Building Inclusive Communities Global Conference 2015

About 300 people attended our conference, and the conversations sparked there are just getting started. Visit our schedule page to find materials from the presenters. Check our multimedia page as we add more videos from the two day event, including the Beacon for Global Inclusion Awards ceremony. You can also connect with us on Twitter and on Facebook for the latest discussions and updates on our school. Thanks for supporting our work to increase inclusion locally, nationally, and globally!

The Building Inclusive Communities conference, hosted by UMass Boston's School for Global Inclusion and Social Development, brings together leaders across industries and disciplines to foster new strategies for increased inclusion. Our attendees and presenters are policymakers, educators, faith leaders, and entrepreneurs–as well as self-advocates who are making inclusion a reality in underserved populations.

What will you learn

The way we see it, poverty is solvable, but it’s a problem rooted in injustice. If you eliminate injustice, you can eliminate poverty. We’re not saying it can be quick, and it cannot be easy, but it can be done. –Jim Daniell, COO, Oxfam America
  • How the struggle of exclusion and opportunity for inclusion are shaped by poverty, education, employment, and health and wellness.
  • Ways to foster an environment of inclusion in your organization, and to extend that into your community.
  • Strategies to maximize outcomes while understaffed and underfunded, while simultaneously growing and improving leadership.
  • Innovative techniques for networking with community leaders and corporations, improving the delivery of your mission and vision, and developing diverse and sustainable funding streams.

Why should you go

At the BIC conference, we'll challenge you to look at issues of social inclusion and exclusion in a transdisciplinary way. It's a rare chance to see your field from the perspectives of those with different backgrounds, but shared values. You'll use this inclusive lens to increase your understanding of excluded populations, and to bring back new ideas to inform your own work.

People with such diverse viewpoints don't normally come to the same table, and that's why we created this conference. This is a forum where challenges can be discussed, similarities discovered and exchanged, and from this, ideas and solutions fostered.

Conference Themes


  • Explore a school's role in relation to topics including poverty, family origins, risk aversion, bullying, and student retention.
  • Help students cope with (and grow stronger from) instances of failure, while seeing it as a tool for school and life.
  • Meet others who hold your same goals for change, share ideas, problem solve, discuss implementation, and create solutions that benefit all.
  • Use the latest research to make your classroom and school inclusive, help struggling students overcome the causes of exclusion, and learn the latest strategies and tools for effective transition from school to adult life.

Health and Wellness

  • Learn about the struggle of exclusion and the opportunities for inclusion that exist through improved access to care.
  • Improve integration in your workplace to enhance the quality of service you provide within your community.
  • Provide stronger service in mental, emotional, and physical health along with overall wellness.
  • Find a balance between patient outcomes and funding limitations.
  • Use research to improve quality of care and results.


  • Discover transdisciplinary research methods to address complex issues.
  • Tackle inequities across populations and cultures.


  • Gain insight into securing funding and developing diverse resource streams.
  • Use sustainable and ethical approaches to help your organization thrive.

Economic Opportunity

  • Provide excluded groups with control of resources and self-determination to improve quality of life.
  • Strengthen vulnerable groups’ participation in decision making.
  • Hear from traditionally excluded populations to learn how communities can be designed and coordinated to be more accessible to everyone.