Free conference will promote diversity and inclusion in higher education

The 2022 HEDIT Conference, aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion in higher education, will be held Wednesday, Oct. 26, at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Fond du Lac Campus, 400 University Drive, Fond du Lac.

The sponsor is the Higher Education Diversity and Inclusion Team (HEDIT) of Fond du Lac County, which includes Ripon College, Marian University, Moraine Park Technical College and UW Oshkosh Fond du Lac.

“Cultivating Empathy Through Leadership” will address community-building and committing to fostering greater inclusion in Fond du Lac County. It will run from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Bus transportation will be provided at 8 a.m. that day for Ripon College students planning to attend the conference.

This talk will be inspiring to any educator, artist or concerned citizen. Registration is available at, and there is no fee.

The keynote speaker will be Roberto Rivera, chief executive officer at Alliance for the 7th Generation and a specialist in the relationship of youth voice to social and emotional learning. Through frequent speeches, hip-hop–influenced outreach and his own spoken-word artistry, Rivera says he seeks to inspire young adults who struggle with school and life challenges as he once did.

In his talk, “Mindsets & Movements: Healing Self & Society,” Rivera reclaims the history of hip-hop culture and breaks down how it embodies best practices in social emotional learning, post traumatic growth and social change. He provides scientific research and remixes it with stories of personal and community transformation.

As a student deemed “at-risk” and with learning disabilities, by the age of 15 Rivera had been kicked out of school, ran away from home and was in drug rehab. He now is a renowned educator, social entrepreneur and published scholar. He will illustrate his points further with case studies that illustrate these principles in school and community contexts.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison where he created his own major, Social Change, Youth Culture and the Arts; and a master’s degree in youth development with a focus on social justice, urban education and hip-hop from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

He has received awards from former President Bill Clinton and Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin.
(Photo: Roberto Rivera)

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