The 25th annual celebration of UCF’s Diversity Week kicks off Monday with a sold-out breakfast honoring Valarie Greene King, a champion of diversity at the university and a 24-year employee who died earlier this year.

King was the Office of Diversity Initiatives’ director when she retired in 2013. She designed the Leadership Empowerment Program that offers professional development training annually to a selected cohort of faculty and staff. Participants are taught leadership principles and strategies, and are challenged to self-reflect on issues facing higher education today. Donations to the Dr. Valarie Greene King Memorial Fund help support the Leadership Empowerment Program.

Beginning this year, the Diversity Week’s annual breakfast will be called the Dr. Valarie Greene King Diversity Breakfast in her honor. An annual award in King’s name also will be given to faculty or staff members who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing inclusion on campus.

This year’s breakfast in the Pegasus Ballroom will feature a keynote speech from former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun of Illinois, who in 1993 became the first African-American female senator. Those not in attendance can watch the breakfast via live stream, which the Office of Diversity Inclusion will share a link to that morning.

The 2017 celebration of Diversity Week is filled with other events that are free and open to the UCF community. Knights are encouraged to participate in a photo mosaic by posting a photo of themselves to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #WeAreUCF. Photos will be included in a large photo mosaic that will be displayed on campus.

Other events include movie viewings such as How Gender Got Us Tied Up, panel discussions on topics such as women in information technology, and speaker series on topics such as race and social justice. Workshops also will be offered on finding distant relatives and uncovering your own ethnic mix, and how to self-reflect on possible stereotypes and biases.

See here for a complete list of Diversity Week events happening Oct. 16-20.