SALISBURY, N.C. – Rowan-Cabarrus Community College will host “A New Way Forward with G.U.I.D.E. (Growth, Understanding, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity),” a virtual higher education diversity and inclusion conference, on November 6. The event is free and open to the public.

“A New Way Forward with G.U.I.D.E” aims to advance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (D.E.I.) issues in higher education, K-12, communities, and the workplace. The daylong conference will feature notable experts speaking on topics such as implicit bias, norms and discomfort in D.E.I. conversations, LGBTQIA student engagement, intersectionality in higher education, breaking down present-day barriers, and much more.

“The current social and political climate calls for higher education to be equipped to address historical racial inequalities and model values of inclusion and equity. We hope to create a learning space for participants to celebrate achievements, be inspired by best practices, and learn how to drive change in their organizations,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. “I am honored and excited to be part of this important and timely event, which I believe will contribute to greater understanding, awareness and action.”

Nationally known educator and author Dr. Newton Miller will deliver the keynote address, “Why Some Seeds Don’t Grow: What Works to Ensure Student Success.” In the session, Miller will explore a study involving 1,300 men of color who were successful in their higher education programs, examining topics such as implicit bias and strategies to increase retention. Miller has done extensive research focusing on effective school cultures and instruction that promotes success for non-traditional and marginalized adult student populations.

A panel discussion, “Put Your Power Where Your Privilege Is: How You Can Impact Equity Issues,” will feature Dr. Emad Rahim, Bellevue University; Dr. Jovany Felix, North Carolina Central University; Daryle Adams, Kannapolis City Schools; Dr. Angelo Markantonakis, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College; and Dr. Steve Cathcart, Cabarrus Health Alliance.

The conference also will include a variety of breakout sessions with experts in topics related to diversity, inclusion and equity:

  • Dr. Carol Spalding, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College;
  • Dr. Brent Lewis, James Madison University;
  • Dr. Geleana Alston, North Carolina A&T University;
  • Keisha Jones, Davidson County Community College;
  • Michael Hughes, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College;
  • Dr. Shivaji Kumar, Amherst College;
  • Betty S. Foh, Cabarrus Health Alliance;
  • Dr. Catina Galloway, Guilford Technical Community College;
  • Dr. Angela D. Davis, Durham Technical Community College;
  • Dr. Katrina Ramsey Arnold, Pitt Community College;
  • Dr. Levy Brown, Vance-Granville Community College;
  • Dr. Jodi Fiorini, Wichita State University;
  • Flora Calderón-Steck, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College;
  • Juana Hernández Urquiza, College Foundation of North Carolina;

“More than 1,000 participants from across the United States have registered to attend this important virtual conference, and we even have a registrant from Australia,” said Rowan-Cabarrus Chief Human Resources Officer Nekita Eubanks. Eubanks thanked Zhivi Williams of the College’s Distance Education department, Joanne Rusnak of the Office of Accessibility, and the dedicated committee of Rowan-Cabarrus employees who worked for months to coordinate the G.U.I.D.E. conference.

The conference will be held via Zoom from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information and to register, please visit the conference website. The deadline to register is October 19. If you require an accommodation to participate in this event, please contact Joanne Rusnak at by October 23.