Keynote speakers to offer diverse subject matter for Midwest Culturally Inclusive Conference

May 10, 2013

PLATTEVILLE, Wis.­­­ — Keynote speakers for the third annual Midwest Culturally Inclusive Conference at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville have been selected. The conference will be held Thursday, Sept. 12 and Friday, Sept. 13.

Dr. Joe Bertolino and Bil Leipold, better known as Joe and Bil, will kick off the conference at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12.

Bertolino was installed as Lyndon State College’s 15th president in April after eight years at Queens College, part of the City University of New York where he served as vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.

Leipold is the associate dean of Academic and Student Services for the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

In their program, “When the Gays Move Into Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood,” Bertolino and Leipold explore the realities and human dimensions of living in a world of heterosexual privilege.

Drawing from their own lives, their experiences as fraternity men and student affairs professionals, their family experiences, and the dynamics of their own relationship, Bertolino and Leipold present this difficult topic in a non-threatening, humorous way.

Will Allen, founder and CEO of Growing Power Inc. will be speaking at noon on Thursday, Sept. 12. Allen is an urban farmer who is transforming the cultivation, production and delivery of healthy foods to underserved, urban populations.

Growing Power has served as a “living museum” or “idea factory” for the young, the elderly, farmers, producers and other professionals ranging from USDA personnel to urban planners.

Growing Power develops community food centers, as a key component of community food systems, through training, active demonstration, outreach, and technical assistance.

Allen is recognized as the preeminent practitioner of urban agriculture in America and throughout the world.

Dr. Maura Cullen will jumpstart the second day with her presentation at 9 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 13.

Cullen is considered one of the foremost authorities on issues of diversity and leadership having worked with over 500 organizations with audiences ranging from 8 to 8,000 people. She is the author of “35 Dumb Things Well-Intended People Say: Surprising Things We Say That Widen The Diversity Gap.”

Cullen is the founding faculty of the Social Justice Training Institute.

The conference will conclude with Wes Moore, author of “The Other Wes Moore,” a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. Moore will be speaking at 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13.

Born in 1978, Moore and his sisters were raised by their widowed mother. Despite early academic and behavioral struggles, he graduated Phi Theta Kappa in 1998 as a commissioned officer from Valley Forge Military College, and Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University in 2001, where he also played football and earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations. He then became a Rhodes Scholar, studying international relations at Oxford University.

The MCIC is for business and community leaders, college students and educators - from K-12 teachers and administrators to postsecondary faculty and staff - who want to strengthen diversity throughout the Midwest and work collaboratively towards resolving issues related to equity, diversity, inclusion, representative leadership and advancing professional development opportunities.

More information can be found at

Written by: Dan Wackershauser, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194,


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