PNC Brownbag Series Looks at Diversity

Purdue University North Central will present a Brownbag Series in the coming months, with PNC faculty, staff and community members leading programs that center on the topic of “diversity.”

The talks will vary in style and subject, but all will share the intent of presenting topics and issues that can contribute to the development of tolerant, inclusive campus and community cultural practices. Some presenters will feature short film clips or interactive pieces that will stimulate conversation and discussion; others will present ideas for open dialogue and sharing of views and experiences.

The Brownbag Series is coordinated by Bob Mellin, continuing lecturer of English.

The seminars will be presented from noon to 1 p.m., in the PNC Library-Student-Faculty Building, Room 170A, adjacent to the cafeteria. They are free and open to the public. Varying opinions are welcome. Guests are welcome to bring a lunch or purchase food and beverage from the cafeteria.

The series begins Oct. 16 with Laura Odom, PNC assistant director of Office of Institutional Equity and Training will recognize National Disability Employment Awareness Month with a discussion of the key initiatives that PNC has implemented to provide a campus that is accessible to all. Participants will learn facts, applicable policies, procedures, and laws, as well as some etiquette tips by engaging in an interactive activity designed to enhance disability awareness.

Nov. 20 – Dave Hoekstra, a veteran reporter for the “Chicago Sun-Times” and recipient of numerous honors, including a 2013 Studs Terkel Community Award, will discuss his work concerning legendary Negro League baseball star “Double Duty” Radcliffe and the journalist featured in the movie,“42,” Wendell Smith.  Hoekstra won a 1987 Chicago Newspaper Guild Stick-O-Type Award for Column Writing. He also wrote and co-produced the WTTW-Channel 11 special “The Staple Singers and the Civil Rights Movement,” and was nominated for a 2001-02 Chicago Emmy for Outstanding Achievement for Documentary Program—Cultural Significance.

Feb. 12 – Dr. Jerry Holt, PNC English Department chair, will present the program, “Strange Stories from Michigan City,” an exploration of some of this area’s most unusual life stories – the first woman to drive an automobile from one coast to another; a penitentiary inmate who inspired Johnny Cash; a major movie star – and  several more remarkable people.

March 5 – Gail Barker, PNC Disability Services coordinator, will lead an interactive discussion in recognition of Indiana’s Disability Awareness Month  that will include topics such as equal opportunity and equal access, technology and resources to be successful in the classroom and what role the Disability Services’ Office plays on campus. Adults and children with disabilities represent more than 19 percent of Indiana’s population and Disability Awareness Month is intended to increase awareness and promote independence, integration and inclusion of all people with disabilities.

April 9: Maria Blumenfeld will present “Coming to the United States- Overcoming Challenges by Proactive Dreaming.” A PNC graduate and a current Valparaiso University third-year law student will discuss the challenges facing international students and the process of assimilating into a new culture. Blumenfeld, a member of the Valparaiso University Immigration Clinic, serves as lead counsel for asylum cases.  She is also working to create a project to bring awareness to attorneys, judges and the public about a type of immigration relief that will help undocumented children and juveniles who have been neglected, abused or abandoned.

Further information can be obtained by contacting Mellin at 785-5200, ext. 5215. Persons with disabilities needing accommodations should contact ext. 5215.