The University of Mary Washington will begin a new series of forums on Thursday, Sept. 10 exploring social issues that have been subjects of campus and nationwide debate among college-aged students and adults.
Issues covered in the year-long series“One Campus, One Community” include diversity, feminism, cultural intolerance and what it means to be civil during online discussions. The forums, which are free and open to the public, will take place in Lee Hall, Room 411 at 6:30 p.m.:
- Thursday, Sept. 10, Anonymous Speech in the Age of Social Media
- Thursday, Oct. 15, Is American Culture Feminist Friendly?
- Wednesday, Nov. 11, Cultural and Racial Intolerance
The series was a collaboration of UMW students, staff, faculty and members of the community, some of whom will present during the forums. Additional presenters include Erika Carlsen, co-founder and CEO of Arriba Latinas, the first mentoring program created for Latina youth in Utah; and Larry Jay Tish, assistant director of Dialogues on Diversity, an organization that creates discussion about diversity and social justice through theatrical performances.
In addition to the forums, UMW will host screenings of the documentary “The Hunting Ground,” which describes the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses and steps that viewers and the community can take to help. The screenings will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 15 at UMW’s ITCC Digital Forum, at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 16 at Germanna Community College’s Sealy Auditorium and at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19 at Paragon Village 12 Theatre. The showing of the film is made possible with help from the Fredericksburg community and UMW’s Women’s and Gender Studies program.
The series is meant to encourage discussion about culturally significant issues in a civil and nonthreatening environment, according to Leah Cox, special assistant to the President for Diversity and Inclusion.
“These are topics important to students, but also to staff, faculty and administrators,” said Cox. “The open dialogue along with the chosen presenters will allow for open discussion, and the opportunity for everyone to learn and become engaged in a meaningful way.”
Cox hopes the forums will interest students and community members who are both passionate about social issues and want to learn more about others’ experiences.
“I hope that the UMW community has the opportunity to learn from each other,” said Cox. “That we will understand more about how our ability to understand these topics in a deeper and more empathetic way will help all of us to become more civil, kinder and connected as a university community.”
For more information about the series, contact Leah Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 540/654-2119.