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Dialogue + Discussion: Campus Conversation Series Tackles Tough Issues

(April 12, 2016) – We live in a complicated world, which is why Armstrong launched an ongoing Campus Conversation series to create a safe space for students, faculty and staff to address complex issues.

“Big issues trigger big emotions,” said Armstrong President Linda M. Bleicken. “It’s important to talk together, as a campus community, about major issues that affect all of us.”

Presented jointly by the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs, each Campus Conversation has attracted a diverse mix of students, faculty and staff. Lunch is provided, and engagement is encouraged. Attendees at each event are invited to ask questions, either via text or in person, about the topic at hand.

The Campus Conversation series kicked off in December with “Talking About #Mizzou,” an in-depth discussion about questions raised on the University of Missouri campus about race and racism in America. A panel of Armstrong faculty and staff offered timely information and addressed audience questions.

“This is a safe space to say what you want to say,” Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Georj Lewis told the audience at the Ogeechee Theater. “We all need to listen and learn from one another.”

In January, the topic was “Fear: Why are We Afraid?,” which sparked a wide-ranging discussion about everything from terrorism to crime. Exploring the way the fear can be manipulated, either for profit or to boost media ratings, the event examined the underlying cultural and biological roots of fear. 

The campus-wide dialogue continued with a two-part series dedicated to race. In March, Dr. Consuela Ward, an accomplished diversity speaker and educator, led a provocative discussion about race in America, focusing on constructive ways to heal and to move forward as a nation. In late April, James Loewen, the author of Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, expanded the conversation even further, inviting audience participation and constructive dialogue.

“Our Campus Conversations have been meaningful and thought-provoking,” said President Bleicken. “They have created a safe environment for the campus community to engage in a dialogue, ask questions and learn from one another. These campus community forums are inspiring ongoing conversations among smaller groups, an encouraging outcome. We look forward to continuing our Campus Conversation series during the 2016-17 academic year.”

Deiondra Winn

Deiondra Winn
Class of 2016
Early Childhood, Child and Family Studies Track
Hinesville, Georgia