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Diversity Lecture Series

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By Karlie Hershberger

The Diversity Lecture series will return this October for its 23rd year.

Held at the Fountain Street Church, the lecture series was designed to spread awareness on different multicultural issues and analyze real life situations to promote a better understanding.

Featured speakers for this year’s  lecture series include:

John Cacioppo, author, director and professor best known for his work “Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection” on the topic of “Loneliness and Brain Health” on Oct 25.  

Julissa Arce, writer and advocate for immigration rights and education. On the topic of  “The American DREAMer: From Undocumented to Wall Street and Immigration Advocacy” on Nov. 15.

Dawn Porter, Attorney, criminal justice system reformer and producer/director of the film “Gideon’s Army” on the topic of  “Defending America in the Age of Mass Incarceration” on Feb 21.

Last but not least the fourth and final speaker isNegin Farsad, social justice comedian, and director of “The Muslims are Coming!” on the topic of “Fighting Islamophobia, Bigotry, and What Have You with Comedy” on March 18.

“The whole idea is to serve our community and promote discussion between diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Domingo Hernandez-Gomez, Director of the Lecture series. “It is an educational opportunity for the community to promote topics relating to poverty, immigration, and social injustice.”

Another importance of this event is that it aims to broaden the basis of critical thought.  “We try to be as diverse as we can with our speakers,” Hernandez-Gomez said. “John Cacioppo, Professor and the director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience shares the importance of loneliness and what that means for our mental health.”

GRCC faculty members come together and select speakers they think will be the best fit for the job. “There is a committee here at GRCC with 12-15 members who suggest speakers and topics based on current events” Hernandez-Gomez said.

The program is funded by sponsors and is free and open to the community.

“The DLS gives people a better understanding of different worldviews and offers different perspectives on situations not everyone is familiar with,” said Alex Moore, assistant VP of finance .

“This is an important event that has been going on for a number of years, we bring in various amounts of speakers who are experts in their areas of fields,” Moore said.

All lectures begin at 7 pm. For more information on the Diversity Lecture series, visit grcc.edu/lecture or call (616)234-3309.