Cross-Curricular Discussion: “Racism in the United States: The Aftermath of Charlottesville”

Posted on 10/27/2017 8:51:53 AM

The Office of Social Equity will host a cross-curricular discussion on “Racism in the United States: The Aftermath of Charlottesville,” on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. This event will be held in room 225 of the Humanities and Social Sciences building, beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Wordmap image for "Racism in the United States: The Aftermath of Charlottesville"

The program begins with welcome and remarks by IUP Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Timothy Moerland in room 225.

The program continues with two small group sessions and ends with a student panel discussion: The Student Perspective of Charlottesville and Free Speech by the Diversity Student Council, Diversity Peer Educators and IUP NAACP in room 225.

Session one programs, offered from 6:30 to 7:20 p.m. are:

  • Abigail Adams, Department of Anthropology, “The Biological Fiction of Race,” room 224. This group will discuss this statement: “Despite surface differences, humans are among the most generically similar of all species and the biological diversity that we do have does not map on-to race. The recognition that systems of racial classification are different from society to society points to the social construction of racial difference. Race represents the way Americans classify people, rather than a genetically determined reality. Before we have a substantive discussion on race, we must be aware that racial categories are not biologically real—we live in racial smog.”

  • John Lewis, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, “The First Amendment: Protection for Everyone or Protection for No One,” room 223. This discussion will focus on the legal ramifications associated with the First Amendment as it pertains to freedom of speech, the right of peaceful assembly, and the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Libertarian and Communitarian perspectives will be addressed and how the two perspectives might be blended by the University community.

  • David Loomis, “Free Speech, the First Amendment, and Indiana, Pa.,” room 220. This session is a media literacy-framed discussion of varying mainstream news coverage of Charlottesville and of the reporting of the national conversation that continues to ripple out from the events of August 12th. One question for this group discussion: What is the local news angle in Indiana, PA of this national story?
  • Daniel Puhlman, Department of Human Development and Environmental Studies, “Standing Up for Diversity in Your Family,” room 217. Sometimes, family members and the people we love hold beliefs that do not align with our own beliefs. This is especially true when these beliefs are discriminatory in nature. This session will explore ways that you can talk to your family members about diversity and racial issues in the community, paying particular attention to talking to and maintaining relationships with family members who hold biased or racially prejudiced belief systems. 

Session two programs, offered from 7:30 to 8:20 p.m., are:

  • Roger Briscoe, Department of Education and School Psychology, “The Role of Faculty During Racially Charged Events,” room 224. This session will address faculty responsibility when dealing with social justice on college campuses while addressing issues that are racially charged. What should faculty tell their students?

  • Carrie Cole, Department of Theater, “Performance of Protest/Performance as Protest,” room 223. This session will discuss how protest performance can be used as a tool to affect change—and how clarity of purpose is vital to how protest performance is experienced.

  • Elizabeth Ricketts, “Understanding Charlottesville as a Crisis of Culture and Community: An Historical Perspective,” room 220. This session takes a look at the ways in which the past has shaped the present by considering the struggle over the construction and conventions of race relations in the South. In particular, a look at the role of Civil War monuments and the Con-federate flag as important cultural elements in efforts to establish and maintain white cultural identity, and how these symbols have functioned to undergird white supremacy and to fracture Southern society.

Attendance vouchers can be available.  For further information about this event, please e-mail

This event is supported by the following IUP organizations: Diversity Student Council, Diversity Peer Educators, Future Social Studies Educators Association, History Club, NAACP, Phi Alpha Theta, Residence Hall Association, and United Against Islamophobia.