Belonging in Rural Spaces | HCTC

Belonging in Rural Spaces

HCTC First Annual Belonging in Rural Spaces DEIB Conference
Friday, October 27, 2023
9AM — 4:30PM
HCTC Hazard Campus | First Federal Center | Room 123
One Community College Drive | Hazard KY, 41702
This conference is free and open to the public.


Creating a Sense of Belonging in Rural Community Colleges

Belonging in Rural Spaces is a one-day conference to provide faculty, staff, and students with tools to create a sense of belonging in their colleges. Dr. William Turner, author of Harlan Renaissance: Stories of Black Life in Appalachian Coal Towns, will offer the keynote address. Participants will attend four sessions and enjoy a delicious lunch from Shenanigans. In addition to concurrent sessions and the keynote address, there will be a panel discussion about what belonging means and why it matters, featuring students and local leaders.

One in five Americans live in a rural area (2017 Census). Rural Community Colleges, in addition to being in rural areas, serve a different population and have a distinct culture from four-year universities. DEI initiatives in rural community college spaces present very different challenges from both urban areas and four-year universities. Yet much of the research and policy surrounding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion focuses on urban spaces and/or traditional universities. This conference will explore strategies, policies, and barriers to creating a campus-wide sense of belonging in rural community colleges.

Register Here!

Keynote Speaker

William H. Turner, PhD

the fifth of ten children, was born in 1946 in the coal town of Lynch, Kentucky, in Harlan County. His grandfathers, father, four uncles, and older brother were coal miners.

Bill has spent his professional career studying and working on behalf of marginalized communities, helping them create opportunities in the larger world while not abandoning their important cultural ties. He is best known for his ground-breaking research on African-American communities in Appalachia, but Bill’s work is universal.

William H. Turner