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Spring 2024 Honoring Diversity Seminar Series

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Honoring Diversity Seminar Series, Spring 2024


Digging Through the Biblical World, Part 2: Archaeology, Jesus and the New Testament
Aaron Gale, associate professor of religious studies
6 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 16

Gale will share about the New Testament with a focus on Jesus. He will delve into the answering  questions about Jesus the Jew: how would he have practiced Judaism 2,000 years ago? What did Jesus really say and do? Who were the first Christians? Do the various New Testaments accounts of Christianity’s birth all agree?

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Overlooked Forms of Racism at Predominantly White Institutions

Rachael Purtell, communications studies instructor
6 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 23

Predominantly White Institutions have consistent ways in which racism can show up. Dr. Rachael Purtell is going to provide an historical overview of where this can show up. The topic will specifically point out the intersection of gender and race. Strategies will be provided to help participants learn how to move forward as it pertains to this topic. 

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Applying Liberatory Leadership Theory to Leadership Practices in Academia
Amena Anderson, assistant professor of leadership studies and assistant director of WVU ADVANCE Center
6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 6

In this presentation, Anderson will be sharing her insights into applying Liberatory Leadership Theory within Academia. She will be speaking about the importance of applying theory and the useful ways in which it can influence the direction of leadership. 

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Broadening Accessibility to Higher Education Without Breaking the Bank 
Lesley Cottrell, director of WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities
6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 13

Higher education institutions are currently experiencing moments of budgetary limits and select restrictions that they must consider when reaching their teaching, services, and research missions. Simultaneously, faculty, staff, and existing students are pushing to increase access to opportunities within higher education to a broader group of students. In this presentation, we will discuss what factors are involved with these two potentially competing efforts. We will identify ways to open our doors to more people and meet our missions without “breaking the bank”. A particular focus will be on ways to increase access to students with disabilities.

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Leadership and Power: Using Privilege to Impact Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives (Part 2)

Ken Blemings, dean of the Honors College; Kevin Gooding, service assistant professor in the Honors College; Peter McGahey, teaching assistant professor in athletic coaching education; Matt Martin, professor of communication studies
6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 27

For the concluding leadership and power seminar, Matt Martin will host a panel of change advocates to talk about using privilege when it comes to the topic of diversity and inclusion. These panelists will share perspectives and insights into ways individuals can push for change in the spaces they can reach. 

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How Diversity is for Everyone: Care Ethics, Critical Pedagogy and Belonging
Joseph Jones, assistant professor in the Reed College of Media
6 p.m., Tuesday, March 19

This talk addresses the issue of diversity from a broader lens, arguing diversity is not only for marginalized populations but can instead help all of us become our best possible selves. Using the philosophy of critical pedagogy and the ethics of care, we will discuss how diversity in the world is an ontological fact, an epistemological requirement, and an axiology necessity when building knowledge and educating others. Shifting from an emphasis on “diversity” to “belonging” we will reframe the issue as an ethical endeavor that results in quality exchange and transformation through collaboration.

Note: Participants are invited to bring their syllabi—specifically the learning outcomes related to diversity, equity, and inclusion goals—in order to discuss how DEI learning outcomes might be realized throughout the course.

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Inclusive Language and Micro Aggressions: Recognition and Responsibility
Angela Cartwright , director of diversity initiatives and community engagement for the Division of Equity and Inclusion
6 p.m., Tuesday, March 26

Participants are invited to a discussion on how we can help create an inclusive and appreciative environment for all Mountaineers through using inclusive language and disrupting micro aggressions.

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Histories of Pride and LGBTQ Publics in West Virginia
Jacob Kopcienski, assistant professor of musicology at Appalachian State University
6 p.m., Tuesday, April 2

In this presentation, the history of LGBTQ and feminist movements will be discussed. There will be a timeline of key events provided in terms of West Virginia pride. Then a discussion of LGBTQ music and performance and sharing research resources for learning more on the archives when studying LGBTQ history.

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Navigating the Afterlife: What Happens When We Die?
Aaron Gale, associate professor of religious studies
6 p.m., Tuesday, April 9

Dr. Gale will give an overview of the early beliefs of the afterlife and analyze Egypt’s unusual obsession. There will be an analysis to review Judeo-Christian-Islamic understandings of heaven, hell and immortality. The focus on the talk will be to answer these questions:
Do all religions believe in final judgment? If there is no afterlife then what?

Register to Attend