While the stock market is trading near all-time highs, many investors are getting antsy, waiting…
Students, faculty and area community members gathered recently in the Carl Sandburg Auditorium for the inaugural Diversity Dialogue: “The First Amendment, Free Speech and Lawful Assembly.”Vernese Edghill-Walden, NIU senior associate vice president for Academic Diversity and chief diversity officer, said the successful panel discussion effectively launched the series of dialogues designed to give the university community a place to talk openly and honestly on complex and important matters.
The panel included Yale Law School Senior Research Scholar, Frederick M. Lawrence who earlier in the day had the opportunity to conduct a guest lecture and meet with students as well as academic and community leaders.
"I’ve been greatly impressed with the commitment this community has to the challenges of diversity and inclusion … challenges the entire academic community is facing,” Lawrence said. “The question is less of, ‘Are you a campus that has challenges of diversity?’ but of, ‘How are you dealing with them?’ The fact that you are having this discussion is one (for which) you should all be saluted.”
Lawrence was joined by Mark W. Cordes, interim dean of the NIU College of Law; and students Ariel Owens and Timothy Brandner, both members of the NIU Student Association. NIU Law professor Yolanda M. King moderated the panel.
Edghill-Walden said the panel was an effective way to open the conversation about a difficult topic.
“It did provide a space for people to feel comfortable to ask hard questions, and for us to grapple with what those responses are,” Edghill-Walden said. She encouraged everyone in the community to keep the conversation going by answering a short survey and providing feedback online at go.niu.edu/diversity.
Additional Diversity Dialogue events include: DeKalb community discussion hosted by the Human Relations Commission at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 5; and the next Diversity Dialogue, which is April 21. Visit go.niu.edu/diversity for details.