Over the last several years, there has been a call to focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. This past summer's events demonstrated the change of public view towards the Black Lives Matter Movement, LGBT+ rights, and gender balance. The Pew Research Center states that last summer, two-thirds of U.S. adults say they support these movements, with 38% saying they strongly support them. The public opinion changes show the trend for diversity and inclusion programs in both society and the workplace.
Join us on April 13, virtually, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm as we have two speakers to discuss the importance of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity!
Inclusion | Jennifer Dreiske
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Jennifer Dreiske has a B.A. in Anthropology and Religious Studies and a minor in Jewish Studies, Summa Cum Laude from the University of Minnesota (U of Mn). Jen is a mom to the very precocious 6 year old Jakob and bonus daughter 14 year old Sophia. Jen started in corrections over 18 years ago and has held various positions in her career, including having the distinct honor of being the first female to hold the positions of Associate Warden and Deputy Warden of the South Dakota State Penitentiary. She is Vice President of the synagogue in Sioux Falls – Mt. Zion Congregation.
Jen is a member of the advisory board for Lake Area Technical Institute's Law Enforcement Academy. She is Billie Sutton, Leadership Fellow and a board member of South Dakota Voices for Peace (SDVP). Jen is the co-creator of the #HateHasNoHomeInSD campaign –a project with SDVP.
Jen has been presenting and leading complex conversations for many years on Inclusion, Purpose, and the Spiritual Tapestry of South Dakota to religious communities, law enforcement, medical systems, school districts, colleges, and private businesses. Through heartfelt discussions and humor, Jen is committed to helping people embrace their potentiality and chase joy.
Diversity and Inclusion | Travis Letellier
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Travis Letellier is the interim associate vice president for diversity at the University of South Dakota. "Travis is an influential member of the university's community and a champion for all students, faculty, staff, and alumni," said USD President Sheila K. Gestring. "He upholds USD's commitment to Inclusive Excellence, and he will be an exceptional leader in the university's efforts to promote diversity. He has also been a proponent of development for the City of Vermillion and the state of South Dakota. The Office for Diversity is in good hands with Travis as associate vice president."
Letellier has been at USD for five years as an economics instructor in the Beacom School of Business and director of the South Dakota Council for Economic Education (SDCEE), a Beacom outreach service. He is a member of the university's Strategic Planning Task Force, the Sanford School of Medicine's Strategic Planning Task Force, Beacom's Diversity and Inclusiveness Committee, and the President's Council on Diversity and Inclusiveness. As a member of the President's Council, Letellier acts as a point person for LGBTQ+ issues and advocacy.
As director of the SDCEE, Letellier works with South Dakota K-12 teachers to improve the quality and quantity of statewide economic and financial literacy education. He is also a board member and past chair of Equality South Dakota, the only statewide LGBTQ+ advocacy group in South Dakota.
Letellier grew up on a family ranch on the Rosebud Reservation, north of Mission, South Dakota. He received his bachelor's degree from Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and he completed advanced degrees in economics at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. Before returning to South Dakota, Letellier was an economics lecturer at Florida International University, Penn State University, and Washington College.