Raising Cultural Awareness and Building Global Relations
Convocation Year 2013-2014
Mahatma Ghandi once said that, “I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides
and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about
my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.” Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. stated that, “Men often hate each other because they fear
each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know
each other because they cannot communicate; they cannot communicate because they are
Next year’s Convocation speaker is Michael Eric Dyson. He is an American Book Award
recipient and has been described as “one of the most graceful and lucid intellectuals
writing on race and politics today.” It has been said that Dr. Dyson “is reshaping
what it means to be a public intellectual by becoming the most visible black academic
of his time.” Dr. Dyson has appeared on nearly every major media outlet, including
The Today Show, Nightline, O’Reilly Factor, The Tavis Smiley Show, and Real Time with Bill Maher – and he has cemented his star appeal on such shows as Rap City, Def Poetry Jam, and The Colbert Report. He is also a contributing editor of Time magazine. In addition, he hosts an hour-long news and talk program on NPR, “The Michael
Eric Dyson Show,” where he delivers thoughtful analysis of today’s biggest stories
from pop culture to race relations.
Our committee would like our campus to explore the various faces of multiculturalism
and its relationship to the global community. We might want to consider how culture
shapes our attitudes and perceptions of others or how learning about other cultures
can broaden our horizons. We may want to discuss how cultural differences affect relationships
within the community or impact global relationships. We should try to better understand
how cultural differences can create misunderstanding here on our own campus, yet they
can provide numerous opportunities to enhance the life of the university. If we can
learn how to appreciate other cultures we can enhance our own lives, the larger society,
and the world. The Convocation Committee hopes that you will join us in this endeavor.
Please try to come up with some creative ideas for exploring this important topic.
Academic departments, student groups, campus organizations, and individuals are encouraged
to submit a proposal to sponsor an event any day, evening, or weekend when classes
are in session during the 2013-2014 academic year. Our budget for the year is $5,000.
We particularly encourage interdisciplinary proposals. We will give preference to
proposals with minimal budget needs that take advantage of the abundant talent available
on campus and from the surrounding area. It is often the case that organizers utilize
multiple sources of funding to support their event.
Proposals could focus on topics such as the following:
- What are the challenges of living in an increasingly diverse world?
- What can we do to address racial conflicts at the local, national, or international
- What are some historical examples of the positive and negative effects of enculturation?
- Create an event to celebrate and promote cultural awareness.
- What can be done to build better global relations between the United States and other
- How do different disciplines address multiculturalism in their curriculum?
- How can different disciplines come together to raise cultural awareness and build
Activities might include:
- Panel Discussions
- Presentations or Performances
Proposals should include the following information:
- Title and description of event
- Explanation of how the event fits the theme
- When, where and under what circumstances the event will take place (we would like
to spread the events out over the entire academic year). While final dates are not
necessary, you should check on the availability of your proposed venue
- Who the intended audience is-entire campus, particular department or group of departments,
students in a particular year of study, faculty, etc.
- A description of how you plan to publicize the event; the Convocation Committee is
only responsible for coordinating the keynote event and publicizing the series as
- Who is sponsoring the event? This should include the name(s) of the primary contact(s)
and the department or organization under whose auspices the event will take place
- A budget, including all expenses and all sources of funds (if non-convocation funds
Proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
- Congruence with the convocation theme
- Ability to generate attendance and dialogue
- Quality of the event
- Reasonableness of the budget
- Thoroughness of the proposal
The entire proposal, from title to budget, must be no longer than 3 single sided pages;
deadline for receipt of proposals is May 3, 2013. Award notifications will be sent out approximately one week later. A representative
of each funded project will be required to attend a meeting for coordination purposes
at the beginning of the Fall 2013 semester.
Please submit your proposals electronically to the Chair of the Convocation Committee,
by May 3, 2013.
Review examples of past requests for proposals:
Members of the Convocation Committee are: Michael Barone, Mira Berkley, Linda Brigance,
Tracy Collingwood, Jack Croxton, Dawn Eckenrode, Amy Fisk, Lauren Orlowski, Karolyn
Stonefelt, Denise Szalkowski, and Jefferson Westwood.