UNITED 2017 Schedule

UNITED 2017 (Uniting Neighbors In the Experience of Diversity)

September 25-26 

All events are held in the Great Lakes Rooms in the University Center, unless otherwise noted.

Schedule At-A-Glance













Monday     September 25

10-11               Dr. Fritz Erickson, President, Opening Remarks

                        Dr. Jessica Cruz, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Diversity Updates

11-12               Dr. Carter Wilson, Head and Professor, Political Science

American Intellectual Identity and the Crisis of Identity Politics

Description:  Learn of four US intellectual traditions presented during the American Revolution and how they relate to the current crisis in identity politics:  politics involving issues of race, gender, sexual orientation and religion. Once the root causes are understood, it is easier to identify solutions to today’s political identity crisis.

12-1                 Lunch in Charcoal Room

1-2                   Dr. Joe Grimm

                        Breaking Down Biases One Question at a Time

Description:  Naturally, we all have questions about each other. Unfortunately, we don't always ask them. Nervous about hurting people or embarrassing ourselves, we don't always ask them and stick with our stereotypes. By asking questions about Black hair, Jewish stereotypes, myths about veterans, East Asian cultures, American expressions, Islamic prayers and more, the Bias Busters series has helped us learn how to ask them. Let's talk.

2-3                   Ms. Robin Jones

                        Applying concepts of Universal Design to Ensure Accessibility

Description:  Explore the history and principles of Universal Design and how the adoption of such principles can enhance the physical and learning environment for everyone, thus reducing the need for individual accommodations and providing a blueprint for maximum inclusion of all peoples.

3-4                   Dr. Tim Compton, Head and Professor

                        Languages, Literatures and International Studies

                        The Extraordinary Theater of Mexico’s Deaf Theater Company Sena y verbo

Description:  Sena y verbo, a professional deaf theater company, has been creating remarkable performances by drawing on the extraordinary expressiveness of their deaf actors.  Both hearing and non-hearing actors perform using Spanish and Mexican sign language.  Experience the richness of this group through video clips of some plays, including Romeo and Juliet.

4-5                   Ms. Evee Sampson,   Assistant Athletic Director-Compliance

Ms. Jodi Payne, Resident Adviser majoring in Communications with a minor in dance.

Perspectives on culture: How prejudice, discrimination, and education has impacted two different stories

Description:  Evee will share her story of immigrating from Liberia and the challenges she faced while navigating the US educational system.  Conversely, Jodi will share her experience of discrimination and racism of being the only Caucasian student in her class in South Africa. 

5-7                   Dr. Anna Zimmer    ERIE ROOM

                        Poetry without Borders:  Celebrating the Linguistic Diversity at NMU

Description: Share diversity of language through poetry written in languages other than English.  English translations will be shared on the screen. 

7:30                 Mr. Chris Mosier, sponsored by Platform Personalities

                        Creating Social Change

Description:  Athlete, coach and educator.  Chris is the first openly Trans man to make a US National Team.  He is a four-time member of TEAM USA and 2016 All-American.


Tuesday    September 26

10-11               Dr. Lynn Domina, Dr. Lesley Larkin, Sophie Xu, and Elizabeth Michaels

Literary and Cultural Exchange with Shandong University in Weihai, China

Description:  This distinguished panel will discuss their various experiences teaching in China.

11-12               Olmeca

                        Latinx Identity and Power

Description: Olmeca will focus on identity politics surrounding labels like Hispanic, Latino American, etc.  He will address three main spaces of power, including political, cultural and economic.  This session is designed to enhance awareness through self-analysis and experiential learning. 


12-1                 Lunch in the Charcoal Room

1-2                   Dr. Stacy Alaimo

                        Biodiversity in the Depths:  Science, Aesthetics, and the Creatures of the Abyss

Description:  Why should deep-sea life—so remote from us and so different from us—matter to us as humans?  Explore paintings and photographs of the strange and beautiful species that have been discovered and investigate the intersection of science, aesthetics and popular cultures.

2-3                   Dr. Malea Powell

                        Making American Indian Rhetorics

Description:  This presentation focuses on three Indiana based Indigenous women artists/teachers who blend their missed tribal traditions and formal arts education from which they make, teach and carry on their traditions.  Their stories show how Indigenous people are the oldest multimedia teachers in the Americas.

3-4                   Lama Tsultrim Gyaltsen


Description:  We see ourselves as individuals, which is not consistent with reality.  Learn how this thinking is flawed and how realignment with the interconnectedness and interdependence with everything can bring real happiness into our lives.

4-5                   Chinese Scholars Panel Featuring Dr. Yan Ciupak, Zhi Qiao, and Hui Zhao

                        Chinese Traditional Music and Opera

Description:  This is a brief introduction to traditional music and opera in contemporary china.  The audience will have the opportunity to enjoy a short Er Hu performance by a music teacher and performer from China.

5-7                   CANCELLED  Zamposium

7:30                 Dr. Alison Grillo

                        Woman Trapped Inside a Woman’s Body

Description:  Alison’s off-beat humor and “trans-cendent” comedy routine highlights photos from her past and current life as she shares personal stories and makes surprising confessions, as if she were in her therapist’s office!  Prepare to both laugh and think.

Diversity in Professional Development—Erie Room

Tuesday only. Designed for Faculty and staff, this presentation will be offered two times, for your convenience.

10:30 – 12:00  Dr. Kellie Raffaelli, Director, Diversity and Inclusion, Michigan Tech

1:00- 2:30        Dr. Kellie Raffaelli, Director, Diversity and Inclusion, Michigan Tech

                        Creating an Inclusive campus for LGBTQA+ students

Description:  Safe Place is about fostering an environment of inclusion for LGBTQA+ individuals on campus and in the community through education on issues related to gender and sexuality.  Learn how to intervene when you witness discrimination.

Diversity in Film---Superior Room


1:00     Carol

Facilitated by Dr. Chet DeFonso

Description:  Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett and Academy Award nominee Rooney Mara star as two women in the 1950’s from different backgrounds who find themselves in a life-changing love affair. 


10:00   Baraka

            Facilitated by Dan Truckey

Description:   This documentary explores the sights and sounds of the human condition like nothing you have ever seen or felt before.  These are wonders of a world without words, viewed through man and nature’s own prisms of symmetry, savagery, chaos, and harmony.

1:00     The Look of Silence

            Facilitated by Dr. Maria Arenillas

Description:  This documentary is a follow-up to Joshua Oppenheimer’s Oscar nominated film The Act of Killing (2013) which dealt with the government slaughter of more than a half million people in the mid 1960’s as a part of an anticommunist purge. This story of Indonesian genocide is provides another perspective.