UNITED Conference Begins Sept. 19

Wednesday 9, 2015

MARQUETTE, Mich.— Northern Michigan University will hold its annual Uniting Neighbors in the Experience of Diversity (UNITED) Conference Sept. 19-29. UNITED is composed of a broad range of presentations, musical performances and film. This year’s featured speakers will address such topics as the experience of being a transgender competitive triathlete, African-American identity before the Civil War and its impact on today’s discussion of race, desegregation in baseball, Asian Americans and Arab Americans in Michigan, disability studies in higher education and research on Mongolia’s minority Kazakh population.

UNITED is designed to “inform the NMU and greater Marquette area of different perspectives and points of view, with the ultimate goal of helping people think differently about diversity and inclusion.”

A complete schedule is available at www.nmu.edu/united. All events are free, with the exception of a presentation and book signing by award-winning author Alexandra Fuller and the Northern Nights concert by A Moving Sound. Featured performers and speakers follow. All of these events will be held in the Great Lakes Rooms of the University Center, unless otherwise indicated:

Saturday, Sept. 19: 

Ginny Hawker and Tracy Schwarz will conduct a “Master Artist Workshop: Southern Appalachian Harmony” from 1-3 p.m. in the Pioneer A and B rooms of the University Center.

Sunday, Sept. 20: 

Ginny Hawker and Tracy Schwarz perform sweet harmonies of American traditional music, with local folk band All Strings Considered opening the concert, 7:30 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 21:

-Sook Wilkinson, NMU Board of Trustees vice chair and psychologist, will discuss stories featured in a book she co-edited, “Asian Americans in Michigan: Voices from the Midwest,” 10 a.m.

-Harry Bradshaw Matthews of Hartwick College will address the development of the African American identity during the pre-Civil War years and its impact on today’s discussion of race and diversity, 1 p.m.

-Chris Mosier, NMU alumnus, founder of transathlete.com and the first trans man inducted into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame, will discuss his experiences as a Men’s Team USA triathlete at 2 p.m.

-David Williams, NMU alumnus and Vanderbilt University vice chancellor for Athletics and University Affairs, will share what he’s learned about conflict resolution since his NMU student protest days, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 22:

-Holly Barcus, geography professor at Macalester College, will discuss her research regarding Mongolia’s minority Kazakh populations as a study of how home and place may be intimately linked to our sense of identity and belonging, but are only casually considered. 11 a.m.

-Cathy Bao Bean, educator, author and speaker will present “Living and Laughing by the Chopsticks-Fork Principle,” using humor to examine issues of diversity in American society, 1 p.m..

-Retired sociology professor Terry Rodenberg will talk about how sports, the desegregation of baseball and the Negro Leagues changed society, as well as what is happening to African American baseball players today, 2 p.m.

- Alexandra Fuller, award-winning author of Don't Let Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood and Leaving Before the Rain Comes, will present “Living a Wordy Life: The Art of Saying Everything” and participate in a book signing. Reared and educated in Zimbabwe until she was 18, Fuller became more and more absorbed by that country's bloody struggle for independence. She will speak of her experiences growing up in a war zone and of how she captures her unique childhood through writing, 7:30 p.m. Free for NMU students; $2 for general admission.

Wednesday, Sept. 23:

-Discovering Arab Americans: the history of immigration, cultural characteristics, religion and debunking media stereotypes/misinformation, 10 a.m.

-Karen Ann Hoffman, a member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, will explore the ways in which Iroquois raised beadwork celebrates, carries and continues Iroquois culture, 11 a.m.

-Allison Hobgood of Williamette University will explore the power of disability studies in the humanities, discuss its history and current iterations, and offer some examples of how disability studies helps make our world a more just, inclusive and equitable place, 2 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 25:

Noam Enbar, singer-songwriter who composed music during a Rabbit Island artist’s residency this summer, will perform "Sacred Warp and Woof Song Cycle" at 7 p.m. at the DeVos Art Museum in conjunction with the Rabbit Island residency exhibition reception.

Tuesday, Sept. 29:

-A Moving Sound, an ensemble based in Taipei, Taiwan, whose musical expression fuses Taiwanese, Chinese and Asian musical ideas. Tickets for this Northern Nights series event can be purchased at nmu.edu/tickets or at the door. Cost: Students/under 18, $5 advance/$6 door; NMU faculty and staff/seniors 60+, $15 advance/$17 door; general public, $20 advance/$22 door.

Kristi Evans
News Director

Chris Mosier

Alexandra Fuller

David Williams

Karen Hoffman