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SMSU briefs for March 7

March 7, 2012
Marshall Independent

Women's History Month events planned at SMSU

Several events are planned at Southwest Minnesota State University to celebrate Women's History Month in March.

A panel discussion on the Civil War, "Mary Chestnut's Diary: A Southern Woman Views the War," will be from 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, in Charter Hall 217.

The work of poets Kay Ryan and Allison Joseph will be read by a group of SMSU faculty and students from 12:30-1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21, in Charter Hall 217.

History Professor Joan Gittens will give a presentation, "Alice Hamilton's Journey: The Scientist as Social Reformer," from noon-1:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, in Charter Hall 217.

There will be an art exhibit and reading on Wednesday, March 28. The art exhibit will have an opening at noon in the Women's Center, Student Center 239, followed at 12:30 p.m. by a reading, "Telling Women's Stories."

For further information, call 507-537-6450.

Peacemaking Circle Course March 23-25 at SMSU

A one-credit Peacemaking Circle course is offered March 23-25 at Southwest Minnesota State University.

The class will be from 6-9 p.m. Friday, March 23; from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, March 24; and from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, March 25.

The instructor is Kay Pranis, the restorative justice planner for the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Pranis focuses on promoting the use of restorative justice principles in the criminal justice system and communities by providing training and technical assistance to courts, corrections, schools and community groups.

The course is an opportunity for those interested in conflict resolution, community building or restorative justice to increase their skills and knowledge for having difficult conversations.

The peacemaking circle is a dialog process useful for increasing understanding among different perspectives and for creating effective solutions to long-standing issues of conflict or disconnection. The circle creates an environment safe for every participant to express their point of view and nurtures the possibility of finding win-win solutions for the benefit of all.

Circles have been used in families, workplaces, neighborhoods, faith communities, social services and the justice system.

The course will introduce participants to the peacemaking circle process. Topics will include foundational values and philosophy of peacemaking circles, conflict as opportunity to built relationships; creating safe respectful space for dialog; consensus decision-making; structure of the circle process; facilitation of the circle process; practical applications of the circle process; and problems and challenges in circles.

To register, contact the SMSU Registration Office at 507-537-6206.

Disabilities, racism conference March 22

A Disabilities and Racism Conference will be from 9 a.m.-3:15 p.m. Thursday, March 22, in the lower ballroom of the Conference Center at Southwest Minnesota State University.

This year's conference has a theme of "Inclusion of Diverse Communities: Conversations on Racism, Disabilities and Where We Are Today."

The conference will highlight parallels between disability and racism issues.

Four speakers will give presentations during the day. They are:

9:15-10:15 a.m.: Mahmoud El-Kati, professor emeritus of history at Macalester College, St. Paul. He is a lecturer, writer and commentator on the African-American experience. El-Kati specializes in African-American history and advocates institution building within cultural communities. He is an advocate of building one's humanity through the understanding of culture, history and community.

10:30-11:30 a.m.: Renee Hogoboom, the associate director of the Diversity and Equity division of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system. The purpose of her position is to provide leadership to MnSCU in the areas of equal opportunity, diversity and multiculturalism.

She is involved with the development of all diversity and multicultural policies, procedures and initiatives as well as developing training to assist with the implementation of those policies. In addition, she provides leadership and collaborates with campus affirmative action officers to develop affirmative action plans, and collaborates with campuses in developing strategies to implement affirmative action programs.

12:45-1:45 p.m.: Scott Goings, assistant general counsel for MnSCU, whose focus is in information technology, intellectual property, facilities, student services and other areas.

Goings joined the Office of the Chancellor in the General Counsel's Office in January 2008. For seven years, he represented MnSCU as an Assistant Attorney General with the Minnesota Attorney General's Office.

He previously worked for the Minneapolis law firm of Leonard, Street and Deinard, and clerked for the Honorable Harold Vietor, U.S. District Judge, southern district of Iowa.

2-3 p.m.: Sedric McClure, a multicultural counselor in the Academic Excellence Center at Macalester College. He graduated from SMSU in 1994, and worked as an admissions counselor at SMSU for four years. He began his duties at Macalester in 1999. He is completing his coursework for a master's in public policy and leadership at St. Thomas University. The substance of his professional work has been the development of academic and cultural support programs that are geared toward improving retention rates for students of color in higher education.

Requests for reasonable accommodations should be made to Pam Ekstrom at 507-537-7672.

The conference is sponsored by the Southwestern Center for Independent Living; the Office of Diversity and Inclusion; Disability Services; and Access, Opportunity, Success.

There is no charge or registration required for the event. A light lunch will be served on a first-come, first-served basis from 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

Parking passes are not required in Lots A and B. The event is smoke- and fragrance-free.

For more information, contact Ted Stamp: 507-532-2221;



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