Diversity Forum Focuses on Identity, Power, and Privilege

Holy Family University will host a Diversity Forum on April 11 from 3 pm – 5 pm in the ETC Building.

The forum, titled “Navigating the World with an Open Heart and Mind: Identity, Power, and Privilege,” aims to promote thoughtful and honest dialogue between individuals with ideological differences; describe thoughtful and civil language with which issues of diversity can effectively be discussed; explore concepts of identity, privilege, and dimensions of power that influence interpersonal interactions; discuss the role of political correctness, first amendment rights, and their influence on effective communication; and explore strategies to integrate a sincere respect for the dignity of all persons and the oneness of the human family during cross-cultural interactions, even when challenged by distinct differences in perspectives or world views.

"Many in today’s society are choosing insensitivity and incivility, through verbal, written, and digital communication as one way of expressing their First Amendment Rights," said Gloria Kersey-Matusiak, Coordinator for Diversity. "However, as members of the Holy Family campus community, we are compelled by the mission of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth and of the University to communicate and interact with others in ways that exemplify Holy Family’s core values, respect for the dignity of all persons, and the oneness of the human family. Yet, as human beings, we sometimes find ourselves in conversations and situations in which our deepest values and beliefs are challenged. How do we overcome the urge to strike out at individuals by responding in insensitive and negative ways that are mean-spirited, hurtful and disrespectful of fellow children of God with whom we share this planet?"

Panelists include Dr. Ernest Bonaparte, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Judith Dalton, Associate Dean of the Office of Institutional Diversity at Arcadia University, Dr. Patrick McElwaine, Counseling Psychologist, and Barbara Simmons, Executive Director of The Peace Center.


Ernest Bonaparte, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist with over 30 years experience in the field of mental health. Based in Brooklyn, NY, Dr. Bonaparte has held multiple supervisory and leadership positions in the area of community mental health, including Project Director for the Kings County Hospital Crisis Intervention Center and Director of Psychology at Kingsboro Psychiatric Center, the primary NY state mental health facility in Brooklyn. Currently, Dr. Bonaparte is a private practitioner, consultant, talk radio host, and is an Adjunct Professor at the Queens College masters program in Mental Health Counseling.

A graduate of St. Joseph's Prep high school in Philadelphia, Dr. Bonaparte completed his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Bonaparte then completed his Doctoral studies at the Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University in Long Island, New York. He earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1989.

Judith Dalton is the Associate Dean of Institutional Diversity at Arcadia University. Dalton is responsible for providing institutional leadership, focused on enhancing the campus climate in relation to areas of diversity. She collaborates with members of the University and community-at-large in providing educational programs and workshops regarding cultural diversity and social justice; and provides mentoring and advocacy for historically underrepresented and marginalized students, faculty, and staff, and those with varied cultural and religious perspectives. Dalton manages the Office of Institutional Diversity, its budget and staff; serves as advisor to varying student clubs and organizations, and as a Title IX Deputy Investigator for issues regarding student sexual assault and harassment.

A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Dalton came to Philadelphia to attend LaSalle University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, majoring in Management, Personnel and Labor Relation. She also earned a Master of Education degree from Temple University.

Patrick McElwaine, PsyD., LPC. is currently completing his post-doctoral fellowship at Brooke Glen Behavioral Hospital in Fort Washington, PA. He is a 2015 graduate of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (PCOM) APA-accredited clinical psychology program in 2015. He became a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in 2007. He is a graduate of Holy Family University with his MS in 2004 and his BS in 2000. Throughout his career, Dr. McElwaine has worked as a therapist in numerous settings including community mental health, residential treatment, and inpatient treatment.

Barbara Simmons is the Executive Director of The Peace Center, a non-profit educational organization based in Bucks County, and serving the tri-county region. She has been with the organization for more than 25 years, overseeing the creation and implementation of programs focused on interrupting and transforming the cycle of conflict, violence, racism, and bullying.

Ms. Simmons is an adjunct professor for the International Peace and Conflict Resolution masters program at Arcadia University, Glenside, where she teaches Facilitation for Conflict Transformation and Advanced Mediation. She is also the founder and executive producer of PeaceTalks Radio project, which has taken her to Japan, India, Vietnam, South Africa, Rwanda, Northern Ireland, the Middle East, and Canada as an independent journalist. PeaceTalks has produced 13 audio features for National Public Radio, Public Radio International and Philadelphia’s WHYY.

Ms. Simmons graduated from the Institute of Archaeology and went on to be certificated in Conflict Analysis and Resolution; Restorative Justice Family Conferencing, Basic and Advanced Community Mediation, School Peer Mediation; Family and Divorce Mediation; International Conflict Transformation; Conflict Resolution and Peace Education in Schools; Middle East Conflict Analysis; International Cross-Cultural Communication; Alternatives To Violence (AVP); Batterers Intervention; Creating Sanctuary, Trauma and Healing; Racism, Power and Non-Violence; Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC), Compassionate Listening and Conflict Resolution and Analysis, Northern Ireland.