November 06, 2012

Robbins kicks off inclusive excellence center event

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Center for Inclusive Excellence at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is hosting a kickoff event to introduce the campus community to the center and its many services, resources and activities.

The keynote speaker is Steve L. Robbins, a Vietnamese immigrant, motivational speaker, humorist and developer of the “Unintentional Intolerance” concept.  Robbins will present “The Insider and the Outsider and How Labels Influence Human Behavior” at 10 a.m., Monday, Nov. 12, at the John C. Guyon Auditorium at Morris Library.

The presentation is free, and the public is welcome to attend.

The event theme is “Moving Toward Inclusive Excellence.”  Robbins regularly shares personal stories about his challenges while growing up amid anti-Vietnamese and anti-war sentiment in Los Angeles.  Robbins tells how he overcomes these challenges with humor, and shares a message of open-mindedness, intentional inclusion, and the need to value every person for their own unique qualities.  Robbins’ presentations have been to groups including PepsiCo Inc., the U.S. Navy, Mircosoft, Honda, the Mayo Clinic, and The Boeing Co.  More information on Robbins and his work is available at

Robbins’ presentation is the first in a series of programs and events the Center for Inclusive Excellence will host during the 2012-2013 academic year.  The center will sponsor a number of other public events along with student-led dialogues and a faculty/staff development series. 

The center incorporates the Black Resource Center, Hispanic Resource Center and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer (LGBTQ) Resource Center, and facilitates development of a culture of diversity throughout campus through a variety of efforts and activities.

More information or a complete schedule is available by visiting the center in Woody Hall, room C318, or calling 618/453-3470.