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"Grey’s Anatomy" Star Jesse Williams to be keynote for C.O.D.E.

By Shelby Wayment, deputy chief of staff, ASUU

ASUU will be hosting the Conference on Diverse Excellence (C.O.D.E.)  Feb. 2 in the Union, keynote address at 11:30 a.m. This year’s theme, selected by the Diversity Board is “Intersectionality: Recognize. Embrace. Change.” Focusing on bringing peoples of diverse backgrounds together in order to educate, uplift and support one another.

Keynote speaker Jesse Williams of “Grey’s Anatomy” fame will speak on theme as well political engagement, mobilization of millennials and his work in activism. A native of Chicago and graduate of Temple University, Williams gained international attention for his acceptance speech when presented with the 2016 BET Humanitarian Award as a champion of civil rights. He also sits on the Board of Directors of Advancement Project, a leading national civil rights advocacy organization and Harry Belafonte’s arts and social justice organization Williams also executive produced the documentary “Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement,” which premiered this summer and is in his eighth season as Dr. Jackson Avery in ABC’s hit series “Grey’s Anatomy.”

C.O.D.E. helps bring together all members of our community to share their experiences and educate others, while providing resources and connections to advocate and mentor for those in need. It also provides a space to have difficult dialogues so that individuals can learn how to become allies and ultimately help our campus become more inclusive. Finally, it helps individuals learn how to be an active bystander in any situations of discrimination, and helps create networks and connections on campus.

“Validating experiences, raising awareness, providing information, insight and personal stories is what can influence change and impact our campus body to become a more inclusive campus where all students feel welcome and safe and capable of excelling” said Lilly Kanishka, the director of the diversity board.

Past keynote speakers have included Spike Lee and the “The Three Doctors.” Seen above, the childhood friends committed to, and supported each other to achieve the goal of becoming doctors.

You can RSVP here in advance, or register the day of, and are free to attend any workshops and presentations. C.O.D.E. is free for everyone, attendees will also be provided with free swag, breakfast and lunch. There will also be various stress relief stations including massages and games, in addition to the workshops and keynote speech.