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Lehigh Valley high schools get together at Moravian to discuss cultural diversity

(Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) -- Over 400 students, teachers, and administrators from 22 Lehigh Valley and Berks county high schools will participate in a conference on Tuesday, April 3 and Wednesday, April 4, at Moravian College focusing on ethnic and cultural diversity. The conference, titled "The Promise of the Rainbow: The Challenge of Racial and Ethnic Cultural Diversity in Schools," will provide an opportunity to explore issues of racial and cultural diversity in an open, positive and constructive manner. Moravian College, in association with First Union National Bank and Just Born Inc, is sponsoring the annual conference -- now in its seventh year. The goal of the conference is to foster a better understanding and appreciation of the cultural diversity found today in schools, according to Dr. John Reynolds, a Moravian political science professor and conference organizer. The program's main focus is teaching conflict resolution skills; this year there's a special emphasis on commitment. "It is important that the conference has a lasting positive impact. This year we are going to ask each participating school to make a commitment to take a tangible first step in promoting inclusiveness," he said. "We will then contact schools in the spring to follow-up and document their progress. The goal is to then publish and distribute a booklet, highlighting the year's progress, to other schools as an example of what can be done to improve understanding." "We have the most diverse nation in the world and it's important to recognize that there are great benefits to derive from that diversity," Reynolds said. "Unfortunately there is also a great deal of pain, hatred, and conflict because of our diversity. This conference is designed to teach people to embrace the benefits of diversity."

Diversity Conference at Moravian College Approximately 400 high school students are expected to attend the conference. Participating schools on April 3 include William Allen, Parkland, Notre Dame, Pleasant Valley, CIT, Emmaus, Whitehall, Easton, Northampton, BECA, and Upward Bound - Kutztown, Reading. The following will participate on April: Liberty, Freedom, Stroudsburg, Southern Lehigh, Phillipsburg, Lehigh Valley Christian, Nazareth, and Moravian Academy. The conference will be highlighted by a "sociodrama" workshop - a role-playing experience in which students and teachers will dramatize situations of potential conflict. The workshop will be followed by group discussions in which students will examine the sociodrama situations and explore how their high school experiences are shaped by cultural diversity. Teachers and administrators from their schools will join the high school students at the conference. Also attending will be students and educators from Moravian College and other Lehigh Valley colleges, and representatives of several community organizations. The conference will be held at the Prosser Auditorium in Haupert Union Building (HUB) on Moravian College's Main Street campus. Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Moravian College is located at Main and Locust streets in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. For more information, call 610-625-7880. SCHEDULE OF EVENTS Tuesday, April 3, Wednesday April 4 8:00 - 8:30 Registration: Haupert Union Building (HUB) 8:30 - 8:45 Orientation: Prosser Auditorium (HUB) 8:45 - 10:15 Sociodrama

10:30 - Noon Discussion Workshop: Who Am I? Who Are They?

Group 1: Prosser Auditorium (HUB) Group 2: United Room (HUB) Group 3: Brethren's Room (HUB) Group 4: Church Room (HUB) Group 5: Snyder Room (HUB) Group 6: Air Products Room (HUB) Group 7: Amrhein Room (HUB) Group 8: Bernhardt-Wilhelm Lounge Group 9: Rau-Hassler Lounge Group 10: Jo Smith Lounge

12:15 - Noon Lunch (Johnston Hall)