Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity


All events are free and open to the public

The Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity sponsors the Power of Diversity lecture series to inspire campus dialogue, community engagement and civic education and learning about the national narrative on diversity and inclusion. The annual series includes two distinguished guest speakers from the national or international scene and four scholars from our own faculty.


The speakers include scholars, thought leaders and diversity professionals whose research, scholarship, leadership and advocacy enhance the university's efforts to present diverse ideas, perspectives and viewpoints to inspire greater understanding and appreciation for inclusive excellence.





All events are free and open to the public.

To RSVP for any of these events, email
For more information email

Thursday, September 22, 2016, 4:30 P.M.
Tinkham Veale University Center, Ballroom A
11038 Bellflower Road, 44106, CWRU campus

Ray Suarez

"The Browning of America"

Veteran journalist Ray Suarez is the permanent host of Al Jazeera America’s daily program Inside Story. He joined the news channel after an extensive television and radio career in which he excelled at delivering, as Al Jazeera America president Kate O’Brian put it, "compelling coverage of the most challenging news stories and events with objectivity and depth, punctuated by Ray’s own brand of thoughtful analysis. That’s exactly what ‘Inside Story’ is all about."


Suarez came from PBS' "NewsHour," where he worked from 1999 to 2013, most recently as its chief national correspondent. He also served as the lead correspondent for the program’s global health coverage, reporting on some of the world’s most threatening health crises from Africa, Latin America and Asia. Before joining PBS, he hosted National Public Radio’s "Talk of the Nation" for six years.


Among his other on-air credentials, Suarez hosted the monthly foreign-affairs radio program "America Abroad" for Public Radio International and co-hosted the nationally broadcast weekly political program "Need to Know" for PBS. From 2008 to 2011, he anchored the weekly Latino politics show "Destination Casa Blanca" for HITN TV.


Prior to his public-broadcasting career, he spent seven years reporting for Chicago’s NBC-owned station, WMAQ-TV. He began his career as a Los Angeles correspondent for CNN, a producer for the ABC Radio Network in New York and a reporter for CBS Radio in Rome.

Suarez is the author of the critically acclaimed "Latino Americans," the companion book to the PBS documentary series of the same name, published in September 2013. He also is the author of "The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America" and "The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration" and has contributed to several other books.


In 2010 he was inducted into the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Hall of Fame. He is a co-recipient of two Alfred I. duPont–Columbia Awards for NPR’s on-site coverage of the first multiracial elections in South Africa and of the first 100 days of the 104th Congress. His other honors include the Ruben Salazar Award from the National Council of La Raza, the Distinguished Policy Leadership Award from UCLA's School of Public Policy and the Studs Terkel Award from the Community Media Workshop.


He earned a B.A. in African history from New York University and an M.A. in the social sciences from the University of Chicago and has been awarded more than a dozen honorary degrees. A native of Brooklyn, Suarez lives in Washington, D.C.

Cassi L. Pittman, PhD Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016
3:00 P.M., Toepfer Room, Adelbert Hall

Cassi L. Pittman, PhD

CWRU Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology

"Race, Class and Place: Rethinking Middle-Class Blacks Residential Preferences and Consequences of Minority Suburbanization."

Cassi L. Pittman’s work is focused on how racial minorities,  particularly  blacks, manage contemporary forms of racism with the goal of uncovering how contemporary processes of social exclusion and inequality function to disadvantage racial minorities. Drawing on qualitative methods, her scholarship addresses core disciplinary questions concerning the significance of race and racial inequality, while also raising new questions pertaining to the intersectionality of race and class and racial minorities’ consumption and economic behavior. Her research focuses on the attitudes, experiences, and consumption preferences of the black middle-class. Professor Pittman also coordinates the Crime and Delinquency concentration for undergraduate sociology majors.

Michiko Watanabe, PhDTuesday, October 18, 2016
3:00 P.M., Senior Classroom, Tinkham Veale University Center

Michiko Watanabe, PhD

CWRU Professor of Pediatrics, Genetics, Anatomy

"Exploring the Tiny Beating Heart: Rewards of Diversity & Teamwork in Research on Heart Development"

Michiko Watanabeinvestigates the mechanisms of cardiovascular development using a range of in vitro and in vivo approaches. She has a long track record of research funded by both non-federal (AHA) and federal (NIH, NSF) sources and 70 peer-reviewed papers in high impact journals. Her expertise in cardiovascular development has been sought by grant review committees and editorial boards. Her current collaborative studies probe the relationship between form and function of the cardiovascular system using state of the art biomedical imaging technology.


She is an elected Fellow of the American Association of Anatomists and serves on the Editorial Board of Developmental Dynamics and as Deputy Editor of the journal Birth Defects Research Part C. She obtained her undergraduate degree at University of California Berkeley, her Ph.D. at Wesleyan University in Middletown CT, and her fellowship training at Indiana University and CWRU.


G. Dean Patterson. Jr.Tuesday, November 1, 2016
3:00 P.M., Senior Classroom, Tinkham Veale University Center

G. Dean Patterson. Jr.

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students

"The Journey First Begins From Within"

G. Dean Patterson. Jr. has more than 30 years experience in higher education and for much of that time has worked to support and meet the needs of underrepresented minority communities. Patterson is currently Associate Vice President for Students Affairs and Dean of Students. In this position, he works to build campus community, manages student crisis situations and works to help others understand issues related to diversity and inclusion. He previously held a clinical faculty appointment at CWRU's Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.

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