Schedule for Day Two - Thursday, April 8, 2021
8-9:30 a.m. - Beyond the Classroom: The Praxis of Social Justice Activism
Speakers: Angélique Bouthot, Glynis Boyd Hughes, Grace Chitam and Gabrielle (Gabi) Scheff
Moderators: Peter Rojas and Nicole Williams
A conversation among graduate students engaged in anti-racism and other efforts to advance intersectional justice. Participants will discuss their experiences applying theories of social justice and social change on campus and in the community as well as their career aspirations.
10-11:15 a.m. - Civil Rights and Voting Rights: Cornerstones for Democracy and Justice
Speaker: Bakari Sellers
Discussant: Dr. Jeffrey Doggett
Moderators: Emma Duffy-Comparone and Antonio Willis-Berry
A critical analysis of current events in the US political arena and the challenges facing our democracy. Examination of the historical context of the ongoing struggles for civil rights and voting rights amidst systemic injustice and the role of citizens to secure a better future with justice and equality for all.
Sponsored by the Writers House, the Department of Political Science and the Master’s in Public Affairs Program
Noon-1:15 p.m. - Rhythm & Resilience: A Poet’s Journey Through Race and Identity
Speaker: Britta B.
Moderator: Rémy Boyd
How does poetry promote self-kindness and a sense of belonging? In what ways do trauma, race and mental health inform writing and performance? Through a dynamic and celebratory spoken word poetry showcase, Britta B. will share thoughts on the role of artistic expression as a platform for resilient communities and minds.
Sponsored by the Writers House
1-2 p.m. - Transforming Campus Culture: Building Community, Support and Solidarity for Staff and Faculty
Moderated by Peter Rojas and Nicole Williams
Participants: Glynis Boyd Hughes, Preston Croteau, Dr. Sharon Labao, Dr. Susan Marine, Dr. Simona Sharoni and Oscar Zepeda
A roundtable discussion with representatives of Merrimack’s Affinity Groups for faculty and staff. The groups currently represent staff and faculty who identify as Merrimack Professional of Color (MPOC), LGBTQ+, First Generation, International and disability rights. Also represented is Create Your Impact (CYI), a development and leadership initiative for women employees.
2-3:30 p.m. - Fostering Inclusion with Empathy
Speaker: Sharon Steed
Moderator: Dr. Shannon Butler-Mokoro
The workforce is more diverse than ever, yet the way we interact with each other doesn’t always reflect these ethnic and cultural differences. Navigating a world where we must constantly engage emotions, opinions and ideas that we don’t always understand or agree with doesn’t have to be impossible. In fact it can be greatly beneficial to team productivity, innovation, creativity and overall company success. The result of this breakout will be teams that know how to create, build and maintain a culture of inclusion through everyday empathy actions.
Sponsored by Accessibility Services, Academic Success Center, Master’s of Social Work Program and Master’s of Clinical Mental Health Program, Disability Rights Staff and Faculty Affinity Group
4-5 p.m. - Promoting Cultural Competence and Global Awareness: A Roundtable with International Faculty and Staff
Speakers: Dr. Azam Noori, Dr. Luis Saenz de Viguera Erkiaga, Dr. Elaine Ward, Sonal Desai and Oscar Zepeda
Moderator: Dr. Simona Sharoni
Participants will discuss their experiences and highlight the contributions of international faculty and staff to diversity, equity, and inclusion at Merrimack College. They will explore strategies to promote cultural competence and global awareness with a focus on situating systemic inequalities in the US in a global context. Participants will also share some of the challenges you have faced, concluding with a discussion of what we need to do as a community to ensure that international students, staff, and faculty feel “at home” at Merrimack and everywhere.
5-6:30 p.m. - Exploring Poetics: A Stress-Free Writing Workshop
Facilitator: Britta B.
Moderator: Rémy Boyd
In this session, we’ll cultivate sound and sensory banks to encourage new ways of engaging with our familiar landscapes of self. Come prepared with something to write with and write on (notebook and writing materials) as we’ll test out some writing constraints that exercise our connection to social justice and liberation through language and poetry.
6:30-8 p.m. - St. Germain Lecture - Culturally Responsive Leadership: How Meals on Wheels of RI is Evolving to Meet the Changing Needs of Seniors Across the Ocean State
Speaker: Meghan Grady
Participants: Brenda Comerford, Maeve Dubiel, Dr. Anne Flaherty and Mary McHugh
Meghan Grady will speak about her leadership at Meals on Wheels Rhode Island during the pandemic and how her organization has been able to adapt and continue to fulfill its mission. She will also discuss their strategies for diversity, equity, and inclusion, and how they plan to adapt to meet changing needs of the aging population in RI.
Sponsored by the Political Science Department and the Master’s of Public Affairs Program