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College of Arts and Sciences Newsroom

Engaging Global Awareness

Editor’s Note: Global Voices Symposium events originally scheduled for Jan. 30-31, including keynote speaker Nwando Achebe’s address, were postponed until March 27 because of weather. Please see the link at the end of this story for the new event schedule.

The University of Dayton is expanding the reach of its annual “Global Voices” symposium to make the three-day global engagement forum more inclusive of the greater Dayton community.

Global Voices on the University of Dayton Campus, Jan. 29-31, will feature panel discussions and a keynote address, all intended to promote global consciousness on campus, and to strengthen the University’s ties with the city and its residents.

“The University of Dayton has emerged as an international university,” said Julius Amin, history professor and Alumni Chair in Humanities, who co-sponsors the symposium. “We have programs in virtually every part of the world, so it becomes crucial for us to make the institutional pillars, character and culture reflective of these conversations about global awareness and engagement.”

Dayton has become an increasingly global city in recent years. The city’s immigrant population has more than doubled since the mid-2000s to more than 7,000 people in 2016, according to U.S. Census data. Dayton is home to immigrants from more than 100 countries, with Russia, India, Turkey, Philippines and Mexico as the top countries of origin, according to the city’s Welcome Dayton office.

Representatives from local government, nonprofit organizations and community organizations will join University of Dayton alumni, faculty, staff and students as symposium panelists. This year’s event also includes student panelists from Wright State University and Central State University.

“The goal here is to be representative of the different, diverse groups in the Dayton community,” Amin said. “Let’s see how we all can engage in this conversation, because we hope that this conversation and partnership with UD continues after the symposium is over.”

Amin knows firsthand what it’s like to be an outsider on a college campus. A native of Cameroon, Africa, he first came to the U.S. as an international student. He joined the University of Dayton faculty in 1989.

University of Dayton and Wright State University students from the U.S. and abroad will discuss how their experiences growing up in their native communities and countries compare with those on their college campuses.

“These students will be asked a fundamental question: ‘What can be done to make you feel that this is your community, instead of just a place where you get your education and leave?’” Amin said.

Keynote speaker Nwando Achebe will address global awareness on college campuses at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, in the Kennedy Union ballroom.

Achebe is the Jack and Margaret Sweet Endowed Professor of History at Michigan State University. Her research focuses on oral history in the study of women, gender and sexuality in Nigeria.

She has written two books, including the award-winning The Female King of Colonial Nigeria: Ahebi Ugbabe, and is the founder and editor-in-chief of the Journal of West African History.

Achebe’s late father, acclaimed Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe, wrote Things Fall Apart, the most widely read book in modern African literature. Chinua Achebe won the Man Booker International Prize in 2007.

Symposium panel discussions will be held in various locations in Kennedy Union and the Sears Recital Hall of the Jesse Philips Humanities Center. All events are free and open to the public. Registration is required for the buffet lunch sessions.

- Dave Larsen, communication coordinator, College of Arts and Sciences

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