Conference History

The Dennis H. May Conference on Diversity Issues was established in 1991 by a core group of U of I Counseling Center staff including Dennis H. May. The conference was developed by these staff members who encompassed a healthy spirit of curiosity and empathy. To foster growth and change within college counseling centers the conference was anchored on the concepts of learning through shared experiences and scholarship. The goals are to promote personal awareness and develop multicultural counseling skills. In Dr. May’s honor the conference has continued to grow. This timeline gives the progression of the conference and a snapshot of the keynote speakers. We hope this inspires you to attend or send representatives to learn, share and network as we continue to provide a space for diversity issues.

THE VISION

February 23, 1990  Dennis May attends The Seventh Annual Teachers College Winter Roundtable on Cross Cultural Counseling and Psychotherapy, Columbia University, NY.

October 3, 1990  Proposal for Cross Cultural Conference submitted by Dennis May and Ralph Trimble to Tom Seals, University of Illinois Counseling Center Director.

March 7, 1991  Proposal for Cross Cultural Conference submitted by Dennis May and Ralph Trimble to William Riley, University of Illinois Dean of Students.

THE REALIZATION

October 9, 1991  The inaugural Midwestern Conference on Ethnic Diversity & the Role of Counseling Centers, Chancellor Hotel, Champaign, IL. The focus was on the issues and implications surrounding counseling five ethnic groups, African American, Asian American, International, Latino/a, and Native American students.

THE FORMATIVE YEARS

September 21, 1992  The Second Midwestern Conference on Diversity Issues & the Role of Counseling Centers. The theme was broadened to be more inclusive addressing the “needs, concerns and implications for multicultural counseling in the campus environment.” Keynote panel: The Role and Function of the Counseling Center as a Social Change Agent in Programming for Diversity. Roy Joy, Ph.D., Janet Coffman, Ph.D., Rosemary Simmons, Ph.D., Southern Illinois University.

September 27, 1993 The Third Annual Midwestern Conference on Diversity Issues & the Role of Counseling Centers, Illini Union, Urbana. Keynote Address: Combating Ethnocentrism: The Need for a Paradigm Shift in the Euro-American World View. Carol L.Shuttleworth, Ph.D., SUNY.

October 3, 1994 The Fourth Annual Midwestern Conference on Diversity Issues & the Role of Counseling Centers, Illini Union, Urbana. Opening Presentation: The Demise of a Counseling Center: Implications. Vern Williams, Ph.D., Jake Kirkland, M.S., & Marty Ramirez, Ph.D., University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

September 11, 1995 The Fifth Annual Midwestern Conference on Diversity Issues & the Role of Counseling Centers, Illini Union, Urbana.

September 30, 1996 The Sixth Annual Midwestern Conference on Diversity Issues &  the Role of Counseling Centers, Illini Union, Urbana.

THE EVOLUTION

September 25, 2000 The Seventh Midwestern Conference on Diversity Issues & the Role of Counseling Centers, Illini Union, Urbana. Keynote Address: Cultural Competency and Counseling. Stanley Sue, Ph.D., University of California, Davis.

September 24, 2001 The Eighth Midwestern Conference on Diversity Issues & the Role of Counseling Centers, Illini Union, Urbana. Dr. Maria Root was scheduled as the keynote, but due to the tragedy of September 11, was unable to attend.

The conference is renamed in memory of one of its beloved founders, Dennis H. May, with the hope the conference will thrive in his name.

September 23, 2002 The Dennis H. May Conference on Diversity Issues & the Role of Counseling Centers, Illini Union, Urbana.  Theme: Intersections: Making Meaning of Multiple Identities.  Keynote: Mixed Race Identity Meaning and Formation in the College Years. Maria P. Root, Ph.D., Seattle, Washington.

September 22, 2003  The Dennis H. May Conference on Diversity Issues & the Role of Counseling Centers, Illini Union, Urbana. Theme: Diverse Perspectives: Hope and Humor in Complex Times. Keynote: Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America. Rev. Dr. Mel White.

September 20, 2004 The Dennis H. May Conference on Diversity Issues & the Role of Counseling Centers, Illini Union, Urbana. Theme: “Developing Multicultural Competencies: Transforming our Profession for a Changing World.”  Keynote: Thomas A. Parham, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine.

September 26, 2005  The Dennis H. May Conference on Diversity Issues & the Role of Counseling Centers, Illini Union, Urbana.  Keynote: Students are Changing: Are We? Expanding Multicultural Competencies.  Patricia Arredondo, Ed.D., Arizona State University, Tempe.

September 25, 2006  The Dennis H. May Conference on Diversity Issues & the Role of Counseling Centers, Illini Union, Urbana. Keynote: Multiple Identity Paradigms in Psychotherapy: Deconstructing Social Privileges, Disadvantage, and the Difference that Differences Make. Beverly Greene, Ph.D., St. Johns University,  Jamaica, NY.

September 24, 2007 The Dennis H. May Conference on Diversity Issues & the Role of Counseling Centers, Illini Union, Urbana. Keynote: Inclusive Cultural Empathy: A Relationship-Centered Approach to Counseling. Paul Pedersen, PhD, University of Hawaii.

September 22, 2008 The Dennis H. May Conference on Diversity Issues & the Role of Counseling Centers, Illini Union, Urbana. Keynote: Class Matters: Why We Don’t Talk About It & Why We Should. Betsy Leondar-Wright.

September 21, 2009 The Dennis H. May Conference on Diversity Issues & the Role of Counseling Centers, Illini Union, Urbana. Keynote: The Browning of America: Implications for Counseling, Psychotherapy, and Psychological Training. Joseph L. White, Ph.D., University of California-Irvine.

September 20, 2010 The Dennis H. May Conference on Diversity Issues & the Role of Counseling Centers, Illini Union, Urbana. Keynote: Multicultural Competence in a Changing World: An Ethical Imperative. Dr. Melba Vasquez, Ph.D., APA President-Elect. Invited Presentation: Working with Latino/a Clients in Both Individual and Group Contexts: A Systemic/Collectivistic Approach. Edward A. Delgado-Romero, Ph.D., University of Georgia.

September 19, 2011 The Dennis H. May Conference on Diversity Issues & the Role of Counseling Centers, Illini Union, Urbana. Keynote: Home Alone?  Student-Veterans in Transition.  Dr. David DiRamio, Ph.D., Auburn University.

September 17, 2012 The Dennis H. May Conference on Diversity Issues & the Role of Counseling Centers, Illini Union, Urbana. Keynote: Racial, Gender, and Sexual Orientation Microaggressions:  Implications for the College Counseling Center. Dr. Christina M. Capodilupo, Ed.M., Ph.D., Teachers College, Columbia University.

September 16, 2013 The Dennis H. May Conference on Diversity Issues & the Role of Counseling Centers, Levis Faculty Center, Urbana. Keynote: Prevention and Multicultural Outreach: Meeting the Needs of Underserved Populations. Elizabeth M. Vera, Ph.D., School of Education, Loyola University Chicago.

September 21 & 22, 2014  The Dennis H. May Conference on Diversity Issues & the Role of Counseling Centers, Illini Union, Urbana. Keynote: Opportunities & Challenges Regarding the Internationalization of University Campuses. P. Paul Heppner, Ph.D., School of Education, University of Missouri.

September 20 & 21, 2015 The Dennis H. May Conference on Diversity Issues & the Role of Counseling Centers, Illini Union, Urbana. Keynote: Creating Trans-Inclusive and Supportive Campuses. Genny Beemyn, Ph.D., Stonewall Center, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

September 18 & 19, 2016 The Dennis H. May Conference on Diversity Issues & the Role of Counseling Centers, Illini Union, Urbana. Keynote: Faith and Spirituality Among College Students. Elliott Ingersoll, Ph.D., Counseling Psychology Department, Cleveland State University.

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