Culture, COVID-19 and Conversation

Culture, COVID-19 and Conversation is a symposium for Nebraskans to explore the common experience and varied responses to the pandemic across diverse cultural contexts and perspectives. The three-day event will be held virtually February 23-25. The public is invited to join.

The goal is to promote intercultural understanding among Nebraskans as it relates to the themes of public health, disease, health care, expectations of communities and governments during a global health emergency, and the way disease and culture intersect in a global health crisis.

Panelists will discuss the pandemic’s impact across local immigrant and refugee populations, college and secondary student bodies, as well as different global locations.

February 23 at 7 p.m. CST

Culture and COVID-19 in an International Comparative Context

Scholars with expertise in genocide, diasporas, gender, history, democracy, religion, and language bring their humanities perspectives to bear on the crisis, offering interdisciplinary views into how cultural and political forces have shaped different regions’ responses to the pandemic.

This event was recorded and is available on video.


Rangira Béa Gallimore

Rangira Béa Gallimore, Professor Emerita of French at the University of Missouri; originally from Rwanda; scholar of linguistics and gender in relation to the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda; certified trauma counselor and founder of Step Up! American Association for Rwandan Women


Ghan Shyam

Ghan Shyam, Professor of History at Banaras Hindu University, Fulbright scholar with expertise in international relations, particularly democracy in south Asia and the Caribbean



Abla Hasan

Abla Hasan, Associate Professor of Practice of Arabic at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln; originally from Syria, Fulbright scholar; professor of Arabic with expertise in philosophy, religion, and gender studies


Gerise Herndon

Gerise Herndon, Professor of English, International Studies Program Director, Nebraska Wesleyan University


February 24 at 5:30 p.m. CST

Culture and COVID-19 Among Immigrant Communities in Nebraska

Representatives from local community organizations will highlight the transnational realities of how the pandemic particularly affects migrants from various cultural contexts.

This event was recorded and is available on video.


Tom Randa

Tom Randa, executive director of Good Neighbor Community Center



Vanessa Martinez

Vanessa Martinez, organizing manager – Immigrants & Communities Program, Nebraska Appleseed; NWU alumna



Thu Le

Thu Le, Vietnamese community advocate and interpreter, Asian Community and Cultural Center




Sheila Dorsey Vinton

Sheila Dorsey Vinton, executive director of Asian Community and Cultural Center



February 25 at 4 p.m. CST

Navigating College, Culture and Work in the Age of COVID-19

Students with international experience share their unique perspective of learning, researching and working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This event was recorded and is available on video.


Raissa Souza

Raissa Souza, master’s candidate in anatomy and neurobiology at Boston University School of Medicine; 2019 NWU alumna from Brazil



Hyeon Wang

Hyeon Wang, NWU senior political science major and current international student from South Korea



Han Le

Han Le, NWU junior biochemistry and psychology major



Kamryn Pfenning

Kamryn Pfenning, NWU senior biochemistry and modern language studies major




Manger Baw

Manger Baw, life coach in the UNO Exploratory Studies Program, born in a refugee camp along the border of Thailand and Burma/Myanmar