Discussions on diversity: NAU’s Summer Seminar Series opens conversation on inclusion

The Summer Seminar Series, hosted by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS), will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. every Thursday from June 10 to July 15. Lectures will be presented over Zoom and offer a Q&A session with speakers after each presentation.

The theme for this year’s series is “An Open Door: Diversity in 2021,” which explores diversity and inclusion through multiple lenses and reflects SBS’s commitment to diversity, community, exploring issues of justice and power and fostering active engagement and advocacy. The series provides an opportunity for faculty, staff, students and community members to deepen their awareness, knowledge and appreciation of diversity and inclusion.

“Over the past year, we were sheltered,” said Chrissina Burke, senior lecturer of anthropology. “In a space of reflection concerning the world around us, we could not shield ourselves from the reality of what happens when we forget our humanity. This series highlights how time to process has the power to heal. We are excited to bring in topics that will challenge and remind people of our shared lives—that we are all very much the same humans.”

Presenters will discuss key related issues that include empowering Indigenous communities, employing humor to make scientific communication relatable, exploring the sex binary, revoicing disability, fostering belonging and health among Asian Americans and celebrating the connection between social-environmental justice and self-love. Speakers were assembled based on their research, scholarship, leadership and advocacy.

“‘An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity,’” said Janice Sweeter, associate professor of practice in the School of Communication. “This powerful idea from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. rings in my ears as Chrissina and I watch this awe-inspiring array of thought-leaders bring their insight and unique perspective to NAU. We are eager for the door to open to let in the light, and for this important conversation to begin.”

See below for the schedule of events.

June 10, Multidimensional Representation of Underserved Indigenous People

  • Jiun-yi Tsai, assistant professor in the School of Communication, NAU

June 17, The Science of Using Humor in Science Communication

  • Sara Yeo, School of Communication, University of Utah

June 24, Bending the Sex Binary: The Lived Experiences of Intersex People

  • Georgiann Davis, Department of Sociology, University of Nevada at Las Vegas

July 1, Revoicing Disability: Vignettes as Approaches to Reflexivity (How to Bend Back on Ourselves)

  • Institute of Human Development Panel, NAU

July 8, Anti-Asian Racism, Belonging and Mental Health Among Asian Americans

  • Aggie Yellow Horse, School of Social Transformation, Arizona State University

July 15, The Embodiment of the Self: Race, Class, Gender, and the Cultural Construction of Nature

  • Phoebe Godfrey, Department of Sociology, University of Connecticut

For additional information about the series and detailed descriptions of each lecture, visit the Summer Seminar Series webpage. Follow the series’ updates on Facebook or request to join the email list by emailing sbs.news@nau.edu. To support the series, make a donation here.