MARQUETTE — Diversity and inclusion were the main focus today at the United Conference as it kicked off this morning at Northern Michigan University. One speaker at the event, Robin Jones said the world is changing and stressed the importance of communities knowing more about other cultures and ethnicities.

Although you may not notice diversity around you, it is in every community. The first speaker today Joe Grimm, a professor from Michigan State University shared with community members, faculity, and students on how to ask a personal question while avoiding stereotypes.

“Oh it’s definitely not just for the students here or the facility or staff it’s for all of us. We’re in a very much more diverse community and world than we ever have been before and its only changing. You know people are not just staying where they were born or where they were raised people are moving in and out of our communities, we’re traveling we’re moving around and engaged in all levels of the community and we need to learn more about them to make sure we can include them in our activities,” Great Lakes ADA Center Director Robin Jones said. “We also need to make sure that our behaviors that we do not offend or that we are embracing of the differences that people might have.”

Jones followed up with a presentation discussing the different ways individuals respond to learning- certain principles can inclusively enhance the physical and learning environment for everyone. This is the twelfth annual United Center Conference held at NMU and will continue tomorrow in the Great Lakes Room.

The conference is open to the public.