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Alliance for Community and Equity (ACE) Summit

Inaugural Alliance for Community and Equity (ACE) Summit 

"Your Voice is Your Power"

University of Mount Union Campus
February 3, 2024
7:45 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. 

The University of Mount Union will host the Alliance for Community and Equity (ACE) Summit. This summit focuses on building an inclusive community by overcoming inequities. The summit provides an opportunity to discuss strategies, frameworks, and programs that can be implemented into action to enhance the climate and culture of institutions and organizations. This event is free, though donations to support Mount Union's DEIB programming are welcome. 

The response to the summit has been very positive, and as a result, we have reached capacity. Registration has closed.

Summit Information

  1. Overview

    The University of Mount Union will host the Alliance for Community and Equity (ACE) Summit. This Summit focuses on building an inclusive community by overcoming inequities. The Summit provides an opportunity to discuss strategies, frameworks, and programs that can be implemented into action to enhance the climate and culture of institutions and organizations.

    The ACE Summit is open to any institution or organization that is striving to be an inclusive community – one  that is culturally aware, confronts bias, and critically reflects on practices, procedures, and policies toward identifying and changing existing inequities.  The ACE Summit will provide institutions and organizations with sessions that are grounded in equity and inclusion and provide learning strategies and tools that address the compelling issues we face as a democracy and as a global community.  Participants in the ACE Summit will leave with strategies for developing an environment that recognizes, navigates, and bridges gaps of inequities and creates opportunities to enhance diversity toward a more inclusive institution or organization where all constituents can belong.

    The Alliance for Community and Equity Summit will create space for conversations among educators, students, administrators, policymakers, and community members. We invite open dialogues that are civil and respectful and that promote the free exchange of ideas and practices that support diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. ACE will inform us of our shared responsibility and commitment to develop systems, structures, and policies that are centered on building inclusive communities.

  2. Schedule-at-a-Glance


    7:45 a.m. – 8:15 a.m., Registration, Hoover Price Campus Center

    8:30 – 9:15 a.m., Plenary, Kresge Dining Commons

    9:25 – 10:25 a.m., Session 1, Various Campus Locations

    10:35 – 11:35 a.m., Session 2, Various Campus Locations

    11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Luncheon, Kresge Dining Commons

    12:30 – 1:15 p.m., Keynote, Kresge Dining Commons

    1:30 - 2:30 p.m., Session 3, Various Campus Locations

    2:30 p.m., Summit Completion

  3. Plenary

    Dr. Suzette Walden Cole

    Co-Founder and Team Lead, Social Responsibility Speaks, LLC

    Less Words, More Action – Cultivating Spaces of Belonging

    “We want people to feel like they belong.” These words are often shared; but how are you and/or your group/team making meaning of them. The one-time DEI, or monthly celebratory, program just doesn’t cut it anymore. This realization may feel like another responsibility on an already overfilled plate. We want to engage in dialogue about how we create spaces where individuals feel they belong authentically vs. having to “fit” into the space. Leading from a place of intentionality means embracing cultural humility and recognizing the “why” equity and inclusion matter. From selection to coordination, this session is designed for those who want to reflect and leave with tangible strategies to be more intentional in your decision-making, programming, and overall ways you show up in spaces.

    Dr. Suzette Walden Cole (she/they) is a co-founder and team lead with Social Responsibility Speaks, LLC. Dr. Suzette is a global educator, consultant, and coach having worked with audiences from across Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and North America. Dr. Suzette works with educational institutions and corporate and non-profit organizations to address change management; organizational culture development; leadership; belonging, equity, inclusion, and diversity (BEID); and cultivating high performing teams with their leaders in transformational experiences.

    Dr. Suzette believes in amplifying marginalized voices and leaning into collectivism in advancing a more just society and endeavors to educate others to do the same. Dr. Suzette infuses the art of storytelling with research-based content to tackle the foundational concepts of BEID. She believes what is learned can be unlearned, especially with a commitment to decolonization. Dr. Suzette empowers those with whom she is in community to get uncomfortable and engage in caring conversations to promote growth. She takes a direct approach in tackling tough topics. One of her signature phrases is “sugar-coated feces is still feces; the sugar doesn’t change the smell or taste;” and systems-change work can be messy and challenging. At the end of the day, Dr. Suzette shares wholeheartedly that every human has the freedom to make choices while recognizing that they are not free from the consequences of those choices.

    Dr. Suzette Walden Cole Headshot

  4. Keynote

    Cenell Boch, Ph.D.

    Consultant/Owner of Wellness with Cenell, LLC

    Mindfulness of Diversity and Inclusion

    This session will include the science behind how our biological responses as humans are impacted by history and how to shift and open our perspectives as we communicate with others with diverse backgrounds. We will define mindfulness and how mindfulness can assist with improving communication and building impactful relationships within our communities. We will discuss diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) and how mindful compassion can bridge gaps and create connections and a renewed sense of belonging.

    A linkage between the two worlds of DEIB and mindfulness will be identified to enhance DEIB perspectives and worldviews. Specific examples of how to work with difficult thoughts, emotions, and situations by identifying and creating space for DEI mindful compassion in 2024 and beyond will be explored.  Overall, the session will include an educational component and a guided mindfulness meditation practice as well as time to reflect on learnings and insights.

    Cenell Boch, Ph.D. specializes in mindfulness and leadership development; executive leadership development; health, wellness, and personal growth; and DEIB education and strategy. She holds a bachelor of science degree in sport medicine, master of science degree in exercise physiology, and a Ph.D. in health sciences. She completed her doctoral work investigating mindfulness as a tool to reduce work-related stress and has supported executive leadership clients from all over the world (Europe and USA). She is also a certified mindfulness meditation teacher and licensed certified athletic trainer.

    She brings 25+ years of experience as a leader, consultant, and expert in the field of health sciences. Cenell utilizes a mindful leadership approach when working with clients to help them find clarity and commit to multiple action steps toward reaching their goals, dreams, visions, and desires. Her mindfulness coaching style involves the core tenets of attention, intention, and attitude.

    Her community and professional involvement in DEIB has included serving as the secretary and, later vice president, of the Black Students Union at the University of Mount Union; being awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. Award for her work toward creating a more inclusive collegiate and community environment; advising students of color and international students; serving as the chairperson for the Cross-Curricular Development Committee at the University of Mount Union; and attending multiple DEI training sessions offered through the YWCA Racial Awareness Program, Ohio University DEI office, and Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions DEI office. More recently, Cenell has served enthusiastically as an active member and residing chairperson for the Lancaster Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce DEIB Committee from 2020-2023. 

    Cenell has also facilitated DEIB education and strategy for leaders, businesses, and large organizations though Mindfulness in the Workplace seminars. Furthermore, she counts it a blessing to be the wife of her loving husband Wayne, mother of two sons Daniel and Richy; and stepmom to three charismatic adult children Lindsey, William, and Samantha.

    Cenell Boch, Ph.D. Headshot

  5. Session 1

    NCAA Transgender Student-Athlete Participation

    Anne Rohlman
    Director of Policy, Education, and Strategic Engagement, National Collegiate Athletic Asssociation

    Jean Merrill, Ed.D
    Director of Inclusion, National Collegiate Athletic Association

    Digging Deeper with Equity Audits: Uncovering Gender and Race Gaps, Seeking Student and Family Perceptions, and Making the Most of the Data You Already Collect

    Melissa Askren Edgehouse ’99
    Professor of Education and CAEP Accreditation Coordinator, University of Mount Union

    Christian Price M’ 24
    High School Intervention Specialist, Cleveland Metropolitan School District

    Adam Trifiro M ’24
    Principal, Saint Martin dePorres High School

    Alexa Matejka M ’25
    Preschool Intervention Specialist, Riverside Local Schools

    Advancing Equity and Inclusion on a University Campus through Dialogue Facilitation Cohorts

    Natasha Baker
    Lecturer, Department of Communication, University of Dayton

    Tiffany Hunsinger
    Graduate Assistant in the Department of Religious Studies, University of Dayton

    Julio Quintero
    Director for Inclusive Excellence Strategy and Initiatives, University of Dayton

    Arne Romanowski
    Assistant Professor of Spanish, University of Dayton

    Decolonizing your Nonprofit: Anti-Oppressive Assessment and Planning for Organizations

    Stephen Dages ’18
    Director, Hartville Migrant Ministry

    Circle of Understanding - Empowering Student Voice

    Andrea Ramsey
    Director of Multicultural Services, Malone University

    Bryson Davis
    Assistant Professor, Malone University

    You Can’t Impact Change Without YOUth

    Erica Glover
    Disrupter University

    A Deeper Dive on Intercultural Competence

    Dr. Carla Chapman
    Equity, Inclusion, and Transparency and Public Education, Akron Public Schools

  6. Session 2

    The Power of Civic Dialogue

    Abby (Honaker ’11) Schroeder
    Director of the Regula Center, University of Mount Union

    Embracing Diversity in Athletic Leadership: How to Create a Winning Strategy

    Andi Lyons
    Associate Professor and Faculty Athletics Representative, Baldwin Wallace University

    Kelly Jean Brock
    Senior Associate Athletics Director, Kent State University

    But What About Me? Exploring advocacy through our own identities

    Darnell Tucker ’15
    Student Diversity and Equity Outreach Coordinator, Stark State College 

    Recognize Education and Learning (REAL)

    Devon Carter
    Assistant Professor, University of Akron 

    Laura Frias
    Coordinator of School Partnerships and Student Development, University of Akron 

    Culturally Sustaining Practices for Teaching about Native Americans

    Mary Beth Henning
    Professor of Education, University of Mount Union

    Emalie Novotny, Sidney Rambo, and Jess Reese
    Students, University of Mount Union

    John Bennett
    Partnership Coordinator, The Lippman School

    White Savior Complex

    Stacie M. Bacorn
    Executive Director, YWCA Alliance 

    Carefrontation: Engaging in the Art of Difficult Conversations

    Dr. Suzette Walden Cole
    Co-Founder and Team Lead, Social Responsibility Speaks, LLC

    Intro to Ableism

    Hannah Kalainaina
    Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Specialist, The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio

  7. Session 3

    Hero, Villian, or Victim? Finding your Voice...Life after Sports

    Marcus Bently
    Founder of L.A.V.A. Athletics/Mental Health Specialist and Community Organizer

    Promoting Diversity and Inclusion Through Course Content

    Primrose Igonor
    Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Columbus State Community College

    Dear Men of Color: How to Navigate Micro-Aggressed White Professional Environments

    Tadarrelle Lett
    Academic Diversity Officer, College of Education, Health, and Human Services, Kent State University 

    564, We All We Got: The Power of Friendship; A Journey Through the Bond of Three College Friends

    Dr. Anthony Jones ’06
    Chief Diversity Officer, Slippery Rock University

    Dr. Christopher W. Blakely ’06
    Assistant Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students, Florida Gulf Coast University

    Clay Sanders ’09
    Innovative Leader, Greater Charlotte Athletic Conference

    The Frederick Douglas Social Justice Method: Don’t Wait for Opportunities; Create Them!

    Lester Sanders
    Student and Student-Athlete Communicator, Sanders Limitless, Inc.

    Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Mount Union’s Nursing Program

    Gracyn Sage ’24
    Nursing Student, University of Mount Union

    The Black Church Sings for Freedom

    Rev. Dr. Ivory Lyons
    Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies, University of Mount Union

Directions and Logistics

  1. Travel

    The address for the Hoover-Price Campus Center is 420 W. Simpson St., Alliance, OH 44601. It is recommended that visitors access West Simpson Street from Union Avenue (Route 183). There will be signage directing you to turn west onto Simpson Street from Union Avenue. You can reach Union Avenue in several ways depending upon the direction from which you are traveling. Many highways bring you close to Alliance. Specific routes from major metropolitan areas are available on the Directions page of the Mount Union website.

  2. Parking

    Please park in the Hoover-Price Campus Center Lot, which is immediately west of the Hoover-Price Campus Center on Simpson Street. This lot will be marked with special event parking signage. Should you find this lot full, additional parking is available in the King Hall/McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex lot located on Hartshorn Street just east of Kehres Stadium. Campus Security will be available to help transport individuals parking in this lot. A campus map and parking map can be accessed on the Mount Union website.

  3. Registration

    Registration will take place in the Hoover-Price Campus Center beginning at 7:45 a.m. Signage will direct attendees from the parking lot to the appropriate entrance of the building. Please use the northwest entrance of the facility.

  4. Meals

    Both breakfast and lunch will be provided for summit attendees. Breakfast will be paired with the morning plenary session. Lunch will be followed by the keynote address. Both will take place in the Kresge Commons of the Hoover-Price Campus Center.

  5. Breakout Sessions

    There will be three breakout sessions, each including seven to eight different presentations from which attendees can choose. Each presentation within the three sessions has a capacity of 30 to 35 attendees. Please preview the various breakout session presentation options listed above. We suggest that you make note of multiple presentations of interest for each session in case your top preference reaches capacity. There is no pre-registration for breakout sessions.

  6. Programs

    A program featuring details on all presentations will be provided on Saturday. To further Mount Union’s sustainability initiatives and to be efficient with resources, a limited number of printed copies will be available. Participants may choose to scan a QR code available at registration to access a digital copy of the program. The digital program is available now on this web page, located above