Respecting Differences 2014

Dear Colleagues:

As stakeholders of Western Michigan University, we carry a collective responsibility for creating an environment in which every person can be respected, appreciated and have an opportunity to succeed. To support that commitment, we are co-sponsoring the annual diversity event “Respecting Differences 2014: Complicated Courtesies,” with the City of Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, City of Portage, Community Mental Health Substance Abuse Services and Kalamazoo College. We strongly encourage you to attend and ask that you in turn encourage your employees to attend as schedules allow.

Kimberly Dark, a sociologist and performance artist who uses entertainment to illuminate potentially contentious cultural themes, will perform “Complicated Courtesies” for this year’s event. Dark is the author of five award-winning performance scripts and numerous educational programs regarding the body in culture: how appearances and identities influence people's experiences in the world relative to gender, race, body type and size, beauty, ability and similar factors. A writer, storyteller and speaker, Dark lectures in the sociological practice graduate program at California State University San Marcos. She also blogs regularly for the Huffington Post and Ms. magazine, in addition to contributing essays, stories and articles to a wide range of books and publications.

The schedule has been set to accommodate work schedules and to ensure that WMU services are not interrupted. You should plan for your staff members to be gone for approximately two hours. This will accommodate the 60-minute presentation, the question-and-answer period and travel time. Please make every effort to attend one of the two presentations at Chenery Auditorium, 714 South Westnedge Ave.

  • Tuesday, March 25, at 1:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 26, at 9 a.m.

Admission is free; however, tickets will be required. Every WMU faculty and staff member should have received a postcard-size ticket through campus mail the week of March 10. Free parking is available on surrounding streets and in the parking lot behind Chenery Auditorium; carpooling is recommended.

Thank you for your assistance in supporting this very important presentation. If you have any questions, please call Dr. Cathryn Bailey, College of Arts and Sciences, at (269) 387-4355 or Felicia Crawford, Human Resources, at (269) 387-3635, or visit the Respecting Differences website.

Best wishes,

John M. Dunn, President

Diane Anderson, Vice President for Student Affairs
Kathy Beauregard, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics
Tim Greene, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Carol Hustoles, Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel
Dan Litynski, Vice President for Research
Greg Rosine, Vice President for Government Affairs and University Relations
Jim Thomas, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations
Jan Van Der Kley, Vice President for Business and Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Martha Warfield, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion