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About the Diversity Lecture Series

The Diversity Lecture Series is intended to give insight and understanding of multicultural issues to the West Michigan Community. The series is designed to introduce an essential component of education in helping audiences consider perspectives other than their own, encouraging civil debate, broadening the basis for critical thought and promoting cultural understanding. The Lecture Series is intended to recognize the trailblazers in the civil rights movements and those who challenge mainstream assumptions. We offer our community an opportunity to enhance mutual understanding and to build mutually beneficial relationships for the improvement or individuals and our campus and sociality as a whole. The series provides a forum for faculty, staff and students to deepen their knowledge and awareness of issues and opportunities for change in our global society.

In general, speakers are chosen to reflect contemporary topics of concern. We invite lecturers who can effectively share their learned perspectives to help deepen our knowledge, understanding and cultural competency skills and support the mission of the College. Speakers are nationally or internationally recognized as experts on their topics.

Suggestions for topics and speakers are sought from a multitude of audiences. The topics generally relate to issues of discrimination, marginalized populations and underrepresented voices. A topic may not be considered if it does not meet the mission of the DLC. Faculty, staff and students on campus regularly submit suggestions to the Diversity Learning Center. All audience members at each and every lecture, through the evaluative process, are asked to submit suggestions for topics or to name specific speakers of interest. Our sponsors have also been supportive in their willingness to provide input on topics. The Center staff consults with the full Diversity Team using Team Meetings and the annual Diversity Team Retreat as platforms for discussion. In addition to these avenues of consultation the Center has the opportunity to consult with various speaker bureaus and agents who are helpful with suggestions for particular speakers who are experts in content. The Diversity Lecture Series Selection Team which is comprised of faculty, staff and community representation makes the final speaker selection.

Diversity Lecture Series Past Speakers