The College of Arts and Letters will be involved in several events throughout this year’s Public Affairs Conference, April 5-8.
Communication professor chairing conference
This year’s theme is “Building Healthy Communities: Body, Mind and Spirit. The 2016 provost fellow and conference chair is Dr. Elizabeth Dudash-Buskirk, an associate professor in the communication department.
The following are events sponsored by COAL or its departments:
The f Word: Stories of Forgiveness exhibit
7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Meyer Library, rm 107
COAL is sponsoring this banner exhibition, which tells the stories of people whose lives have been shattered by violence, tragedy and injustice, as they learn to forgive, reconcile and move on. The exhibition is the brainchild of British journalist Marina Cantacuzino and photographer Brian Moody who have collected numerous accounts from across the globe, including stories from Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Marianne Pearl.
Restorative justice in the 21st century: An international social movement loaded with opportunities and pitfalls
This plenary presentation, sponsored by COAL, will provide an overview of restorative justice as a social movement, its achievements, opportunities present and a small but growing number of pitfalls involving unintended negative consequences.
From its humble beginnings in the mid-1970s, restorative justice has developed into a worldwide social movement with policies and programs developing in numerous countries and in in nearly every U.S. state, from small pilot projects to major system-wide initiatives.
Presenter: Mark Umbreit, director of Center for Restorative Justice, University of Minnesota
Information, technology and the class gap: How does information sharing affect community health?
7:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.
The department of communication will sponsor this plenary session that will explore the marginalization of those who are technologically disadvantaged and consider the impact this new class system might have on healthy community building.
A technology gap has been created by a class gap, but the class gap looks different than it used to: Instead of simple economic differences, we now see accessibility differences, technology differences and educational differences that define the “haves” and “have-nots.” Have technology and access become a friend or the enemy to communities?
Presenter: Zack Exley, senior advisor to the Bernie Sanders campaign
Decline of emotional resilience among college students: Causes and potential solutions
7:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
In this plenary presentation, co-sponsored by COAL and the Student Activities Council, Peter Gray will examine how the overemphasis on academic performance and the loss of free play in childhood and adolescence may contribute to the anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts that plague college students today.
Gray contends that it is in play and adventure, away from adults, that young people practice the emotional, social and practical skills required to become effective adults.
Presenter: Peter Gray, research professor of psychology at Boston College
Show-Me Chefs Show Us How
1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
The department of media, journalism and film and COAL will team up with community sponsors for this event. Campus nutritionists will join MSU’s new executive chef Quintin Eason to speak with students about eating on campus and campus options in conjunction with the MJF department’s hit reality television cook-off series, Show-Me Chefs. The show’s producers will also host cooking demonstrations, provide recipes and offer a local food perspective on how to eat well on a college student’s budget.
Visit the website for a complete schedule
Students interested in arts and letters will find many events at this year’s conference appealing. From discussions on how healthy communities are impacted by social media or the arts, to the importance of civil discourse in a democracy and the role of language in our emotional well-being.
For a complete conference schedule, visit the Public Affairs Conference website.