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OMA's 50th Anniversary at the 2019 ASHA Convention

OMA - 50th Anniversary

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of ASHA’s Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA). OMA supports the development and dissemination of policy, tools, and resources addressing culture and language in communication sciences and disorders (CSD). The office also seeks to increase the awareness of careers in audiology and speech-language pathology among students in under-represented groups and to address related professional preparation and retention issues.

In addition, ASHA’s Minority Student Leadership Program (MSLP) celebrates its 20th year, and the Student to Empowered Professional (STEP) program commemorates 15 years. These programs have supported thousands of students—most from historically under-represented backgrounds, many of whom are now professionals and actively engaged ASHA members.

Opening General Session

Experience the excitement and energy of the ASHA Convention as we kick off our annual event with the Opening General Session on Thursday morning.

This year, we welcome special guest Steve Pemberton as keynote speaker to inspire you to "Imagine More." Steve Pemberton endured a tumultuous childhood in which he was an orphan who was subsequently placed into foster care. Despite his past, Mr. Pemberton found remarkable success in several executive positions at high-profile organizations, including Walgreens and, and currently serves as Chief Human Resources Officer for Globoforce. In his corporate leadership roles, he has focused on the value of increasing diversity and inclusion to improve outcomes. He believes that his past gave him the drive to imagine more for the future and imparted to him the gift of envisioning leadership differently.

Drawing strength from adversity, Mr. Pemberton has made equality, access, and opportunity key tenets that guide both his professional and personal life. He will encourage you to believe in your dreams, rise above obstacles, create opportunities for others, and, most of all, persevere. In short, he will challenge you to imagine more.

When and Where?  

Thursday, November 21, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m., Orange County Convention Center, 415ABCD (Valencia Ballroom)

OMA's 50th Anniversary Address

Featuring Ijeoma Oluo, author of So You Want To Talk About Race

Ijeoma Oluo is a Seattle-based writer, speaker and Internet yeller. Her work on social issues such as race and gender has been published in The Guardian, The Stranger, Washington Post, ELLE Magazine, NBC News, and more. Her NYT bestselling first book, So You Want To Talk About Race, was released January 2018 with Seal Press. Ijeoma was named one of the Most Influential People in Seattle by Seattle Magazine, one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Seattle by Seattle Met, one of The Root's 100 Most Influential Americans in 2017 and 2018, and is the recipient of the Feminist Humanist Award 2018 by the American Humanist Association, the Media Justice Award by the Gender Justice League, and the 2018 Aubrey Davis Visionary Leadership Award by the Equal Opportunity Institute.

When and Where? 

Thursday, November 21, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m., Orange County Convention Center, Chapin Theater (320) 

Celebration at MC2 Reception

Join us for our 50th anniversary celebration at the Multicultural Concerns Collective (MC2). MC2 is our annual opportunity to connect with colleagues, and continually work toward cultural competence. This year's celebration will be a lively celebration in recognition of the collective effort and outcomes achieved over the last five decades. Mark your calendar so you don’t miss it!

When and Where?

Thursday, November 21, 8:00 – 11:00 p.m., Club 3NINE, Rosen Plaza 

Concierge Learning Center

Build your customized learning path at the ASHA Convention

Do you love the abundance of session choices at the Convention, but need help finding focus? Are you a long-time attendee looking for fresh perspectives? A first-time attendee overwhelmed by so many great sessions? The Concierge Learning Center, located near Registration, is here to help you create a learning path that is meaningful to you—not only at the Convention, but beyond.

Thats Unhead Of Logo - 2019You can also find ways to increase your cultural competence by visiting Hall B4-D1 in the Convention Center to talk to staff from the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) about your professional interests, goals, and challenges. Make a Multicultural Future Teller and preview the engagement experience That's Unheard Of. 

SIG 14 Activities

Join SIG 14 for the following activities: 

Short Course

SC04: I Want to Talk…But Not in English!: Providing Culturally & Linguistically Responsive AAC Services
When: Thursday, Nov 21, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Where: Hyatt/Rock Spring  

Invited Session

S1367: Where Do I Even Start? Culturally Appropriate Counseling to Support Socio-emotional Development & Mindfulness in Children  
When: Friday, Nov 22, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Where: Convention Center/108AB 

Affiliates Meeting

When: Friday, Nov 22, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. 
Where: Convention Center/105AB            

Hey ALEXA, tell me about OMA

Stop by any of the ASHA ALEXAbots located throughout the Orlando Convention Center to learn some fun facts about the Office of Multicultural Affairs! 

Multicultural Constituency Group (MCCG) Meetings

These MCCG meetings are taking place at the Rosen Plaza on Thursday, Nov. 21:

Asian Indian Caucus
7:00 – 8:30 p.m. in Salon 11

Asian Pacific Islander
7:00 – 8:30 p.m. in Salon 12

Hispanic Caucus
7:00 – 8:30 p.m. in Ballroom D

7:00 – 8:00 p.m. in Salon 10

National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing (NBASLH)
7:00 – 8:30 p.m. in Ballroom B

Native American Caucus
7:00 – 8:30 p.m. in Salon 9 

Don't Forget...

Be sure to look for the special OMA bookmark located in the ASHA Program Book. Use this bookmark to identify additional opportunities to increase your cultural competence.

Not Coming to Orlando?

No worries! Below is a list of ways for you to participate in the OMA festivities.

  • OMA's 50th Anniversary Address by Ijeoma Oluo
    Tune in to the 50th anniversary address by Ijeoma Oluo on Facebook Live. Follow us to view the event online
  • ASHFoundation's Minority Scholarship Fund
    In celebration of ASHA’s Office of Multicultural Affairs' 50th anniversary, make a $50 donation—or more—to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation's Minority Scholarship Fund. Please indicate Minority Scholarship Fund in the "Fund Designation" box on the donation form, or donate by phone at 301-296-8704.

ASHA Corporate Partners