2013-2014 Critical Conversations

Examining the Academy:  Helping a Centuries-Old Institution Create a New Culture

Friday, September 20, 2013 (Watch the captioned video here)

This discussion shifts our view internally to the academy itself, examining how campus structure and culture affect student, faculty, and staff interaction, satisfaction, and success. Racial, ethnic, and women/gender studies continue to reveal the impact of ideologies, social structures, economics, and politics on the institution. Acknowledging the research university’s hierarchical organization, how can we work across roles, job codes and structures to increase respect and productive interaction to create a community that learns and works together?

Panelists:  Michael Goh, University of Minnesota Associate Professor, Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, College of Education and Human Development; Cherrene Horazuk, Executive Office/Administrative Specialist, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs and President, AFSCME Local 3800;  Lolla Mohammed Nur, Community Engagement Editor, Twin Cities Daily Planet and former student leader in the “Whose University” Campaign; Ferdinand Schlapper, Director/Chief Health Officer, Boynton Health Service.  ModeratorCarol Chomsky, Professor and Associate Dean, University of Minnesota School of Law.

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Flipping the Frame:  (Trans)gressing a Traumatizing Gender Culture

Friday, October 18, 2013 (Watch the captioned video here)

Acknowledging that we are all part of a gender culture that discriminates against some while privileging others, we invite you to participate in a discussion with trans, gender non-conforming, and two-spirit identified panelists who seek to “flip the frame” about gender identity. One aim is to increase knowledge and end social isolation, exploitation, and trauma that gender non-conforming individuals experience. Many Americans face healthcare quality and affordability issues, but medical equity is especially critical for transgender people since most plans have discriminatory exclusions for trans-related care. Legal rights are also crucial as transgender people face higher incidences of exploitation, depression, job fragility, and personal safety issues. Engage in this discussion and leave with greater understanding about community issues and yourself.

Panelists: JP Arcani, Organizer and Facilitator, B.QullecTivE; Gwen Carlson, Tranarchy co-facilitator, University of Minnesota's QSCC liaison to the Trans Commission, and undergraduate student in the GWSS major; Nick Metcalf, Federal Compliance Specialist, Minnesota Department of Human Services; Paridise Valentino, Outreach and Resource Sharing Coordinator, Trans Youth Support Network (TYSN) of Minnesota.  Moderator:  MJ Gilbert, Instructor, University of Minnesota School of Social Work.

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Under the Lens:  Questioning the Culture of Science

Friday, November 15, 2013 (Watch the captioned video here)

Objectivity and neutrality are considered essential to scientific practice, but what gets to count as objective or neutral or even real? What biases still exist in our scientific communities? A 2012 study revealed that female professors were just as biased against women students as their male colleagues when recommending students for mentorships and jobs. Could the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in STEM fields be a consequence of a similar bias? This panel-led conversation explores the concept of “privilege” in the sciences; the roles and rights of those being studied - and for what purposes; as well as ethical questions about research topics.

Panelists: Barry Cordero, Principal Project Engineer, Medtronic and National Vice President, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers; Lee Penn, University of Minnesota Associate Professor, Chemistry; Tamara Marcus, University of Minnesota undergraduate student, College of Biological Sciences; and Jim Rock, Science Educator and Member, Dakota nation.  Moderator: Wren Walker Robbins, Two-Spirit Mohawk woman and Professional Development Project Lead, Science Museum of Minnesota.

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Can’t You See What I’m Saying? Important Issues in the Deaf Community

Friday, January 31, 2014 (Watch the captioned video here)

Sign language interpreting services will be provided.  To request other accommodations, please contact Ralph Blanco at rblanco@umn.edu or 612-625-8680 by January 22.

Join this interactive discussion about the history, culture, and current issues affecting the Deaf community. Topics include: residential versus mainstream education; the impact of movements to end American Sign Language (ASL) use; societal barriers to access, and advocacy efforts to remove them; and health and medical issues, including those surrounding advances in assistive technology.

Panelists: Mike Cashman, historian and former President, Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens (MADC); Johanna Lucht, Leader, University of Minnesota Deaf and Hard of Hearing Student Ambassador Program; Jessalyn Akerman-Frank, Public Policy and Project Director, Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind & Hard of Hearing Minnesotans; and Adan Burke, President, Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens.  Moderator: Dann Trainer, Assistant Education Specialist, University of Minnesota Disability Services.

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Breaking the Man Box:  Reconstructing Masculinity in America

Friday, March 28, 2014 (Watch the video here)

Breaking the Man Box Panelists and Moderator

What does it mean to be a man? Historically, certain images of masculinity have been foundational to American beliefs and values. Challenging these rigid constructs has resulted in major shifts in American society, opening up opportunities for new ideas about gender, identities,and behaviors. How are Women/Gender Studies challenging traditional cultural behaviors? How are ideas about masculinity shifting and helping families raise feminist sons? This conversation engages panelists and participants in an examination of manhood, maleness and masculinity by discussing cultural contexts such as sports, gaming and guns; male power in the market place; ethnic masculinities; paternity and parenting; artistic expression; and sexual expression and identity.

Panelists: Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre, hip hop artist, two-time National Poetry Slam champion, social justice activist, and educator; Gavin Grivna, Residence Director, University of Minnesota Housing and Residential Life; Zenzele Isoke, Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies; Jason Jackson, Assistant Director, University of Minnesota GLBTA Programs Office.  ModeratorOwen Marciano, Co-Chair, University of Minnesota Transgender Commission.

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Who Counts as What? Promise and Tensions of International and Domestic Diversity

Friday, April 18, 2014 (Watch the video here)

Where do creating a "globally engaged campus" and addressing "equity and diversity issues" overlap?  Where do these efforts collide?  Do attempts to internationalize campuses sometimes obscure the need to recruit and retain domestic students of color? This has resulted in inter-group tensions between immigrant communities and native-born people of color, as well as competition for limited public and private resources in higher education. How do "diversity issues" (gender, religion, class, disability, culture, and sexual orientation) play out in a globalized world? How do educational institutions define or “count” international students and faculty as they also seek equity for historically marginalized groups? Help us to explore the challenges – and the opportunities – as we move toward more global, and hopefully, more equitable and just campus communities.

Panelists: Jesus Estrada-Perez, PhD candidate, American Studies & Teaching Assistant, UM Center for Writing; Greta Friedemann-Sanchez, Associate Professor, Hubert Humphrey School of Public Affairs (HHH); Ying W. Iverson, Director, Professional Development, University of Minnesota Extension; Grace Machoki, Counselor, International Student and Scholar Services, University of Minnesota Hubert Humphrey School of Public Affairs.  Moderator: Anitra Cottledge, Director of Communications, Office for Equity and Diversity.

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One Nation or Many Nations in One? Racism, Romanticism and American Indian Issues Today

May 9, 2014 (Watch the video here) - (RESCHEDULED FROM FEB 21, 2014)

Unlike other ethnic minorities in the United States, American Indians are not only defined by their ethnic identity, but also by federal, state, and tribal laws. The University of Minnesota is situated on Dakota land, yet, only one percent of its students are American Indian. How can the campus be more welcoming and what role does the University play in closing the achievement gap? How does the University’s role in advancing agricultural technology affect traditional crops? Panel members will share personal and professional perspectives and engage participants in a dynamic dialogue about the impact of historical and current laws, treaties, and practices on American Indian people.

PanelistsPeggy Flanagan, (Ojibway) Executive Director, Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota; David Isham, (Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe) Robbinsdale Area Schools, Indian Education, Equity Specialist; Iyekiyapiwin Darlene St. Clair, (Bdewakantunwan Dakota) Associate Professor at Saint Cloud State University in American Indian Studies and Director, Multicultural Resource Center; David Wilkins, (Lumbee) Professor, University of Minnesota American Indian Studies.  ModeratorKarl Lorenz, (Lummi) Director, Office for Diversity and Inclusion, University of Minnesota College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Sciences.

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