Real Talk Diversity Series 2017-18

Accessibility

Please notify the program coordinator at (269) 387-6324 or lindsey.palar@wmich.edu, if accommodations are needed to make the event accessible for you or your guests.

Being Seen: Discussion of Janet Mock's 'Surpassing Certainty' 

Janet Mock is an American writer, TV host, and transgender rights activist. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller "Redefining Realness," contributing editor for Marie Claire, and a former staff editor of People magazine's website.

Surpassing Certainty’ is a portrait of Janet Mock as a young woman, before identifying her talent for advocacy, as she searches for her place in a world that provides her with no instructions. Mock shares the story of being a first-generation college student who is dating, pursuing professional aspirations, and most importantly, affirming who she is and being truly seen.

Natalie Nguyễn, director of the Office for Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender Student Services, and Lindsey Palar, program coordinator for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, will facilitate discussions on the critical content of this text. Attendance at both discussions is encouraged. Lunch and copies of ‘Surpassing Certainty’ will be provided to a limited number of registered participants. Please RSVP.

  • Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Multicultural Center in the Adrian Trimpe Building, lunch provided.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Multicultural Center in the Adrian Trimpe Building, lunch provided.

Imagining inclusion

As LGBTQ movements continue the work of resisting systemic gender oppression, increasing LGBTQ visibility, and envisioning a more inclusive society, trans and queer individuals and allies are addressing the continued marginalization that they experience even within these spaces. This discussion will address the question: How can a movement be truly inclusive for everyone, including traditionally silenced individuals and communities?

  • Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Multicultural Center in the Adrian Trimpe Building, light refreshments provided.

Disability at the intersections

Facilitators from Western Michigan University's Disability Services for Students will explore the social model of disability, the language used around disability, and how to identify and challenge one's own implicit biases. Participants will have the opportunity to participate in breakout discussions on the ways in which disability is influenced and impacted by identities of race, ethnicity, gender identity and sexuality. Participants will also learn more about the experiences of people who identify with disabilities at WMU via panel discussions.

  • Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Multicultural Center in the Adrian Trimpe Building, light refreshments provided.

Racial socialization and the power of narrative

The WMU Student Assembly for Racial Equity and Cultural Inclusion (SAREC) student organization operates with the goal to foster intentional conversations that address White supremacy and its placement in higher education. Through RaceTalk panels, this student organization promotes sharing of a diverse group of panelists' narratives around their own racial socialization. This authentic approach, coupled with an anti-racism framework, results in critical conversations on the path to building a campus community that dismantles institutionalized racism and White supremacy in all of its forms. Dawnielle Simmons, doctoral student in Counseling Psychology, will facilitate the panel and discussion.

  • Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Multicultural Center in the Adrian Trimpe Building, light refreshments provided.

unlikely allies: the case for aligning business and social justice

Can two seemingly opposing efforts together create positive change in communities? Keynote speaker Tim Terrentine, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations at WMU, who holds diverse experiences in leadership, will discuss the ways in which different entities can come together to create stronger communities. This event promises to spark interesting and challenging conversation! 

  • Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Multicultural Center in the Adrian Trimpe Building, light refreshments provided.

Systemic change at WMU

WMU students, staff, and faculty who have advocated for and directly affected systemic change at WMU will discuss their efforts, including successes and barriers, at this interactive presentation.

  • Friday, March 16, 2018 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Multicultural Center in the Adrian Trimpe Building, light refreshments provided.

Environmental justice

The environmental justice movement addresses systemic issues such as the history of environmental racism that puts historically marginalized and low-income communities at an elevated risk of experiencing environmental hazards. Through discrimination and socioeconomic neglect, the communities are far more likely to experience air, noise, and water pollution; food insecurity; proximity to toxic waste facilities; and a myriad of mental and physical health impacts that result from exposure to these hazards. With awareness around environmentalism and sustainability rising, how can individuals, and Kalamazoo residents specifically, approach environmental issues with equity and inclusion in mind? Laura Donders of the WMU Office for Sustainability, along with local community members and leaders, will engage participants in a discussion of this crucial topic.

  • Wednesday, April 11, 2018 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Multicultural Center in the Adrian Trimpe Building, light refreshments provided.