The Institute for Global Understanding promotes cultural literacy and citizenship through academic and arts programs, interdisciplinary research and events, community partnerships, and service at the local and global levels. The IGU fulfills Monmouth University’s broad mission of engaging students, faculty, and staff in fostering diversity, equality, global understanding, leadership, and social justice.
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September 14: Voices for Change: Voting, Advocacy, and Action
Session 1: Social Workers, the Vote and US Democracy presented by Terry Mizrahi and Mimi Ambramovitz
12 – 1:30 p.m.
Social workers who sit at the intersection of the individual and society are well positioned to reach large numbers of unregistered voters. The field education department of social work schools represents the hub of National Social Work Voter Mobilization Campaign (Voting is Social Work). Since 2018 the Campaign, endorsed by more than 25 major social work organizations, has been working with schools of social work and their associated agencies to register large numbers of students, clients, and constituents to vote. This presentation discusses the historic role of social workers in voter registration, the benefit of voting, and the mounting barriers to a fair vote. It focuses on voter suppression designed to demoralize the electorate, to make people believe that their system is rigged and that their vote does not count, and suggests that voter suppression and systemic racism increasingly represent dangerous threats to democracy in the US.
September 21: Our Happiness, Our Health, Our Future: His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Reflections and Conversations on Our Happy, Healthy, and Sustainable Future
The Dalai Lama will join Monmouth University and guests on Tuesday, September 21, at 11:30 p.m. EDT for a livestream session to engage in conversation with our students and colleagues and offer his message of happiness, health, well-being, and the future of this earth, our only home. Monmouth University will also host an in-person viewing session on a large screen on the Shadow Lawn in front of the Great Hall. (inclement weather location TBD). Food and other events will lead up to the main livestream event.
October 6: World Cinema Series: Sin Nombre – Virtual Panel Discussion
This World Cinema Series zoom discussion illuminates the theme “Living on the Edge: Displacement, Identity, and Resilience” by analyzing the message and impact of the 2009 film, Sin Nombre.
Sin Nombre (English: “Nameless”) is a Mexican-American adventure thriller film written and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, about a Honduran girl trying to immigrate to the United States, and a boy caught up in the violence of gang life.
This event is free but registration is required.
October 12 Voices for Change: Voting, Advocacy, and Action
Session 2: Living Beyond the Trauma of Racism: #IamHer presented by Anjanette Young
6 – 8 p.m.
This session will speak to the inequities that Black and Brown People experience in their local communities by the hands of the police. A system whose policies and laws were never created to be fairly implemented with Black and Brown People and allows too much room for bias. Specifically, this session will unpack Ms. Young’s personal experience of how these systems continue to fail Black and Brown People and leave behind a trail of trauma, hurt and distrust in our communities, as relates to the police and the criminal justice system. Ms. Young will discuss her decision to fight for justice which meant exposing the most traumatizing moment of her life. Participants will be encouraged to reflect on their own personal experiences with the police and discuss how we can all get involved in fighting for justice.
October 13: IGU-UCI Global Ocean Governance Lecture Series Panel: Current Issues in Global Governance of Whales
12 Noon – 1:15 p.m.
The Monmouth University Institute for Global Understanding (IGU) and Urban Coast Institute (UCI) will kick off the second season of their joint Global Ocean Governance Lecture Series on Oct. 13 with a panel discussion of international issues and challenges concerning the protection of whales.
The discussion will be moderated by Professor Randall Abate, director of the IGU, and include the following presentations and speakers:
- “Modernizing the International Whaling Commission’s Approach to Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling,” University of Alberta (Canada) Associate Professor of Law Cameron Jeffries
- “Saving the Critically Endangered North Atlantic Right Whale: Challenges and Opportunities,” Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Staff Scientist Francine Kershaw
- “Ensuring the Continuing Recovery: Protecting the Great Whales in the Context of 21st Century Challenges,” Wildlife Conservation Society Ocean Giants Program Director Howard Rosenbaum
The virtual discussion is free and open to the public and will take place from noon to 1:15 p.m. A Zoom link will be provided upon registration. Visit the UCI Blog for registration and information on presentations and speakers.
November 10 World Cinema Series: Atlantics
November 16 Voices for Change: Voting, Advocacy, and Action
Session 3: The Strengths of Black Families presented by Denise McLane-Davison
4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
The political era of the Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, Gay Rights, and The Black Power Movement demanded the inclusion of rigorous research that centered racial and gender identity as significant narratives. The emergence of Black Studies and Women’s Studies, along with student-led and national organizations incorporating the same identity politics also demanded inclusion in intellectual landscapes. During this era Black social scientists blanketed the scholarship, theory, and treatment research that anchored African cultural values, traditions, knowledge, and generational behaviors as disruptive characteristics of pathologized Black family rhetoric. Collectively, cultural scholarship named the impact of adapting Black life to oppression and anti-Blackness policy. They declared the Black family as the fundamental source of strength of the Black community and as the defense for Black life from external threats. This session provides a historical and contemporary alignment on the Black strength perspective through racial pride, resistance, and resilience.
December 2 Voices for Change: Voting, Advocacy, and Action
Session 4: Supporting Systems and Communities in Achieving Racial Equality: A Groundwater Analysis presented by Joyce James
6 – 8 p.m.
In this presentation, Ms. James will share her journey in developing the Texas Model for addressing Disproportionality and Disparities and the Groundwater Analysis for Addressing Racial Inequities© as the foundation for creating antiracist organizational cultures for undoing institutional and structural racism and improving outcomes for all populations. Participants will gain an increased understanding of the importance of cross systems collaborations and building partnerships with poor communities of color to remove the barriers that contribute to racial inequities. The session will include discussion of the pitfalls of well-meaning and well-intentioned leaders, who in isolation of an analysis of institutional and structural racism, and a racial equity lens, continue to unconsciously contribute to sustaining and often perpetuating racial inequities in the design and delivery of programs and services.
IGU Statement Condemning Anti-Asian Violence
The Institute for Global Understanding “fulfills Monmouth University’s broad mission of engaging students, faculty, and staff in fostering diversity, equality, global understanding, leadership, and social justice.” Its core purpose is to educate people toward understanding each other, fully rejecting misinformed hateful ideologies, thoughts, words, bias, oppression, and marginalization, as well as their subsequent hateful consequences.
The heinous acts that have been and are being committed against our Asian, Asian American, Desi, and Pacific Islander communities are shocking and deplorable. We recognize the intersectional nature of the attacks, with Asian women and the elderly disproportionately targeted. Unchanged: The heinous acts that have been and are being committed against our Asian, Asian American, Desi, and Pacific Islander communities are shocking and deplorable. We recognize the intersectional nature of the attacks, with Asian women and the elderly disproportionately targeted.
We at the IGU strongly condemn these intolerant, racist, xenophobic, and gendered acts and join President Leahy and the rest of the Monmouth community in proudly standing in solidarity with our Asian, Asian American, Desi, and Pacific Islander community members. We invite all to join us in our work of promoting cultural literacy, anti-racist language, and citizenship, and of advancing our shared institutional values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
IGU Graduate Assistant Victoria Cattelona Receives Fulbright ETA Award to the Czech Republic
Victoria Cattelona, a graduate student in the M.A.T. program and a graduate assistant to the Institute for Global Understanding (IGU), has received a 2021-2022 Fulbright Award to the Czech Republic. She is the first Monmouth University graduate student to accept this prestigious award. As an English Teaching Assistant (ETA), Cattelona will inspire and assist students studying English in secondary schools, and promote cultural understanding within educational institutions and through community engagement.
The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational and cultural exchange program. It is designed to forge lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, counter misunderstandings, and help people and nations work together toward common goals. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected in an open, merit-based competition that considers leadership potential, academic and/or professional achievement, and record of service. Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has enabled more than 390,000 dedicated and accomplished students, scholars, artists, teachers, and professionals of all backgrounds to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and find solutions to shared international concerns. Fulbright alumni include 60 Nobel Prize laureates, 88 Pulitzer Prize recipients, and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.
The IGU congratulates Victoria on her extraordinary accomplishment!