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On Tuesday January 30, 2018, the Coalition held its Initial 2018 Quarterly General Meeting.  95 local citizens including 12 students packed the Ramona Gardens Park Conference Room in Grover Beach to hear our featured guest Dr. Stephen Lloyd-Moffett speak to the Origins of Religious Intolerance.

Dr. Stephen Lloyd-Moffett is an internationally known Religious Studies scholar and Prof. of Religious Studies at Cal Poly.  His topic was:

“Understanding the Origins of Religious Prejudice.”  A dynamic, popular community lecturer, he is the recipient of the Cal Poly College of Liberal Arts teaching award, the President's Community Service Award, and was named one of the Top 20 Under 40 by the San Luis Obispo Tribune. Author of Beauty for Ashes: The Spiritual Transformation of a Modern Greek Community, Dr. Lloyd-Moffett explores the history and contemporary practice of religions around the globe.  His current research involves the spirituality of wine.  Professor Lloyd-Moffett holds an M.A. in Religious  Studies from University of California, Santa Barbara; Master of Theology from St. Vladimir's Orthodox  Theological Seminary; & Ph.D. in Religious  Studies from the  University of California, Santa Barbara.  This giant of religious study has explored why we love as well as why we hate-and what can change that!

Dr. Stephen Lloyd-Moffett addresses an attentive crowd of 95

Dr. Stephen Lloyd-Moffett & Diversity Coalition Board Secretary Rudy Xavier

On January 20th, 2018 The Women's March San Luis Obispo Organization held a progressive rally at the Mission Plaza in SLO drawing thousands of participants, including Diversity Coalition  board members who hosted a booth in Sponsor's Row.

Women's March SLO Jan 20, 2018

DCSLOC-We start early!

Diversity Coalition Member Danya Conn-Nunley at Women's March SLO

On February 3, 2018, the San Luis Obispo Chapter of NAACP held a  “Stand Up for America-Take a Knee for Equality and Justice For All” rally in Mission Plaza in SLO. The Diversity Coalition board members represented the Coalition by atttending the rally and enjoyed listening to several inspirational speakers.

On February 5, 2018, at their Annual Meeting, the JCCSLO Federation of San Luis Obispo created the W. David Conn Diversity Advancement Award.  This will be an annual award presentation.  The first such award was presented to the Diversity Coalition, for demonstrating that intercultural exchange and diverse perspectives have no boundaries in the service of the greater good.

W. David Conn award is given to Diversity Coalition Board members

Diversity Coalition Member Danya Conn-Nunley and brother Joel Conn speak at the JCCSLO Annual Meeting

On Monday February 6, 2018, Diversity Coalition Board Member Danya Conn-Nunley presented to Paulding Middle School students citing examples of UN Declaration of Human Rights Violations.  This discussion is central to the Coalition's mission around Diversity and Human Rights and was no doubt an eye-opener to the students!

Diversity Coalition Member Danya Conn-Nunley presents to student assembly at Paulding 

On Thursday February 15, 2018, the Diversity Coalition and the local Human Rights Watch organization co-hosted Alepho Deng's presentation to two local student assemblies, at Judkins Middle School Pismo Beach and Paulding Middle School Arroyo Grande.  Deng is one of the Lost Boys of Sudan whose book "They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky" became a widely read testament to the survival of the human spirit.  This series of talks highlights the plight of refugees globally.  Deng enthralled over 600 middle school students, who peppered him with numerous questions wishing to learn more about his story of survival.

At Judkins Middle School

At Paulding Middle School

Alepho Deng

Alepho Deng & Board Member Kathy Minck

Alepho Deng and Diveristy Coalition Board Members Kathy Minck, Rudy Xavier, Cornell Morton, & Danya Conn-Nunley

General Membership Meeting September 25, 2017

On Monday September 25th the Coalition’s Fall 2017 General Meeting was held at the Pismo Beach Veteran’s Memorial Hall. The event was attended by 65 members of the community, representing local government, educators, executives of local businesses, and individual concerned citizens. Also present were executives from numerous local affiliated groups such as the NAACP, Cal Poly Black Faculty and Staff Association, the Central Coast Gay and Lesbian Alliance (GALA), Trans Central Coast, 5 Cities Hope, the Latino Outreach Council, Police And Community Together  (P.A.C.T.)  and Police Education And Community Engagement (PEACE).

The assemblage was introduced to the full Coalition Board, heard the Coalition’s plans and goals for 2018, as discussed by Michael Boyer, Board President, and listened to keynote speaker Jaime Cuello’s inspirational talk, “Diversity Opens the Heart, Mind and Soul”.   

Teacher Comments

Alepho Deng left a huge impression on our students.  Our students learned that ¨us¨ is more important than me. Our students also learned that people can rise from tragedy. Alepho used humor, charm and a direct manner to engage the students. I have students who now really want to read his book. My students are about to read A Long Walk to Water. All semester long we will use Alephoś gripping testimony about lions, airplanes and resiliency to bring to life the tragedy in Sudan.

B. Babka

Alepho's talk made the literature we are reading in class about the Lost Boys come to life for my students. The conversations that we had as a class after the talk were some of the most insightful we've had all year. I saw my students show understanding and empathy in a very deep way.

C. Enciso

Speaker Presentations

On April 11 and 12, 2017, the 8th grade students at Judkins and Paulding Middle Schools were mesmerized by the personal story told by Dr. Henry Oster, a survivor of the Holocaust.  The students, in preparation for his visit, had studied the steps that historically have led to genocide, and had read the Diary of Anne Frank and Night.  Dr. Oster's talk was thus the culmination to a rich and extensive unit of study, making it both meaningful and memorable for the students.  The Diversity Coalition helped to make this happen by partnering with Human Rights Watch and allocating funds to help pay for Dr. Oster's expenses.

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