Community Conversations Series

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at Lawrence University is proud to introduce the 2022-2023 DE&I Community Conversations Series. This year's theme is: Race, Racism and Justice. With this theme in mind, the series hopes to bring various students, faculty, staff, and community members together to learn about, engage with, and collaborate in solving major issues facing our nation, the fox cities, and our Lawrence community. The topics include: race, gender, and reproductive justice; race, immigration and the law; race, racism and the educational system, environmental justice and activism, and othering and belonging across groups. The talks are open to the public and we encourage everyone to attend. 

Fall Term talks and convenings:

When: October 12th tentatively at 730pm in Warch Campus Center Cinema

Theme: The Intersections of Race, Gender, and Reproductive Justice

With: Dr. Chris Barcelos in collaboration with the Health Fair. 

About the author: Dr. Barcelos is a feminist social scientist and educator, currently an Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Their work combines critical race theory and critical sexualities studies with community-based research to analyze U.S.-based public health efforts. They are also the author of Distributing Condoms and Hope: The Racialized Politics of Youth Sexual Health. Read their piece here: Saying ‘Pregnant People’ Is Even More Critical Post-‘Roe’


When:  November

Theme: Reclaiming History Through an Afro-Indigenous Lens

With: LUNA, History Department & Dr. Kyle T Mays.

About the Author: Kyle T. Mays (he/his) is an Assistant Professor of African American Studies, American Indian Studies, and History at UCLA. He is a transdisciplinary scholar of urban history and studies, Afro-Indigenous Studies, and contemporary popular culture. His book,  An Afro-Indigenous History of the United States, will be a part of the ReVisioning American History series. This book argues that African enslavement and Indigenous dispossession have been central to the founding of the United States, and explores how Black and Indigenous peoples have resisted U.S. democracy from the founding of the U.S. to the present. 


Winter Term Talks and Convenings:

When: January 16, 2023

Theme: Race, Education and Reformation

With: Teacher Education program & Dr. Stephanie Jones

About the Scholar and Activist: Stephanie P. Jones, Ph.D. is an assistant Professor of Education at Grinnell College, where she teaches courses in Youth Culture, Young Adult Literature and Introduction to Educational Studies. Her two research strands examine Black women’s literacy practices and the exploration of racialized trauma in school curriculums. After teaching for six years with Atlanta Public Schools, Dr. Jones transitioned to graduate studies at the University of Georgia with the support of SREB Doctoral Scholars of Color fellowship. She is working on a forthcoming manuscript about the intersections of surveillance, curriculum violence, and racialized trauma. Read her work on curricular violence against Black students here.


When: February

Theme: Racism, Critical Race Theory, and the Racial Future

Convening: Ethnic Studies' 5th Annual Continuing Significance of Race Undergraduate Conference

With: ETST & Victor Ray

About the Author: Victor Ray was born in Pittsburgh and raised in western Pennsylvania. After receiving his bachelor of arts in urban studies at Vassar, he earned his PhD from Duke University in 2014. His book, On Critical Race Theory explains the centrality of race in American history and politics, and how the often mischaracterized intellectual movement became a political necessity.  Dr. Ray is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and his research has been funded by the Ford Foundation. As an active public scholar, his social and critical commentary has appeared in outlets such as The Washington Post, Newsweek, Harvard Business Review, and Boston Review. Read his work here


Spring Term Talks and Convenings:

Time: April

Theme: Racial healing and forgiveness

With: Intercultural Faith Center & Pardeep Kaleka

About the Author:  

"One Sikh. One former Skinhead. Together, an unusual friendship emerged out of a desire to make a difference.

When white supremacist Wade Michael Page murdered six people and wounded four in a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin in 2012, Pardeep Kaleka was devastated. The temple leader, now dead, was his father. His family, who had immigrated to the U.S. from India when Pardeep was young, had done everything right. Why was this happening to him? Meanwhile, Arno Michaelis, a former skinhead and founder of one of the largest racist skinhead organizations in the world, had spent years of his life committing terrible acts in the name of white power. When he heard about the attack, waves of guilt washing over him, he knew he had to take action and fight against the very crimes he used to commit.

After the Oak Creek tragedy, Arno and Pardeep worked together to start an organization called Serve 2 Unite, which works with students to create inclusive, compassionate and nonviolent climates in their schools and communities. Their story is one of triumph of love over hate, and of two men who breached a great divide to find compassion and forgiveness. With New York Times bestseller Robin Gaby Fisher telling Arno and Pardeep's story, The Gift of Our Wounds is a timely reminder of the strength of the human spirit, and the courage and compassion that reside within us all."