming CEO at UPO, the organization has made great strides in providing enhanced and unique programs that emphasize self-sufficiency.

The day’s emcee will be Fox5 News anchor Sarah Simmons. Breakout sessions, led by community members and designed to help those participating to better understand Charles County today and its future, will include “Defying Definitions,” a public conversation and community engagement program exploring identity, stereotypes and diversity; a discussion on Bullying/Cyberbullying, co-presented by a victim of bulling who has organized “Bullied But Unbroken LLC;” and a panel discussion on “Youth Leadership/Empowerment” with local youth leaders discussing their strategies on impacting their community, making a change and being the change.

Youth panel leaders will represent W.E.B. DuBois Scholars from Thomas Stone High School, Young Achievers from Matthew Henson, Milton Somers and Benjamin Stoddert middle schools, and CSM’s chapters of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and Sigma Alpha Pi Chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success.

“I am very excited about the upcoming Unity in Our Community Diversity Forum being hosted by the Diversity Institute of Charles County,” said Makeba Clay, executive director of CSM’s Institutional Equity and Diversity Office. “The forum is a unique opportunity to engage our local citizenry in public dialogue around our individual and collective identities in an increasingly diverse community. We encourage community members of all ages to attend this event where we will celebrate, appreciate and support the diversity within and around Charles County.”

The forum is funded in part by the Maryland Humanities Council with support from Chick-fil-A as the lunch sponsor. Pre-registration is requested for this free event at

Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. with the program starting at 9 am. For information, visit or contact Ava Morton, coordinator of the Diversity Institute at

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