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Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

Reset, refocus, renew

The third annual Harvest Conference will be held in Maucker Union this Thursday, Sept. 28.

UNI students, faculty, staff and community members will have the opportunity to “refocus, renew and reset” this Thursday, Sept. 28 at the third annual Harvest Conference.

Presented by UNI’s Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice department, the conference will host breakout sessions, keynote addresses and 19 speakers each selected to encourage personal and professional growth.

Chiquita Loveless, the Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice at UNI, has spearheaded the initiative to organize the conference, and hopes it will provide attendees with an opportunity to foster their well-being and refresh their mindsets.

“This conference will not disappoint if you’re on the path to success, and you need a boost,” Loveless said. “The knowledge that you gain from this one day conference will benefit you and your future. When you leave the conference you will be at a transitional point where either you’re going to stay and continue to do what you do, or you’re going to want to become a better person.”

Pullquote Photo

If you come to the conference and you go to one of these breakout sessions, it may be just what you need… That’s what makes this conference so unique and needed.

— Chiquita Loveless, UNI Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice

UNI student Chamya Adams attended the conference last year, and highly recommends attending.

“You’re going to be in a space where you’re learning something new,” Adams said. “When we break out into rooms, you’re able to choose which of these you want to go in, so it’s more personalized. The speakers answer your questions and they connect to your interests.”

The conference will cover topics ranging from mental health, managing finances, how to become a successful professional to being a person of color at a predominantly white institution. Loveless notes that although the Harvest Conference was initially created for marginalized students, they are opening it up to everyone this year – including people from the Cedar Falls community.

The keynote speakers include Gary Kroeger, who currently serves as the CEO of Outlier Creative Solutions, Shalaya Morissette who is the chief of the minority Business and Workplace Division in the U.S. Department of Energy, and JJ Moses, who started his football career at Waterloo East High and joined the NFL in 2001 as a kick and punt returner.

Other special guest speakers include Dr. Janel Alleyne, Joy Briscoe, Lindsay Cannaday, Sashay Carroll, Shantila Caston, Mike Finley, Tiffany Dodd, Carlos Frazier, Dr. Clovia Hamilton, Juana Hollingsworth, Dr. C. Douglas Johnson, Kimbertly Jones, Trisha Rivers, Nilvia Reyes Rodriquez, Nichole Sallis, Dr. Loneshia Shelton, Gina Weekley and Jamal White.

Loveless began planning for this conference about a year ago, and hopes these speakers can provide attendees with fresh perspectives and insight.

“If you come to the conference and you go to one of these breakout sessions, it may be just what you need,” Loveless said. “That’s what makes this conference so unique and needed.”

Loveless also expressed special gratitude to the conference’s sponsors, and to the Harvest Conference planning committee for helping hosting this event.

Registration for the conference is free of charge, and food will be provided. To register, visit, and email [email protected] with any questions.

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