WMU News

Expert to examine ethical interventions and communication

April 7, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- A look at how ethical interventions can affect intercultural communication will be the focus of a presentation by a Western Michigan University expert on race and communication on Thursday April 13.

Dr. W.F. Santiago-Valles, director of WMU's Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnic Relations, will address "The Ethics of Intervention in Processes of Intercultural Communication" at 7 p.m. in Room 210 of the Bernhard Center. Sponsored by the WMU Center for the Study of Ethics in Society, his presentation is free and open to the public.

Santiago-Valles, who also is a WMU assistant professor of communication and black Americana studies, will examine interventions such as those that occur when a group of people make a conscious, collective action consistent with their interests. Sometimes these collective actions may be moral, but not necessarily ethical, he says. One example of an ethical intervention, he notes, is when a group decides not to purchase clothing manufactured by companies that use sweatshop labor in other countries.

"An ethical intervention is the action that a group takes after members have discussed what they want to do collectively to improve the situation in the best interest of the majority," he says. "Instead of determining what's best in terms of their own selfish interests, they make a decision by putting it in context of what is best for the population of the world."

For more information, contact the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society at (616) 387-4397 or Dr. Insoo Hyun, assistant professor of philosophy, at (616) 387-3113.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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