E2 symposium ongoing today at GCC

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The Guam Community College Engagement + Empowerment: E2 = Inclusion and Diversity Symposium is ongoing today until 5 p.m. at the Guam Community College, Multipurpose Auditorium (Bldg 400).

The symposium brings together participants from Guam, Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands to discuss the challenges of marginalized groups in Guam and throughout Micronesia.

Although initially planned for a maximum of 130 participants, 142 people are registered to attend, including representatives from GCC, UOG, the Northern Marianas College (CNMI), the College of the Marshall Island (CMI) and representatives from Pohnpei, as well as non-profit groups Island Girl Power, Guam’s Alternative Lifestyles Association (GALA) and WestCare.

The symposium discusses the barriers that prevent participation in STEM professions, which are critical for the growth and economic development of communities and also provide opportunities for individuals to succeed.

The symposium looks at those opportunities and identifies roles that non-profits and educational institutions play in opening opportunities to groups that are historically marginalized.

The objectives of the symposium are three-fold:

1. To convene and mobilize a multi-sectoral cluster of underrepresented groups on Guam and in the region to identify and discuss quality of life issues of LGBTQ, veterans, ethnic migrants, and women;

2. To explore federal, regional and other funding opportunities that can foster collaborative partnerships between and amongst these groups towards active engagement and empowerment in societal change; and

3. To initiate a call to action for greater recognition of underserved communities in our midst that would bring about a wider awareness of pipelines and pathways that would benefit these groups.

Lt Governor Joshua Tenorio will deliver a special message to symposium participants. The keynote will be delivered by Mr. John Cruickshank, the National Science Foundation’s Staff Associate for Policy in the Division of Research on Learning (DRL). Also participating as panelists are: Benjamin J. Cruz (Guam Public Auditor), Lasia Casil (Executive Director, Hagatña Restoration & Redevelopment Authority), Raymond Shinohara (Founder Green Valor), Johnsiny Relich (Chuukese Youth Member, Island Girl Power), Teresa “Chech” Perez (Human Services Graduate).

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