Fall Diversity Dialogues Series announced

NIU will kick off its Diversity Dialogues Series this fall with a documentary screening and discussion with Emmy-director Julie Winokur. The series, which began in 2016, aims to reinforce the university’s commitment to creating a rich learning environment and encouraging people to talk openly about diversity topics. Events are free and open to the public.

The series is organized by the Office of Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and this fall series is co-sponsored by the Asian American Center, DREAM Action NIU, First- and Second-Year Experience and the Presidential Commission on Persons with Disabilities.

Vernese Edghill-Walden, Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Associate Vice President for Academic Diversity, said she hopes that this year, the series continues to engage with previous participants but also reaches further across campus and the community.

“I hope faculty, staff, students and the community members who have come to our dialogue series in the past will continue to come, and that they will engage new faculty, staff, students and community members that may not have been part of them before,” she said.

Edghill-Walden said the goal of the series is to expose audiences to new perspectives that challenge their world view.

“I would like for people to walk away not just being able to listen and hear people and appreciate different perspectives, but actually commit to doing something differently that will help others learn about diversity.”

Julie Winokur

Julie Winokur
September 28, 6 p.m.
Altgeld Auditorium                

Kicking off the series this year is Emmy-nominated director Julie Winokur with a discussion of her documentary, Bring it to the Table. The documentary chronicles her personal journey where she invited people to discuss the roots of their political beliefs. A workshop and discussion with Winokur will follow the screening.

In preparation for Winokur’s visit to NIU, the university is inviting the community to watch a screening of the documentary immediately following the Unity March, which begins at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 19.

Randy Caspersen

Randy Caspersen
October 4, 6 p.m.
Carl Sandburg Auditorium

NIU Department of Communication Assistant Professor Randy Caspersen recently won Best Documentary at the Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival for his documentary, “Go Penguins!” which follows the creation of a Broadway-style show featuring a cast of children and young adults with disabilities. The piece illustrates how the arts can help see others for their abilities rather than their limitations. Following the screening there will be a Q&A featuring Caspersen, representatives from the local Penguin Project chapter and other special guests.

Jennine Capó Crucet

Jennine Capó Crucet
October 17, 6:30 p.m.
Carl Sandburg Auditorium

Jennine Capó Crucet, author of NIU’s current Common Reading Experience selection, Make Your Home among Strangers, will visit NIU to talk about the book. Social Justice, equitable access to education, immigration, activism, diversity, identity, relationships, and familial obligation are themes found throughout this candid fiction story about leaving and finding home. Crucet currently works as an Assistant Professor in English and Ethnic Studies at University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

Ju Hong

Ju Hong
November 14, 5 p.m.
Carl Sandburg Auditorium

Ju Hong, a recent University of California, Berkeley graduate shares his story as one of the millions of undocumented immigrants living in America today. Halmoni, which means grandmother in Korean, is a documentary that follows the 24-yearold immigrant activist and his struggle to understand his own identity and familial responsibility as he travels back to South Korea to reunite with his grandmother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. After 13 years of separation from his family, Hong discovers, in their reunion, that being undocumented is not just a label to define one’s immigration status; it is an integral part of one’s identity.

For more information about the series, go to: go.niu.edu/diversity.

 

 

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