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Honoring Diversity Series: Spring 2023

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As part of our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, the Honors College is launching a new seminar series this spring. The Honoring Diversity Series will feature engaging diversity and inclusion topics presented by WVU faculty and staff experts. Seminars will be held on Tuesday evenings via Zoom. A schedule of events - including Zoom registration links - can be found below.


Overlooked Forms of Racism at Predominantly White Institutions
Rachael Purtell, doctoral candidate in communications studies6 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 17 
Discussion topics include historical overview, ways gender can influence racism and strategies to move forward.

Evil and the Bible: Can the Devil Really Make You Do It? 
Aaron Gale, associate professor of religious studies 6 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 24 

In this presentation, Gale will explore the evolution of Evil and the Devil in both the Old and New Testaments. How did Evil makes its way into the Bible in the first place? Where did the biblical Devil come from? How does the Old Testament depiction of Evil and the Devil differ from what we see in the New Testament? He'll also discuss the evolution of Evil and the Devil in both the Old and New Testaments.

Place and Power: Examining the Notion of Privilege in Appalachia  
Sarah Powell, adjunct professor with the College of Applied Human Sciences 6 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 31 

Powell will explore the historical context of racial and economic exploitation in Appalachia, the impact of  place on intersectional identify and reflect on privilege and how it's connected to place. 


Ableism Disrupted 
Lesley Cottrell, director of WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities 6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 7 

In this presentation, Cottrell will define ability and ableism, review and discuss examples of ableism from our daily lives, explore different perspectives of disability and bias and identify and discuss ways to interrupt ableism with resources, support and advocacy.


Assistive Technology: Helping People Overcome Barriers  
Doug Crumpston, program manager for WV Assistive Technology System 6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 14 

Topics to be discussed include assistive technology around us, finding the correct technology, universal design for all and ways to get assistive technology.

Anti-Asian Racism in White Normative Spaces  
Matt Shin  doctoral candidate in communications studies 6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 21 

Shin will discuss the history of racial classification, provide historical context of Asian discrimination and suggest strategies to move forward. 

Navigating Religious & LGBTQ+ Social Identities  
Alyssa Beall, teaching assistant professor of religious studies Samantha Leggett-Bradley  doctoral student in communications studies 6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 28 

Topics to be discussed include sacred texts supporting and combating LGBTQ+ identities, addressing questions of religious authority and strategies to be an LGBTQ+ individual or ally and a religious person.

Affirming Spaces and Inclusive Practices  
Natalie Shaffer, adjunct professor of music 6 p.m., Tuesday, March 7 

Shifting Perspectives on Disabilities: Strategies to Move Forward  
Andrea Taliaferro  , associate professor of  physical education and kinesiology 6 p.m., Tuesday, March 21 


Marginalization and the Ethics of Disbelief  
Sharon Ryan, professor of philosophy 6 p.m., Tuesday, March 28 

Marginalized people are wronged through acts of violence and discrimination. Frequently, we find ugly and irrational attitudes in the minds of wrongdoers and their cultural accomplices. When attempting to articulate their experiences in the dominant culture, marginalized victims frequently face skepticism and disbelief. Is this skepticism and disbelief, by its nature, wrong? Or is moral wronging just a matter of our actions toward others. If beliefs do wrong others, what are our responsibilities toward shaping beliefs? 

Histories of Pride & LGBTQ+ Publics in West Virginia  
Jacob Kopcienski , WVU alum and doctoral student at Ohio State University

6 p.m., Tuesday, April 4 

In this presentation, Kopcienski will discuss the history of LGBTQ and feminist movements, provide a timeline of key events in West Virginia, discuss LGBTQ music and performance and share research resources for LGBTQ history.

LBGTQ+ Youth Suicide Prevention and Intervention 
Bridget Bailey, assistant professor of social work 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 11 

Bailey will discuss suicide risk in LBGTQ+ youth, prevention and intervention of suicide in LBGTQ+ youth and treatment using dialectical behavior therapy with LBGTQ+ youth.

Microaggressions are not so Micro 
Marla Gladstone, doctoral student in coaching and teaching studies Rachael Purtell, doctoral candidate in communications studies 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 18