On January 24-26, MSUM sent over 20 students to the Power in Diversity Leadership Conference in Saint Cloud, MN. MSUM co-sponsored this empowering experience and we couldn’t wait to feature it in our blog. Participants Emily King and Maryam Adepitan offered to share their insights from the conference and give us the scoop on what it was all about. Keep reading to find out! 

1. What was your favorite part of the Power in Diversity Conference?

“My favorite part about Power in Diversity is that it is multi-faceted,” said King. “The conference provided information on topics across the board of diversity such as race, religion, mental illness, disabilities, and self-care. I loved seeing students of different backgrounds share their experiences and come out of the conference empowered.”

“My favorite part of the conferences were the workshops,” said Adepitan. “The workshops were very interactive. Almost everyone had something to say and it was an eye-opening experience to learn from other students.”

2. What is the most surprising thing you learned at the conference?

“The most interesting piece of information I learned was from a workshop on self-care,” said King. “Because of our backgrounds and how different aspects of them connect, people have differing views of what self-care means. Instead of taking an expensive weekly trip to the spa, self-care can be as simple as putting on scented lotion you prefer or taking time to be mindful of the present.”

“The most surprising thing I learned was to be my authentic self,” said Adepitan. “We hear people saying ‘be authentic’ all the time, but it wasn’t until this conference that I realized I try to change myself to what I think people expect me to be. After this conference, I learned I was ok to be myself.”

3. What is your advice to students who want to be better leaders?

“The best way to become a leader is to start with peers, staff/faculty, and organizations,” said King. “Involvement on campus or the community is a meaningful, insightful experience that helps one rise into a position of leadership.” 

“I would tell the student to be open-minded. To be aware you are going to lead different kinds of people from different backgrounds, and have different experiences,” said Adepitan.

To learn more about diversity on campus and see how you can get involved, click here! You can also follow the Office of Diversity and Inclusion on Twitter @MSUMdiversity and Instagram @msumdiversity.