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Streamed author visit well received

By Gail Hedstrom

Forty IU East students, faculty and staff gathered in Hayes Hall on January 27 to listen to a live stream lecture by author Michelle Alexandria.

Alexander was discussing her book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness in a live broadcast to all Indiana University campuses as a part of IU Northwest’s 2015 “One Book…One Campus…One Community” program.

The program is similar to IU East’s “One Book, Many Voices” program established in 2012.  Frances Yates, IU East Campus Library director, is the current chair of the 13 member “One Book, Many Voices” committee.

“It is an excellent opportunity to bring readers together to share views, learn from each other, and gain perspectives about important issues in our community and the world,” Yates said.

Previous “One Book, Many Voices” activities, along with book discussions, have included service projects and community writing projects engaging middle and high school students along with interactive programs for senior citizens, according to Yates.

Approximately 900 people participated in IU Northwest’s  streamed author event. James Wallace Jr., the director of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs (ODEMA) at IU Northwest, who serves on the “One Book…One Campus…One Community” committee, commented on the value of the program.

“This event was extremely important for the campus and community. It allowed the community to discuss elements of a societal problem in a thoughtful, productive, and engaging manner while the rest of the country was in upheaval surrounding issues of racial and social unrest,” Wallace said.

While feedback from the event is still being gathered, preliminary results indicate a majority of participants found the program to be, “very [to] extremely influential on improving diversity awareness with the campus community,” said Crystal Shannon Ph.D., R.N., M.B.A. committee member and assistant professor of the School of Nursing at IU Northwest.

IU East freshman student and “One Book, Many Voices” committee member Marisa Vanzant said there are many benefits for “One Book, Many Voices” participants.

“A person gains the opportunity for discussion of important issues with many different people, and therefore they can gain different perspectives and learn a lot about themselves, others, and their community,” Vanzant said.

The “One Book Many Voices” committee has been meeting since November to plan for the 2015 program. This year’s book selection will be announced soon. Copies of the book will be available on campus.

If you missed the live streamed presentation by Michelle Alexandria an archived copy is available at  http://go.iu.edu/nJA. The presentation begins about 71 minutes into the recording and includes the question and answer segment

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