NMU Hosts UNITED Conference

Tim Wise
Tim Wise

Northern Michigan University will hold its annual Uniting Neighbors in the Experience of Diversity (UNITED) Conference. UNITED is composed of a broad range of presentations and films. This year’s featured speakers and events will address such topics as Jewish communities in the United States, murdered and missing Aboriginal Canadian women, merging African heritage with American culture, shrinking cities in the Midwest and creating unity through food.

A complete schedule with relevant links is available at www.nmu.edu/united. All events below are free and will be held in the Great Lakes Rooms of the University Center, unless otherwise noted:

Wednesday, Sept. 14:

            Tim Wise, one of the most prominent anti-racist writers and educators in the United States, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free for NMU students and $2 for the general public. Wise is the author of seven books, including his highly-acclaimed memoir, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son, as well as Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority, and his latest, Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America. He also has been featured in several documentaries, including White Like Me: Race, Racism and White Privilege in America. Scholar and philosopher Cornel West calls Wise  “A vanilla brother in the tradition of [abolitionist] John Brown.”


Saturday, Sept. 24 - Sunday Oct. 9:

           Olson Library will host the Central Michigan University Clarke Library’s Native Treaties- Shared Rights exhibit.

Sunday, Sept. 25:

           Showing of the documentary “Finding Dawn” at 6 p.m. The 2006 film by Christine Welsh puts a human face on a national tragedy: the murders and disappearances of an estimated 500 Aboriginal women in Canada over the past 30 years. From Vancouver's Skid Row to the Highway of Tears in northern British Columbia, to Saskatoon, this film honors those who have passed and uncovers reasons for hope.

Monday, Sept. 26:

            Welcome from President Fritz Erickson, 9 a.m.

            Jessica Cruz, NMU Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, 9:05 a.m.

            Judy Puncochar, NMU education professor, “Satire as Civil Discourse in Democracies,” 10 a.m.

            Ira Sheskin of the University of Miami’s Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies, “Jewish Communities in the United States,” 11 a.m.

            Lunch, meet the speakers, noon in the Charcoal Room

            Panel session on “The Round House,” the 2016 One Book, One Community selection. Speakers include Lynn Domina, Amy Hamilton and Patricia Killelea, 1 p.m.

            Evee Sampson, resident director at NMU’s Hunt Hall, “Redefining My Roots: How I managed to merge my African heritage with American Culture,” 2 p.m.

            Reception for artist Elizabeth Doxtater at the DeVos Art Museum, 2 p.m.

            Jon Barch, NMU Center for Student Enrichment, “Deconstructing Bias,” 3 p.m.

            Susan Morgan of NMU International Studies, “Why Study Abroad?” panel session, 4 p.m.

            “Love is Strange” movie showing, 5 p.m.

            D.J. Eagle Bear Vanas, leadership and personal development expert and author of ‘The Tiny Warrior: A Path to Personal Discovery and Achievement,” 7 p.m.


Tuesday, Sept. 27:

            Alex Mayer, MTU professor of civil and environmental engineering, “Why in the world do we need diverse perspectives on how humans interact with the water cycle?” at 9 a.m.

            Xiuguo Huang, visiting scholar in English, “Mo Yan and William Faulkner Inside China,” 10 a.m.

           Melanie Harris, religion and ethics professor at Texas Christian University, “Strength in Unity:

           Educating for Human Transformation and Social Change,” 11 a.m.

           Lunch and opportunity to meet speakers, noon in the Charcoal Room

           Erica Goff, NMU grants and contracts director, “LGBTIQ and Microaggressions:101,” 1 p.m.

           Sujata Shetty, geography and planning professor at the University of Toledo, “Looking Back and

           Looking Ahead: Shrinking Cities in the U.S. Midwest,” 3 p.m.

           Selam Teclu of the Coady International Institute at St. Francis Xavier University, “Growing,

           Cooking and Eating: Creating unity with nature through our relationship with food,” 4 p.m.

           NMU international students on “Dating Abroad,” 6 p.m.

           Meet Pakistani photographer Lali Khalid, 7 p.m.


Wednesday, Sept. 28:

           Martin Reinhardt, NMU Native American studies professor, “Anishinaabe Treaty Rights: Food and Education,” Olson Library main floor, 2 p.m.

Prepared By
Student Writer
September 9, 2016