GRCC hosts Race, Ethnicity & Identity Conference in March



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications


March 5, 2014 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Grand Rapids Community College’s Race, Ethnicity & Identity Conference will take participants around the world and back in time, touching on the issues of disabilities, the South Sudanese beauty trade and the legacy of Idi Amin.

The conference, scheduled for March 10 through 20, is sponsored by GRCC, its social sciences department and the International Geographical Honor Society. All the events are free and open to the public. Except for the keynote speech, all the presentations will be held in room 108 of GRCC’s Sneden Hall, 425 E. Fulton.

The keynote speech will also be part of GRCC’s Diversity Lecture Series, with NPR host Michele Norris presenting “Eavesdropping on America’s Conversation on Race” at 7 p.m. March 12 in Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St. NE. Norris will talk about how her research for a book about America’s hidden conversations about race led to a discovery of how much had been hidden from her by her own family.

“The conference offers students and the community a wonderful way to explore with GRCC faculty and experts the impact race, ethnicity and identity have on our society,” said history professor Mike Light. “Topics cover a variety of contemporary and historical issues, often addressing environmental responsibility, social justice and cultural diversity.”

The conference’s other presentations:

· “Courage Ablaze and The Hidden War in Congo,” with Pamela Alderman and Kizombo Kalumbula, featuring a performance by Les Clay, a Congolese Choir — 6:30-8:30 p.m. March 10.

· “Invisible Disability Identity,” with professor Cedric Williams — 9:30-11 a.m. March 17.

· “Nationalism and Diverse Identities in South Asia: Intersections of Caste, Class, Skin Color and Religion in the Republic of India,” with Dr. Robert Hendershot — 9:30-11 a.m. March 18

· “The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964,” a documentary and panel discussion led by professor Steve Abid — 3-5:30 p.m. March 18.

· “Styling a Nation: Fear and Desire in the South Sudanese Beauty Trade,” with with Dr. Caroline Faria — 6:30-8 p.m. March 18.

· “Recalling the Legacy of Amin: Ethnicity, Gender, and Religion in the Shaping of Memory in Uganda,” with Dr. Alicia Decker — 6:30-8 p.m. March 19.

· “Accountability Citizenship: Toward Effective Information-age Governance,” with Steve Tryon — 6-8:30 p.m. March 20.

GRCC encourages the entire community to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate a need for an accommodation, or have questions about accessibility, please call the social science department at (616) 234-4283 in advance of your visit or program participation.

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for more than 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.