Conference Details

The Diversity and Inclusion Science Initiative (DISI) is a signature program in the Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at ASU. Sponsored by the school, we, as graduate students, are holding the 2nd annual conference designed to showcase how the work of ASU graduate students from all disciplines advances diversity and inclusion efforts. We intend for this conference to be interdisciplinary and encourage submissions from any ASU graduate student. The conference seeks to:

  • Celebrate and share work across disciplines that impacts the lives, experiences, and well-being of individuals, communities, and cultures in our diverse world.

  • Support graduate students from different backgrounds in developing all aspects of their social identities.

  • Raise societal consciousness through scholarship that affects how people feel, think, and act in regard to diversity and inclusion.

As such, we invite graduate students from any discipline on any campus at ASU to participate in the 2nd annual DISI Graduate Student Research Conference. Anyone who is enrolled as a graduate student at ASU at the time of the conference (Spring 2019) is eligible to present. We are committed to an interdisciplinary perspective of diversity and inclusion, and encourage submissions that address work from areas including, but not limited to:

  • Technology, innovations, infrastructure, economic justice, etc. that provide access to meet individual and community needs

  • Examining experiences, attitudes, physical and mental health, etc. of diverse individuals

  • Law and policy work that promotes equity and protects the rights of underrepresented populations

  • Creative works and programs that examine how artists navigate the ethics of representation and inclusion of diverse audiences in created experiences for audiences

Themes: We welcome proposals from graduate students in any discipline that reflect, inform, and promote learning and knowledge about diversity and inclusion. Students will have the opportunity to share research findings and project ideas, participate in difficult dialogues in supportive spaces, and enhance skills related to diversity and inclusion. The conference will focus on four major themes. Examples of research or projects are given below each theme. Please note that these examples are in no way exhaustive.

  1. Navigating personal identities
    1. Representation within academic and non-academic fields or institutions (e.g., gender, immigrant, LGBTQ, low-income, ethnic/racial minorities, individuals with disabilities, first generation college students)
    2. Developing relationships with mentors and students
    3. Power and privilege within and outside of academic settings
    4. Combatting stereotypes, discrimination, and prejudice
  2. Conducting research that defines and/or promotes diversity and inclusion
    1. Community-based projects that require input from multiple stakeholders
    2. Research with underrepresented populations or subjects
    3. Understanding processes and interventions that lead to inclusion amongst groups that are often excluded (e.g., gender, immigrant, LGBTQ, low-income, ethnic/racial minorities, individuals with disabilities, first generation college students)
    4. Technological advancements that promote diversity and inclusion
    5. How humanities and the arts contribute to our understanding of or represent diversity and inclusion
  3. Promoting Social Change and Empowerment
    1. How to empower communities by furthering social justice, supporting human rights, and improving the lives of individuals from diverse backgrounds
    2. Integration of activism into research and identity as a scholar
    3. Engaging in partnerships with research participants and communities in responsible and respectful ways
  4. Incorporating diversity and inclusion into teaching and mentoring inside and outside of academia (e.g., K-12, community, professionally)
    1. How to address topics of diversity and inclusion in the classroom or other settings
    2. Classroom/organization management
    3. Addressing the needs of diverse students/mentees
    4. Developing curriculum that addresses diversity and inclusion, implicitly or explicitly  

Note: If you are unsure where your work might fit within the scope of the DISI Graduate Student Research Conference, please contact us at

Format/types of sessions: For each of the themes listed above, we are soliciting submissions in a variety of formats. We invite any empirical, theoretical, historical, methodological, or policy-related projects and experiences contributing to the advancement of diversity and inclusion. Please note that all presenters must be graduate students in Spring 2019.

  • Interactive Sessions - intended to provide participants and presenters opportunities to engage with one another through discussions or activities. Your submission abstract should include a description of the activity/ies and a facilitation plan, including expected time (60 minutes), agenda, media, space, or required assistance. Up to two individuals can work together to submit an application to be facilitators for the same session. Please note that the conference cannot purchase materials and, thus, is limited to providing only a reserved space, audio/visual equipment, and/or volunteers.

    • Roundtables are informal facilitated discussions with conference attendees. Example roundtable topics include: personal experiences, strategies to be shared with other graduate students, successes and challenges faced, or implications beyond personal experience.

    • Difficult dialogues are meaningful dialogues about issues that are difficult to discuss in everyday conversations. Proposal submissions must delineate how facilitators will establish and manage a safe space that promotes respectful expression of opposing views, and provide an environment in which differing perspectives are defended, heard, and considered by participants who hold conflicting cultural values and ideas.

    • Experiential learning activities can include writing projects, group activities, simulations, interaction through technology, creative workshops, and any other formats that actively engage the audience as participants.

  • Research Presentations

    • Oral presentations will be 10-15 minutes of presenting research findings. Conference organizers will assign presentations to a symposium with students who share similar topics.

    • Posters are individual, free-standing presentations for proposed, in-progress, or completed research. They are ideal for material that can be explained briefly and/or includes graphic and visual presentation, or if the presenter would benefit from interactions and discussions.

  • Artistic displays and performances include, but are not limited to, visual arts, live performance, media and film, or applied arts. Please see “experiential learning activities” section if doing an interactive session. See proposal for details on logistics.

We are also currently seeking reviewers for the The Diversity and Inclusion Science Initiative (DISI) Graduate Research Conference. If you're interested in being a reviewer for the conference, please sign up here. Any graduate student at ASU is eligible to review.