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2017 Conference The Power of Perspective

Thursday-Friday, October 12-13, 2017 at the DECC
Keynote:  Dr. Maura Cullen

Conference Call for Co-Sponsors

Please complete our online co-sponsorship form by March 1, 2017, to assure your participation as a co-sponsor. Our co-sponsor registration is new this year. We have provided a help document to assist you in navigating the system.


You will have the option to pay be check, credit card or e-check. If paying by check, send your $525 co-sponsorship check by US mail made payable to SLC HHSC Fund, c/o Cashier, 320 W 2nd St, Suite 401, Duluth   MN 55802-1495.

By becoming a co-sponsor, your institution is asked to contribute $525 to the St Louis County Health and Human Service Conference Fund, which will guarantee your organization an exhibitor table for both days of the conference and your name on the conference news releases, pre-registration materials, and in the conference program.  

Conference Questions Contact: Mary Bridget Lawson, HHS Conference Chair. Phone: 218-726-2140 or email:

Accounting questions contact 218-726-2292

2017 Conference Keynote

Maura Cullen has been referred to as being the best there is at simplifying the complex issues of diversity in an entertaining and educational manner. Since 1987, Dr. Cullen has been capturing the hearts and minds of people, with her dynamic seminars and speaking engagements throughout the United States, Canada and Australia. Maura is considered one of the foremost authorities on issues of diversity and leadership having worked with over 500 organizations with audiences ranging from eight to 8,000 people.
One of the guiding forces that led her to attaining her doctorate from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst in Social Justice and Diversity Education is her passion to make diversity training as engaging and enjoyable as possible. By utilizing her wonderful sense of humor and real life stories, she resonates with her audience without being aggressive or domineering.
Participants continually remark that Maura is “down to earth” and genuine, and though some may have initially resisted attending her program, they ended up enjoying it immensely. As one participant noted, “I was required to go to Maura’s session and without question I will never see things the same way again. It is a defining moment in my life.” She offers participants concrete ideas to make immediate and significant changes in their lives.

Important Dates
2017 Call for Co-sponsors: January 1, 2017 - rate of $525
2017 Call for Exhibitors:  March 1, 2017 - rate of $275
2017 Call for Presenters:  March 1-May 31, 2017
2017 Conference Registration Rates
General Registration
Early Bird Rate June - August 31: $60
September 1 - October 6: $75
Walk-in: $90

Student Registration
June - October 6: $50
Walk-in: $80

For more information contact:
Mary Bridget 218-726-2140
Government Services Center, 320 W 2nd Street 6E, Duluth, MN 55802-1495


2016 Conference Keynote

2016 keynote: Kevin KlingKevin Kling

Kevin Kling is a well-known playwright and storyteller, and his commentaries can be heard on NPR’s All Things Considered. His plays and adaptations have been performed around the world. He lives in Minneapolis. He will be presenting The Losses and Laughter We Grow Into. His autobiographical tales are as enchanting as they are true to life: hopping freight trains, getting hit by lightning, performing his banned play in Czechoslovakia, growing up in Minnesota, and eating things before knowing what they are.

Opening Keynote music provided by Gaelynn Lea Music.

Gaelynn Lea is a musician from Duluth, who recently received national recognition, winning the NPR Tiny Desk Contest. She has been playing violin for over twenty years. First classically trained, she began learning traditional Celtic and American fiddle tunes at the age of 18. Eventually she also began singing and dabbling in songwriting. Gaelynn has played alongside many notable Minnesota musicians over the years, including Alan Sparhawk, Charlie Parr, and Billy McLaughlin.


2016 Co-Sponsors

2015 Conference Keynote Speaker 

Our 2015 conference featured Judge Floerke who addressed the conference theme "The Dance of Compassion" Thursday October 15th at 10:30 in the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC)Symphony Hall.

Judge Shawn FloerkeJudge Shaun R. Floerke is the chief judge of the 6th District, chambered in Duluth. An innovator, Judge Floerke leads a high risk felony DWI Court; he is Co- Chair of the Minnesota Drug Court Initiative; he pioneered a community restorative circle model working with domestic violence offenders; and he is piloting a new approach to screen, educate and refer first-time offenders in order to prevent repeat offending. He serves with several teams of dedicated professionals and community members seeking to bring accountability and restoration for those in the judicial system. He focuses on people struggling with addiction and mental health concerns.  He trains judges and other  professionals throughout Minnesota and across the nation and has received awards and commendations for his passionate efforts to work out justice effectively and with care, dignity, and respect.


Reference: 2015 YouTube Keynote by Judge Floerke