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Former Al Jazeera News Host to Kick Off UCF Diversity Week with Keynote Speech

The University of Central Florida’s annual Diversity Week will kick off Monday with a keynote speech from an author and news host whose 40-year career covered race, politics, health and other issues in America.

Ray Suarez, a news host of the former Al Jazeera America television channel whose past experience includes National Public Radio and Public Broadcasting Service, will speak during the sold-out breakfast 8-10 a.m. in the Student Union’s Pegasus Ballroom. He’s expected to discuss diversity and inclusion in the United States’ elective process, government policy and institutions ­– just some of what he’s learned from the news industry and from writing three books: Latino Americans: The 500-Year Legacy That Shaped a Nation; The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America; and The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration.

Suarez’s speech and 20 other events planned for Diversity Week are shaped around the theme, “Empowering Diverse Voices in Our Democracy.” The goal of the events, which range from blood drives to conversations about Islam and veterans, is to stimulate conversation among UCF community members of how to create a more inclusive culture.

“UCF is stronger as a higher-education institution, employer and community leader when we bring diverse thought and experience to our decision-making, teaching, research and interactions among community members,” said Karen Morrison, UCF’s chief diversity officer.

In its 24th year, Diversity Week will include more in-depth sessions than years before, Morrison said. “This national election year has demonstrated our need to listen to and respect each other, and explore ways to dialogue equitably to find strategies to improve our society,” she said.

Here’s what else is planned for Diversity Week:

Oct. 17

Oct. 18

Oct. 19

Oct. 20

Oct. 21

For more on Diversity Week, click here. [1]