Chestertown, MD, March 25, 2002 — Washington College and Goucher College are proud to present "Redefining the American Identity: A Student Conference on Ethnic Diversity," Thursday, March 28, 2002, at 4 p.m. in the College's Casey Academic Center Forum. The conference will open with keynote speaker Dr. Seble Dawit, a former human and women's rights consultant in Africa and now director of the peace studies program and visiting assistant professor at Goucher College, Towson, MD. All members of the community are encouraged to attend.
Twelve students will present papers addressing the complex issue of ethnic diversity and national unity in the United States. The presentations will tackle such issues as civil rights, religious freedom and identity, and the variety of and change in people's political and social worldviews since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2002.
Session I will begin at 4:30 p.m., addressing the issue "Where Self-Identity and National Identity Meet: Looking at Solutions to Conflict." Session II will begin at 7:30 p.m. and address the issue of "E Pluribus Unum: Making it Work." Keynote speaker, Dr. Dawit, will conclude the conference at 9:30 p.m.
"The goal of the conference is to make students really think deeply about the complexities of these questions and to offer their analysis and potential solutions to these pressing issues of our society," says Bonnie Ryan, organizer of the conference and Jessie Ball Dupont Scholar in sociology and anthropology at the College. "After the tragedy of September 11, the question of our nation's diversity and unity really came to the fore. The attacks affected thousands of people of different backgrounds, nations, races and creeds, while others acted out in anger against innocent Arab-Americans. This conference will serve as a forum for our students to explore and to discuss these issues that support or challenge the diversity of the United States and the unifying forces of democracy that hold our nation together."
This student conference is sponsored by the Goldstein Program for Public Affairs, Goucher College, the Campus Events Office, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Lambda Alpha, the Anthropology Honors Society-Gamma Chapter, and the Black Student Union.