Graceland University has announced that “Privilege” will be the topic for the second Graceland “Town Hall Meeting,” to be held Dec. 3 on the Lamoni campus.
Graceland held the first series of events based on the California State University, Chico Town Hall Meeting format, during the Spring 2015 semester. The process – especially encouraged for all “First Year Experience” students – is designed to bring together students, faculty, staff and community members to engage in a deliberative, civic dialogue on a current topic.
According to Wikipedia, “privilege is the sociological concept that some groups of people have advantages relative to other groups.” It is an important topic in many current event discussions: social class, race and ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation… Privilege is being emphasized in the media, politics, and even in education.
The Town Hall Meeting series of events will unofficially kick off with two related events. On Nov. 12, the Social Equality Alliance (SEA) student organization is sponsoring “I Am We,” an LGBT-themed event promoting a safe community, education about healthy and unhealthy relationships, and being comfortable in your own skin. Then on Nov. 17, a discussion for Graceland students, faculty and staff on “Community, Gender and Identity,” led by Raquel Moreira, PhD, Assistant Professor of Communications at Graceland, will also speak to the topic.
For the official components of the Town Hall Meeting process, a series of readings will be made available to students, faculty, staff and community members who wish to take part. Participants are also asked to attend the Graceland University Theatre production of “Nickel and Dimed,” which addresses issues specifically related to social class and offers performances Nov. 19-22. Tickets can be purchased at the Shaw Ticket Office or online at www.graceland.edu/ShawTickets.
The final event, the Town Hall Meeting itself, will be held Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. in Shaw Center. An opening plenary will begin the evening, followed by breakout discussions with assigned facilitators. The large group will then reconvene to share outcomes and discuss action.
“Town Hall Meetings have the potential to be a high-impact practice,” said Tammy Everett, PhD, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty. “At Graceland, we are working to engage students in this process every semester.”
The Graceland Town Hall Meeting is a collaborative project organized by students, Student Life, Academic Affairs and Campus Ministries. The Lamoni community is also encouraged to take part if there is interest, also offering valuable perspective to Graceland students.