WMU News

Forum examines how globalization affects Southwest Michigan

March 20, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- A Western Michigan University geography professor will direct a discussion on how globalization and immigration influence life in Southwest Michigan during a community talk set for Tuesday, March 25.

The event is part of the series, "Learning OutLoud: A Guided Exploration of Contemporary Issues," which provides a chance for the public to interact in a question-and-answer format with local experts on controversial issues.

The talk, "Trading Places," will feature Dr. James Biles, WMU assistant professor of geography. The free session will begin at 7 p.m. in the Portage Senior Center at the Portage District Library, 300 Library Lane, Portage, Mich.

"Globalization influences our lives in very concrete ways, from what we eat to where we work and shop," says Biles. "Based on the 2000 census, we will look at the trends and changes to the Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and Grand Rapids areas."

Before coming to the University, Biles worked for Lutheran Children and Family Services, coordinating employment and micro-enterprise programs for refugees and immigrants in Philadelphia.

Learning OutLoud sessions are formatted with a series of questions posed by Dr. Nicholas Andreadis, WMU associate professor of counselor education and counseling psychology, who is the coordinator of the series. Discussion is then opened up to the audience. A list of relevant books is provided at the end of the session for those wanting additional information.

For more information, contact the Portage District Library at (269) 329-4542, ext. 600, or visit the Web at <www.portagelibrary.info>. Andreadis can be reached at (269) 387-3504.

Media contact: Matt Gerard, 269 387-8400, matthew.gerard@wmich.edu

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