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West Michigan Lecture Series Tackles Social Issues

For more than 20 years, a simple lecture series with lofty goals has attracted notable authors, philosophers, poets, media personalities and at least one former president to Grand Rapids.

Grand Rapids Community College’s Diversity Lecture Series seeks to provide insight and understanding of multicultural issues to students and the broader West Michigan community. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is a sponsor of the series, which returns this Wednesday.

“The Diversity Lecture Series provides an opportunity for the Grand Rapids community and the GRCC community to come together and to hear from and unpack some of our most polarizing social issues,” said Dr. B. Afeni McNeely Cobham, chief equity and inclusion officer, GRCC. “It’s a great opportunity to learn from each other and build community.”

GRCC president Bill Pink hired McNeely Cobham last year to build on GRCC’s efforts championing equity and inclusion. After a national search, she’s tasked with working with students, faculty, staff and community members to ensure that issues of diversity, equity, access and inclusion are woven into every facet of campus life and academics.

“GRCC is doing some amazing things in terms of the work in the community,” she said.

The lecture series is just one way that GRCC is fostering courageous conversations in a time of polarization in the state and country, McNeely Cobham explained.

If you’re interested in attending, lectures are free and open to the public. They begin at 7 p.m. at Fountain Street Church and ASL interpretation is available. Remaining talks for the 2018-2019 season include:

  • Feb. 13: “Education, Civil Rights and Equality: Cornerstones for Our Future” with Bakari Sellers, CNN political analyst, lawyer and activist
  • March 20: “Feminism Today” with Jessica Valenti, renowned feminist author and journalist

Learn more about the Diversity Lecture Series here.

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Photo credit: lovelyday12

 

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