Understanding our differences and using them to unite rather than divide will be the focus of Nebraska Wesleyan University’s annual Visions and Ventures Symposium.
Scheduled for September 24-25, the event will center on the theme, “Let’s Listen: Conversations to Bring Us Together.”
The Visions and Ventures Symposium begins on Tuesday, September 24 with the nationally-acclaimed Defamation Experience. This two-hour activity starts with a riveting courtroom drama that explores the highly-charged issues of race, class, religion, gender and the law with a twist: the audience is the jury.
Lectures will be held on Wednesday, September 25 and will include John Hibbing, Foundation Regents University Professor of Political Science and Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who will discuss, “Liberals and Conservatives: Why We Can’t All Just Get Along.” Civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson will participate in a moderated discussion. Mckesson has focused primarily on issues of innovation, equity and justice, has been a leading voice in the Black Lives Matter Movement, and has worked extensively to connect individuals with knowledge and tools, and provide citizens and policy makers with commonsense policies to ensure equity. Irshad Manji, a renowned author, educator and advocate of a reformist interpretation of Islam, will conclude the symposium with her lecture, “Diversity for Prosperity.” She is the founder of The Moral Courage Project, an initiative to help young people speak truth to power within their own communities.
All events will be held in O’Donnell Auditorium, located in the Rogers Center for Fine Arts at 50thStreet and Huntington Ave. The symposium is free and open to the public.
The following is a schedule of events:
Tuesday, September 24 —7-9 p.m., The Defamation Experience, an interactive diversity opportunity. A courtroom drama will be staged to explore highly charged issues of race, class, religion and gender and the audience will serve as the jury. A facilitated discussion will follow.
Wednesday, September 25
10 a.m. — John Hibbing, Foundation Regents University Professor of Political Science and Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, author of Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences.He has received nine National Science Foundation Grants, and has been named a Guggenheim Fellow, a NATO Fellow in Science, a Senior Fulbright Fellow, and a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
1 p.m. — A conversation with DeRay Mckesson. Mckesson is the author of On The Other Side of Freedom, host of the critically-acclaimed Pod Save The People, and was named one of the “World’s Greatest Leaders” by Fortune Magazineand “30 Most Influential People on the Internet” by Time Magazine.
4 p.m. — Irshad Manji, Founder of The Moral Courage Project, author of Don’t Label Me: An Incredible Conversation for Divided Times. She has been recognized with Oprah Winfrey’s Chutzpah Award for “audacity, nerve, boldness and conviction” and has received the Simon Wiesenthal Award for Valor.