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Academic year program
Book: “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion”
By Jonathan Haidt
Join faculty, staff and students over the 2020-21 academic year to read and discuss this 2012 social psychology book that describes human morality as it relates to politics and religion. Three reading modules covering a third of the book will be accessible in WMU ELearning (module 1 and 2 ready now); register for chats related to each module via the link below. Students seeking credit need to participate in a chat, or complete the essay option via eEearning (We Talk Campus Read self-registration). Read more at WMU News.
Contact: Jennifer Townsend
Register for Chats
Recent past events
The Realities of Free Speech
4 to 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 24
Join us for this interactive virtual presentation about free speech rights and responsibilities on campus presented by Jessica Swartz, WMU deputy general counsel. This will be a basic, “First Amendment 101” discussion. We will cover the different types of speech, how the government (i.e., the University) is allowed to regulate that speech, and how to exercise that speech on campus. We will also discuss the types of speech that are not protected and why. Participants will come out of the presentation understanding why we must protect the free speech rights of everyone—even if every fiber in our being disagrees with what they are saying. Program link goes live 15 minutes prior to the program.
Making the Case for Public Health: From Flint to COVID-19
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 30
Learn how Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha combined data, passion, personal experiences and effective partnerships to advocate for real change during the Flint water crisis that she chronicled in her book: What the Eyes Don't See. This interactive, virtual presentation is part of the Michigan Humanities' 2019-20 Great Michigan Read and sponsored by these GMR regional partners: WMU Offices of Government Relations and Community Partnerships, Portage District Library, the Merze Tate Explorers and Half A Century Book Group. The Great Michigan Read is supported by national, statewide, and local partners, including the National Endowment for the Humanities and The Meijer Foundation. Contact: Margaret von Steinen. This program is not available as a recording per the author's contract.
Social Justice at WMU: Past, Present and Future
4:30 to 6 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 1
In collaboration with the Western Student Association and other WMU registered student organizations, this student-led panel will explore advocacy through WMU’s history, particularly the 1968 student sit in at the Bernhard Center related to racial inequity and unrest and the 1990 student sit in at the Seibert Administration Building related to the suspension of the Africana Studies program. How have student groups and WSA worked together to affect institutional change? Find out in this virtual panel discussion between past and current Broncos. Contact: Emma Baratta, WSA VP Political Affairs and Dalia Sanchez, WSA VP Diversity and Inclusion. Program link goes live 15 minutes prior to the program.
Women of Color and Political Influence
7 to 8 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 8
Commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment—with which some women gained the right to vote—and learn about the key role of women of color in civic engagement, historically and currently in this panel presentation. A keynote address by Dr. Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins, author of the book, The Untold Story of Women of Color in the League of Women Voters, will open the panel. Hosted by WMU We Vote and the League of Women Voters of the Kalamazoo Area. Contact: Dr. Denise Keele. This program was not recorded per the author's contract.
Lean In to Difficult Conversations
4 to 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 14
Take part in the final program of the fall We Talk series with an interactive experience exploring civil discourse in today’s volatile political climate. Hosted by WMU staff—and featuring a WMU faculty panel, this final event of the fall series will include interactive breakout rooms where you can learn and practice tips to engage in open conversations about difficult topics. The program begins with a TED Talk by Zachary Wood, former president of Uncomfortable Learning at Williams College and a free speech advocate, who probes "Why it’s worth listening to people you disagree with.”