The purpose of The OHIO Challenging Dialogues for Contemporary Issues Lecture Series is to have a constructive conversation surrounding issues that are leading the news cycle and overwhelming the public psyche. It is higher education’s responsibility to serve the greater good by expanding and improving humankind’s understanding of the world around us. This lecture series will strive to bring clarity to a world too often clouded in confusion. One of the hallmarks of the series is that multiple perspectives will be presented on any given topic in an effort to better understand the full complexity of the issues.
We do not seek to find answers to society’s most difficult problems. We seek to better understand the problem itself. We seek to create better listeners and by extension, better communicators. And we seek to find comfort in the uncomfortable. The discussions facilitated during these lecture series are not meant to make us feel better about ourselves or bolster our own personal arguments; these conversations should challenge our worldview in a way that is atypical and perhaps even unexpected.
Dr. Jenny Hall-Jones, Senior Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and
Dean of Students
Dr. Theodore Hutchinson, Associate Professor, Patton College of Education and
Director, Undergraduate Diversity Studies Certificate
When to talk, when to walk, & how to always stand in your truth
April 22, 2019
Al Letson created, hosted, and executive produced PRX’s State of the Re:Union (SOTRU) from 2008-2014. The program received critical acclaim, and numerous awards, including a Peabody Award. In 2015 SOTRU ended production and Letson joined the CIR and PRX to help launch and host public radio’s first hour-long investigative journalism show, Reveal. Reveal is heard on over 470 public radio stations and over 1 million downloads a month. Letson also created and hosts the podcast Errthang. Errthang is just that, everything: storytelling, radio drama, pop culture reviews, and interviews. Letson takes all the things floating in his head and turns it into a mixtape of delight for listeners. A true renaissance man, Letson got his start on stage as a performance poet, actor, and playwright. His plays and performances have been produced off-Broadway and on stages across the country. A self-described comic nerd, Letson has written for DC Comics and published 2 graphic novels. While it may seem like his interests are varied, they are all aspects of who Al Letson is, a storyteller for the new millennium.
Information about future lectures will be updated soon.
The Power of In/Civility: Engaging in Challenging Conversations Across the University, Community, Nation
Thursday, January 24, 2019
Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer is the Executive Director Emeritus of the National Institute for Civil Discourse and the founder of AmericaSpeaks, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that is internationally renowned as being a leader in the field of "deliberative democracy and citizen engagement." According to its website, AmericaSpeaks holds that people can and will find common ground despite deep differences in opinion to solve problems.