Safe environment encourages discussion

A number of professors, faculty members and students from around Stevenson University are preparing for a panel discussion and student-performed poetry at the Power of Conversation event which will be held on Thursday, April 13, at 7 p.m. at the Center for Diversity in Caves. There will also be a mocktail pre-show at 6 p.m. where light refreshments will be served beforehand.

According to Eddie Bennett, senior intern in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the purpose of this event was to create a safe space environment to discuss personal experiences as they relate to education, privilege, racism and gender differences. Bennett pitched the idea for the event to his supervisor, Natalie Gillard.

Bennett’s intent for this event was to encourage dialogue between faculty and students in a unique setting about topics that may not get explored very thoroughly in the classroom. The event is free and tickets can be picked up at the Rock until the day of the event; however, space is limited. Guests who attend are encouraged to bring food for the food pantry.

Inspiration for this event stemmed from small-scale discussions about issues and political controversy in the United States today. Bennett said he hoped that the Power of Conversation event will be a reflection of what people in the Diversity Center are involved in.

Second-year student Amir Wallace intends to perform spoken-word poetry at the event as well. His inspiration to take part in the event came from his ambition to create genuine conversation “that could hopefully make [Stevenson] more identifiable as a community to each other,” he explained.

This event emphasized the importance of communication in all aspects. Whether it is minor or large-scale issues, Power of Conversation will encourage attendees to learn from the variety of topics discussed and be more comfortable incorporating them into everyday conversations.