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Mountwest hosts diversity panel, unity walk on Feb. 25

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The newly-formed Diversity & Inclusion Committee at Mountwest Community & Technical College will present a panel titled “Breaking Down the Barriers – Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Environment” at 2 p.m. on Tuesday in the college’s main lobby. Six notable community leaders will serve as panelists to share their experiences and insights, and answer questions. Faculty, staff, students and members of the community are invited to attend. Immediately following the panel discussion, audience members are encouraged to participate in a Unity Walk around the college campus.

Members of the panel include:

• Nida Alastal, a Mountwest student who was born in Jerusalem and lived seven years in Dubai.

• Chris Gosses, a commercial photographer from Charleston who is President of Rainbow Pride of West Virginia and on the inaugural LGBTQ Advisory Committee for the City of Charleston.

• Robert Pleasant, associate director for the Office of Student Services at Ohio University Southern. He is chairing the 2020 Tri-State Conference on Diversity & Inclusion.

• Jan Rader, chief of the Huntington Fire Department who was featured in an award-winning documentary film, was listed as one of TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2018 and has recorded a TED Talk about the opioid crisis.

• Angela Ross, associate dean of Enrollment Management and Registrar at Mountwest.

• Zana Sueme, staff librarian at Marshall University Library. She has lived in three countries and eight U.S. states.

The Diversity & Inclusion Committee was created to develop programs, activities and policies that embody diversity and inclusion at Mountwest Community & Technical College. The committee currently is creating an Advisory Board comprised of community members who can provide feedback and information and serve as a link between the college and the community. If you are interested in joining the Advisory Board, please contact Veella Grooms, director for Diversity & Inclusion, at grooms@mctc.edu, or call her at 304-710-3386.