Campus Life

UWF MENs Conference aims to enact change through encouragement

The University of West Florida’s Office of Equity and Diversity is set to hold its annual UWF MEN’s Conference, part of the University’s Men’s Empowerment Network, on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the UWF Conference Center on the Pensacola Campus.

The daylong program is designed to empower participants while encouraging them to embrace differences – despite pervasive issues in society such as race, class and politics.

“As agents of change, it is critically important that attendees recognize that change begins from within ourselves,” said Dr. Doug Thompson, event organizer and assistant dean for equity and diversity. “The more we take responsibility, the more we will become agents of change on campus, in our communities, in our workplaces and in every area in our personal lives.”

Through panel discussion and workshops, attendees will explore behaviors and practices that impact the classroom, workplace and community.

This year’s keynote speech comes from nationally recognized leadership consultant Joshua Fredenberg, creator of the Circle of Change Leadership Conference for college students. In addition to his award-winning work with young leaders, Fredenberg recently published his latest book, “Are You the World’s Next Top Leader? 40 Questions Every Leader Should Consider Before You Begin to Lead in the 21st Century.”

Thompson believes the conference celebrates a cultural shift on campus, noting the incredible support he received from faculty, staff, students and community partners.

“We have been working really hard to create an inclusive campus environment by collaborating more effectively with all of our UWF stakeholders,” he said. “I believe that we have been successful in removing barriers and getting people to embrace differences.”

Hosted by the Office of Equity and Diversity with financial support from campus partners, the UWF MEN’s Conference is a John C. Pace Symposium series event that is free and open to the public. Interested students, faculty, staff and community members may register online for the conference. Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

Yet perhaps the most important thing provided will be the encouragement.

“Young men need to understand that it is okay to seek help and direction from others who have gone before them,” Thompson said. “I want these young men to become comfortable learning from others and have the courage and humility to change.”

For more registration and more information, visit