Dalia Estrada, Teri Mora, & Melody Ethley — Courtesy Photo

Oct 22, 2018

Panhandle State Communications


Goodwell, Okla. — The National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE) is an annually held conference that promotes diversity and inclusion around the country. It is sponsored by the Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies who hosted the first NCORE in 1988.

The Southwest Center is devoted to the study, understanding, and resolution of human conflict and to promoting understanding and cooperation among people of different racial, ethnic, religious, and economic backgrounds. Additionally, the conference is the most comprehensive discussion platform directed towards race and ethnicity. The main goal of the conference is to search for effective strategies to enhance access, social development, education, positive communication, and cross-cultural understanding in culturally diverse settings. There is a wide variety of people who attend this conference including professional staff, administrators, and students who are of several different ethnic backgrounds.

NCORE was hosted in New Orleans, Louisiana from May 29 – June 2, 2018. The event lasted for an entire week and was scheduled so that participants always had a workshop, class, or speaking session to attend. Panhandle State had the opportunity to have two students and one faculty member represent the university at the conference. Hispanic Student Services Director Teri Mora was accompanied by Dalia Estrada and Melody Ethley.

Dalia Estrada commented on her experience at the convention as a second-year attendee and said, “Some of the things that stuck the most with [her] was the fact that there [were] so many people who wanted the same for themselves and that valued the need to receive a higher education. How diverse and inclusive this conference is always makes me happy, especially knowing it was founded in Oklahoma. Meeting people and being able to call them my friends after the conference was one of the things I enjoyed the most about NCORE. Not to mention the French architecture all throughout the city!”

The conference is built on a solid programming tradition that promotes creating inclusive higher education environments, programs, and curriculum. On a consistent basis, NCORE has received ratings of “Excellent,” “Very Good,” or “Good” amongst 98 percent of conference attendees. This year’s event included sessions that benefitted students, faculty, administration and many other members of academia.

Melody Ethley was a first-time attendee at the 2018 NCORE conference. She says that she was “so grateful for the opportunity and learned a lot from the sessions that she attended. It was such an eye-opening experience seeing so many like-minded people with the same end goal and being exposed to certain topics that don’t always sit well with people.” The most impactful information that she took away from the conference was “learning about African American leadership at predominantly white institutions and being able to start the conversation even if no one else will.” She goes on to say that her favorite part about the entire trip “was the connections that she made with students from several other institutions and being able to enjoy the atmosphere of such a boisterous city.”

In addition to the students, Teri Mora has had the privilege of attending the national conference for many years. She is “very happy that in the past two years, I have been able to share that with our students here and hope that we can have many other students attend in the future. I would like to thank Kim Tuttle and the Student Senate for helping to provide funds for Dalia and Melody to attend this year’s NCORE.”

Mrs. Mora goes on to say that “I always come away with new information and insight into race and ethnicity issues at the conference, something that serves me well in my duties here at Panhandle, whether it be as the Hispanic Student Services and Upward Bound Director or as an instructor. Our area is one of the most diverse areas in Oklahoma and I believe that the more conversations we are able to have about race and ethnicity, the more we all grow. The NCORE motto is ‘start the conversation,’ and I hope we continue doing that here.”

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