The Evolution of U.S. Citizens’ Rights
This symposium, featuring LIFE faculty presenters, provided an historic overview of the revolutionary thoughts and ideas that created the U.S. and continue to drive its evolutionary trajectory from monarchy to democracy. Discussion included how a nation that enshrined freedom could have also included slavery, how the human rights movement has led us to reevaluate and reapply the term “all men are created equal,” and how LIFE’s values, philosophy and principles align with both US values and universal human rights.
Speakers: Mollie Halle, retired Business Law instructor, and Dr. Frank Ruechel, General Education/Liberal Arts professor.
Views to date: 5
The Erosion of Native Rights
This symposium featured LIFE community members who are descended from the native peoples of the Americas. Their presentations provided background on Southeastern Native American tribes, the impact of European colonization on Native American and Indigenous Caribbean peoples, and their exclusion from US citizenship as well as the other rights and protections afforded to all US citizens under the Constitution.
Speakers: Dr. John Thornhill and Dr. Lola Rodriguez Vargas
Views to date: 6
This symposium explore the proper role of religion in a nation that acknowledged a Creator and rejected the establishment of a state/national religion, as well provide an inclusive look at multiple cultures’ winter holidays and their origins and traditions.
Anchor: André Clanton, Assistant Dean for Community Living
Speakers: Dr. Michael Karlin, Co-Cirector, LIFE Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics (CCISE); Rebecca Koch, Director of Service Initiatives; Dr. Karen Numeroff, Academic Advisor for Special Populations; Dr. Frank Ruechel, Assistant Professor in the College of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies; and Dr. Jennifer Valtos, Director of Training (CCISE)
Leading the Way
January 19, 2021
The opening symposium for 2021 in the ODEI series, With Liberty and Justice for All, focused on the events leading up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, with emphasis on the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Hosea Williams, John Lewis, and other Atlanta area figures who played key roles in the Civil Rights Movement. We are fortunate and pleased to share that Hosea Williams’s daughter, Dr. Barbara Williams Emerson, a hero of the Civil Rights Movement in her own right, served as the anchor for this presentation.
Views to date: 4
A Viral Bias Targeting Asian-Americans
This ODEI symposium “With Liberty and Justice for All: A Viral Bias Targeting Asian-Americans” explored the impact on Asian-Americans amid the intersection of COVID-19 and prejudice. From continued references to COVID-19 as the “Chinese Flu” and “Kung Flu” to the violence that bias has sparked against Asian-American people, LIFE community members will share the ways in which they have been impacted by these characterizations and references.
Speakers: VP for International Affairs Dr. John Downes; Artist and homesteader, Mrs. Ida Downes; and Sport Health Science Assistant Professor Dr. Yit Lim
Ida Downes, whose Chinese name is Ren Hong, is an accomplished artist. Read about her and view her work here.
Views to date: 4
Walk a Mile in Black Men’s Shoes
The Life University Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion invites you to “With Liberty and Justice for All: Walk a Mile in Black Men’s Shoes,” the next symposium in its yearlong series, on Tuesday, February 16 from 5:30-7:00 p.m.
If you have never walked (or driven or existed) in fear or anxiety over how you might be perceived and treated by law enforcement, you may be walking in the privilege of a different skin color.
Some people say, “Well, just do what the police say,” or “Just don’t break the law, and you won’t have to worry about your Constitutional right to equal treatment under the law.” But that’s simply not the reality for many law-abiding Black men in the U.S., including Black men who are part of Life University family.
Assistant Dean of Students for Community Living André Clanton; former Assistant Director of Enrollment, Dr. Curtis Coleman; Student Success Center Academic Support Professional Mark Pilgrim; and College of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies Associate Dean Dr. Michael Smith are offering the LIFE community a courageous gift of vulnerability: an honest and authentic sharing of what it feels like to walk that mile.
Views to date: 4
On the Basis of Sex
There has never been a more crucial time for a conversation about the security of women’s rights in the United States.
This edition of the ongoing symposium series “With Liberty and Justice for All” was the inaugural partnership with the Kennesaw State University Gender and Women’s Studies program.
“With Liberty and Justice for All: On the Basis of Sex” marks Women’s History Month and included an overview of the establishment and evolution of women’s rights in the U.S. The discussion will include the 14th and 19th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution as well as the right to privacy and an amendment recognizing women as equal and autonomous citizens.
Anchor: Dr. Elizabeth Gordon, KSU Professor of Political Science
Speakers: KSU students, Signy Morton, Ella Napier, Radha Patel, and Maloreigh Todd
Views to date: 4
The Making of Perpetual Foreigners
April is National Arab American Month and the 2021symposium, With Liberty and Justice for All: The Making of Perpetual Foreigners, concentrated on the experiences of Americans and US residents whose origins in Arab countries include Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Somalia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Many of these 1.7 million US citizens and residents have reported a heightened level of exclusion since September 11, 2001 and a sense that, as Arab-Americans (especially those who are Muslim), they will never truly belong.
Speakers included Arab and Arab American members of the Life community, Clinical Sciences professor, Dr. Hussein Elsangak along with Nutrition alumnae, Asma Alhindi-McClarty and Munirah Alkhalifi, all of whom shared their experiences, struggles and triumphs in being welcomed and included in the American multicultural mosaic.
A Retrospective on Recovery and Resilience
Our May 2021 symposium, With Liberty and Justice for All: A Retrospective on AAPI Recovery and Resilience, focused on Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. Asian American and Pacific Islanders faced particularly egregious assaults on their liberties during WWII in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor and to their safety and their very lives as a result of COVID-19. This symposium also included the historic contributions of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders as well as the biases and stereotypes that persist for them in the US. Many thanks to program anchor Dr. Rosalind Chou, Life U Head Women’s Rugby Coach and panelists and Dr. Fuhua Lu, Basic Sciences Associate Professor and Dr. Sairagul Matikeeva-Kinney, Coordinator of International Programs, for sharing their expertise and experience with the LIFE community.
A History of Inequities and Indomitable Spirit
“With Liberty and Justice for All: A History of Inequities and Indomitable Spirits” highlighted the richness of the many Caribbean cultures as they continue to endure and emerge from a long history of the inhumanity, inequity and genocide that has come with European colonization of the Caribbean, Africa and the Americas.
The panel included LIFE staff and faculty members Dr. Andrea Diaz, who serves as a Bilingual Academic Support Professional in Academic Affairs; Dr. Charmaine Herman, who serves as an Associate Professor in Clinical Sciences; Mr. Mark Pilgrim, an Academic Support Professional in Academic Affairs; and Dr. Howard Wright, who oversees the University’s Institutional Research Operations.
Out and Proud
“With Liberty and Justice for All: Out and Proud” focused on advances in equity and inclusion made by people who represent gender and sexual diversity in U.S. culture. This symposium celebrated the contributions and challenges of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual, gender non-conforming and other members of the LGBTQ+ community, including events from the founding of the U.S. to ongoing legal discrimination, from Stonewall to Obergefell v. Hodges, from the recent Supreme Court decision guaranteeing civil rights protection for employees to current efforts by states seeking to ban student-athletes who are gender and sexually diverse.
Anchors: Dr. Mitch Ferguson, Assistant Professor of Psychology in the College of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies (CGUS), and Ms. Leigh Parker, Title IX Coordinator
Panel: Samantha Clark, Women’s Soccer Head Coach; Rebekka Logan-Drayton, Executive Office Administrative Support; Dr. Cynthia Boyd, Director of Special Projects; Dr. Adaris Mas Rivera, Assistant Professor in the CGUS Division of Natural Sciences; and Dr. Jennifer Valtos, CCISE Director of Training.
Hispanic Heritage and History
This symposium will focus on Hispanic and Latinx contributions to U.S. culture and challenges to and from the U.S. government. It will explore the origins and impact of Hispanic influence on native peoples in the New World, as well as celebrate the richness of Hispanic and Latin cultures.