"I had the pleasure of welcoming Liza Talusan to Hopkins School to end a year long program, Conversations on Race. Liza delivered a keynote address on perspective and facilitated five grade level workshops on identity. She was prompt, thoughtful, flexible, and incredibly sensitive to the needs and pulse of our community. She approaches the very complex and challenging issues of race and identity with such care and patience. We all benefited from Liza's wealth of knowledge and experience, and the students cited her visit as one of the most meaningful aspects of our year program. From start to finish, Liza was a dream to work with and I am grateful to now call her my colleague and friend! "
- Amanda Friedman, Director of Diversity, Hopkins School (CT)
"I had to find a keynote speaker for Cape Cod Community College's annual Student Diversity Recognition Day. Liza came highly recommended from a colleague from another educational institution. Liza ALWAYS got back to me promptly via emails and phone calls and she was a true pleasure to work with. When I broached the subject of her being the keynote speaker, she immediately said that she wanted to do it and provided me with information in a very timely manner. Her presentation was spot on. High School students, college students, faculty and staff all raved about her talk. I heard things from administration like, "That was the best keynote speaker that we've ever had." Students wrote things like, 'I am inspired to be the best that I can be.' I would highly recommend Liza as a keynote speaker."
- Raquel Rodriguez, Multicultural Admissions Counselor, Cape Cod Community College
"The students REALLY got a lot out of your presentation. They were pumped for the second half of the day and have actually mobilized to start writing a petition for a diversity course as part of the core. They've been working on it all week! As far as feedback, I think your personal style of facilitation is really spot on. You were able to challenge them in ways that held them responsible without causing them to shut down. I learned a lot from just observing the morning."
-Candice de los Reyes, Assistant Director, Roger Williams University Intercultural Center
"Liza A. Talusan is one of the few people I know who is genuinely in touch with how race and diversity are lived in America today. She's an excellent speaker and facilitator, and her columns for our blog Anti-Racist Parent always spark lively conversations among our readers."
-Carmen Van Kerckhove, President of the diversity consulting firm New Demographic and founder of blogs such as Racialicious!, Addicted to Race, and Anti-Racist Parent
"After knowing Liza Talusan for over a decade, I can attest to her sincere and profound ability to tackle the most complex and sensitive issues of social diversity with compassion and competence. She truly has the heart of an educator, and the vision of an activist."
- Marcella Runell Hall, New York University Center for Multicultural Education and Programs, Author of Hip Hop Education Guidebook and Conscious Women Rock the Page: Using Hip-Hop Fiction to Incite Social Change
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with many campus programmers across the world and Liza is by far one of the best. The enthusiasm she displays is contagious and the warm compassion she exudes makes her an invaluable resource to all with whom she interacts. Liza is results driven, reliable and trustworthy, all while making it fun! She treated my client, Esera Tuaolo, so graciously while he was on site giving a speech and I am excited at what Liza and I can do together in the future!”
– David Buchalter, Director of University Division, Senior Vice President, Greater Talent Network, Inc.
“I invited Liza to facilitate a workshop about how to be an inclusive leader for our newly hired Resident Assistants. She absolutely blew me away! Her approach to this topic was so refreshing as she sought to help these students own their own biases without making them feel guilty about them. She was extremely engaging and struck a good balance between facilitating a conversation and providing the RAs with an interactive experience. Liza’s passion is contagious and calls those she is speaking with to action. I plan on continuing to bring Liza in to educate our RAs as well as our professional staff on these important issues and highly recommend that you do the same!”
–Kristen Pierce, Assistant Director of Residence Life, Stonehill College
“Liza is an integral part of our community who isn't afraid to speak up and is always looking for new ways to educate through workshops and presentations. She is exciting and engaging to listen to...I am a strong believer in Liza's work and am proud to call her a colleague and a friend.”
-Eric Nichols, Assistant Dean (former) for Admissions and Multicultural Recruiting, Stonehill College
"I first met Liza when I started working for Stonehill College in August 2006. After the first time we met, Liza was both warm and welcoming to me as a new member of the Stonehill Community and a rookie professional in Higher Education. Her reflections mirrored both contemporary and noteworthy scholarship in the field of diversity, helping me explore diversity on a far deeper level. Having participated in some of Liza’s diversity discussion groups, I noticed she facilitates discussions to move forward, instead of in circles. She carefully listens to her audience, informing her individualized methodology, making her an enjoyable and effective presenter. I cannot think of anyone better to facilitate conversations that educate participants on important and critical issues facing higher education and student culture."
-- Evan Read, Assistant Dean (former) of Admissions and Enrollment, Stonehill College
"Liza truly understand the way to communicate with a large group of people on sensitive topics. In our group of upper school faculty, she encouraged everyone to share their thoughts, and her manner allowed us to feel comfortable enough to do so. In the weeks since her workshop, I have had numerous conversations with colleagues about the way her visit has lingered in our minds. She prompted us to think carefully and sensitively about our students, without forcing us to feel guilty or self-conscious. Liza and her team respect their audience, work with individuals where they are, and cause lasting, thought-provoking effects."
--Abby Hertzmark Phyfe, Teacher, Moses Brown, RI
"We have worked with Liza for two years now in training our Resident Assistant team and she is AMAZING. Liza's approach and ability to keep our 128 RAs, 11 RDs, and other professional staff members engaged in the learning process and having fun while doing so is no easy task. I will continue to use her in our program as long as our budget can support outside presenters. Liza works with a great team of students and staff who also work to keep the students interacting and reflecting and its been a great success. Her style is open, she is not simply lecturing but continues to incorporate activity into the overall presentation. We find ourselves moving around, having discussions and getting to know each other more in a safe and non judgmental environment. This is an environment that can only be created by the presenter when discussing sensitive topics around inclusion. Her energy is infectious and I feel she would be a great asset to your team."
-- Dr. Angela Watson, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
"I've known Liza for several years now, since I previously worked at Wheaton College in Norton, MA. I've been at The University of Rhode Island now for over 4 years, and about a year and a half ago, invited Liza to speak as a keynote during one of the programs I organize. I teach a class, part of our academic minor in leadership studies, that examines issues of women of color and mentoring. The program during which she spoke was the final dinner, and I asked her to speak to issues of women of color, leadership, mentoring, etc. The audience was a mix of students, faculty and staff, though mostly students. Though I would say most identified as women of color, the audience also included men and white folks. The students in my class are required to go to the event and have to write a reflection, and I can share with you some of the words they students used to describe Liza's presentation:
Hope, Pride, Faith, Striving, Success, Inspiration, Something in common, Sense of personal voice, Strength, Finding your identity
On a personal note, I consider Liza to be a friend and mentor and I was thrilled she was able to speak with my students. She engaged them and inspired them."
-- Melissa Camba, University of Rhode Island
"Liza Talusan came to my Business Ethics classes and introduced diversity issues to my students. Specifically, she led interesting in-class activities from which students had opportunities to reflect on a variety of diversity issues. Liza's presentation was both effective and intriguing."
-- Jegoo Lee, PhD, Stonehill College
"I had the pleasure of working with Liza Talusan and the intercultural affairs office when I was selected to execute a piece of public art to foreground diversity on campus. It was a joy working with both the staff and the students. Everyone was enthusiastic, supportive, and welcoming. Liza really cultivates an atmosphere of inclusion, energy and professionalism."
-- Shane Savage-Rumbaugh, PhD, Stonehill College
Read about Liza and Camp Sunshine
Read about Liza's Family Letter of Thanks
Read about Liza in the New Demographic Newsletter
Read about Liza's journey with pre-cancer in Marathon B4 Mastectomy