Lawrence University’s Cultural Competency Lecture Series provides faculty, staff, students, and community members the opportunity to learn about topics that will increase their ability to live and work well with people they perceive to be different in some significant way.
- Jedidiah Rex and Jay Dansand, “Accessibility as Inclusiveness,” Tuesday, 9/24 at 11:15 in Mead Witter: What does it mean for Lawrence University to be an inclusive community? How can we create access and inclusion on campus for those with disabilities? By shedding light on challenges faced by those with disabilities and sharing what they are doing in each of their contexts, the presenters will prompt the audience to invest in making Lawrence a more welcoming place.
- Kathryn Zoromski, “Social Class, Silence, and Solutions,” (Tuesday, 10/8 at 11:15 in Hurvis): Like many other universities, Lawrence is experiencing a rise in the number of students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. This lecture/workshop will explore the complexity of the issues facing low-income students with an eye toward the experiences of students on our own campus. We will work together to identify practical, achievable methods to mitigate the silence that often surrounds class inequality as well as share ideas about how we might re-imagine some of our current practices to better support our students.
- Helen Boyd Kramer, “Non-Binary Gender and Bathrooms,” Tuesday, 11/19 at 11:15 in Hurvis: Bathrooms are often unsafe spaces for trans and non-binary people, including students, faculty, and staff. This lecture will illustrate some of the basic issues and the ways we can change our culture to make sure everyone can use the facilities safely.
- Cecile Despres-Berry, “ELF: English as a Lingua Franca at Lawrence,” Tuesday, 1/28 at 11:15 in Hurvis: Lawrence University is a diverse community comprised of English speakers from many different first languages and dialects of English. English is our lingua franca, but these variations in language background affect how an individual participates in a conversation. In this workshop, we will discuss how conversational culture varies; more importantly, we will investigate our own unconscious conversational preferences and biases and use this knowledge to become more effective communicators in English.
- Katie Schweighofer, “Everyday Sexism?” Tuesday, 2/25 at 11:15 in Hurvis: Over 100 years since women were granted the right to vote and 50 years after the feminist uprising of the 1970s, sexism still runs through our everyday lives. From ongoing transphobia and homophobia to the recent resurgence in virulent and violent forms of public misogyny, sexism is both more visible and somehow more subtle than ever. We’ll discuss where and how sexism and gender discrimination surface, and how they operate today in our classrooms, workplaces, homes, and communities.
- Jesus Smith, “Is Race Real?” Tuesday, 4/7 at 11:15 in Hurvis: Dr. Smith takes us on a journey from the past to the present, tracing out the development of race, first as a marker of difference, next as a biological classification, then to a legal term and socially organizing principle and last as a colorblind but ever present concept. This lecture helps make clear how race is a social construction.
Past topics we have covered range from art to religion, and presenters have drawn attention to myriad ways in which issues of diversity and inclusion challenge the way we think about gender, the environment, able bodyism, music, and more:
- Erin Buenzli, "A Community of Self-Care"
- Jason Brozek, “Environmental Justice – Global Movement, Local Actions”
- Helen Boyd Kramer, “Smash the Binary”
- Meghan Lally, "Reframing Disability: Designing Inclusive Classrooms and Communities"
- Guilberly Louissaint and Max Loebl, "Activism and Social Change"
- Elliot Ratzman, "Antisemitism and Intersectionality: Understanding the Subtleties of Anti-Jewish Oppression and Jewish Privilege"
- Stephen M. Sieck and Matthew R. Arau, “It Matters How and Why We Say This: Navigating Cultural Identities in a Liberal Arts College/ Conservatory”
- Jesus G. Smith, “Cultural Appropriation: What Is and Isn’t”
- Martyn Smith, “Islam in America: The Success Story of Dearborn, Michigan”
- Beth A. Zinsli and Elizabeth Carlson, “More than Meets the Eye: Engaging with Controversial Art”
As we move forward with the lecture series, we are inviting experts on topics that impact our campus and community to deliver talks sure to ignite powerful conversations that will challenge some of our deeply held assumptions in ways that promote growth and understanding.