Signature Programs

Each semester, the Center for Student Diversity brings culturally relevant speakers, educators, activists and entertainers to campus. 

The CSD's programs give students access to some of the world's most influential minds of our time.  Past speakers have included pivotal individuals such as: Angela Davis, Common, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Arun Ghandi, Nikki Giovanni, Ben Jealous, Cleve Jones, Rigoberta Menchu Tum, Kurt Schmoke, Chuck D, Dr. Julianna Malveaux and most recently Hasan Minhaj.

Diversity Speaker Series - Fall 2018

Join us for the Division of Student Affairs Diversity Speaker series featuring Julián Castro and Dr. Michael Benitez, Jr. on Thursday, November 8th, at 7pm, SECU Arena.

This event is FREE and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30pm.

Speakers’ remarks will be followed by a moderated Q&A with Dr. Alison McCartney, Department of Political Science faculty. There will also be an opportunity for an audience Q&A. For questions or accommodations, please contact (410) 704-2051 or .

Even before he burst onto the national scene in 2012 as the Democratic Party’s first Hispanic keynote convention speaker, Julián Castro was already the embodiment of the American dream. The grandson of an orphaned immigrant from Mexico, Julián and his twin brother (current U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro) often accompanied their mother, Rosie, as she worked on behalf of their community as a political activist.

In 2001, at age 26, Castro became the youngest elected city councilman in San Antonio history at the time. In 2009, he was elected Mayor of San Antonio (the youngest mayor of a top-50 American city). As Mayor, Castro became known as a national leader in urban revitalization and for expanding educational opportunities for the city’s low-income students. Appointed the 16th Secretary of HUD by President Barack Obama in 2014, Castro launched many new initiatives that help people achieve a better quality of life. He recently released his new book, An Unlikely Journey: Waking Up from My American Dream.

Michael Benitez, Ph.D., is a nationally-acclaimed activist-scholar, practitioner, and educator, with extensive experience in diversity issues in higher education. He is known for his down-to-earth, insightful commentary and critical perspectives on social and cultural issues including social justice education, equity and inclusion, diversity and multiculturalism, intercultural development, identity formation, race and ethnic relations, knowledge representation and production, youth and leadership development, student success, and critical pedagogy and praxis. His work on creating campus community participatory frameworks for difficult conversations and institutional action is forthcoming in New Directions in Institutional Research.

Part of Dr. Benitez's success lies in his ability to speak heart-to-heart while bridging theory and scholarly inquiry with everyday life, his use of accessible language that multiple audiences can relate to, while providing multi-context and -issue frameworks for empowerment and transformation. Currently, he serves as the Dean of Diversity and Inclusion/Chief Diversity Officer, as well as Title IX Officer, at the University of Puget Sound, providing leadership over the coordination, implementation, and assessment of operational and strategic goals related to diversity strategic planning and institutional efforts to foster and sustain an equitable and inclusive campus climate.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration

This celebration of the life of this legendary social justice advocate typically takes place in February because Towson University students usually do not return to campus in time to celebrate the national MLK Holiday in mid-January.

Cultural Competency Workshop Series

This annual workshop series is a collection of trainings, workshops, conversations, and performances throughout the academic year that provide opportunities for reflection and interaction.  All workshops are open to students, staff and faculty.  You are welcome to attend any or all of them, and no prior experience or knowledge is needed.  Food and refreshments will be provided.

Fall 2018 Schedule
Wednesday . September 26 . 2-3:30pm . UU 314-316
 The Intersection of Strengths & Social Identity:  Using the Clifton Strengths to Engage       Conversation about Difference.  (Attendees should bring their Clifton Strengths with them to   the program).  For more information email .
Monday .  October 15 .  6:00 - 7pm .  UU 313
 Cultural Competency 101:  Reflect and Engage as you Learn More About Social and             Personal Identity.  
Wednesday .  November 14 .  6:00 - 7pm. UU 313
Wednesday .  November 28 .  12:00 - 1pm .  UU 313

2018-2019 workshops to be determined and announced at a later date.

Set It Off

Each year, the Center for Student Diversity and Greek Life hold an annual welcome back event for Towson students. At this event, students make connections and have many exciting opportunities to get involved, meet new people, join a Greek organization and compete for prizes while enjoying free food, fun, and music.  August 26, 2018 . 5-8pm . Tiger Plaza

Retreat for Social Justice

2018 Retreat for Social Justice
November 2nd - 4th OR November 9th - 11th

A signature event of the CSD, the Retreat gives students an opportunity to explore their cultural identities and interact with people from diverse backgrounds while developing skills for interrupting prejudice, advocating for social justice and inclusion, and helping to build the cultural capacity on campus.  Retreat participants will have an active role in the spring semester Social Justice Days of Action program.

Advanced students who have previously attended the Retreat are eligible to apply to be a Retreat Facilitator.  The applications for facilitators and attendees can be found here:

    Student Facilitator Application
    Student Attendee Application

Direct any questions about the Retreat for Social Justice to the Associate Director for Cultural Competency Education at   

Social Justice Days of Action
2019 Social Justice Days of Action

Formerly the Social Justice Awareness Week/Day, the Social Justice Days of Action highlights the diversity of ways that TU students, student organizations, staff and faculty collaborate on projects, presentations, exhibits, performances, activities and other initiatives that highlight specific campus and community issues and provide participants with tangible opportunities for each of us to help make a difference.  The ultimate goal of the Days of Action program is to build a more equitable and inclusive campus community.

Direct any questions about the Social Justice Days of Action to the Associate Director for Cultural Competency Education at  .