Learning Pains: Honoring Our Truths, Unveiling Our Mosaic (2014-2015)

In spite of our collective optimism, our quest to live together harmoniously as a diverse community is as often a challenge as it is a reward. Our mission to develop ethical, globally minded citizens is equally conflicting. Not unlike the larger American society in which we live, struggling to make sense of the justice in the Trayvon Martin and most recent Michael Brown tragedies as well as the treatment of U.S. immigrants, we often find ourselves in despair, hesitant to offer our individual perspective, as the conflict itself feels at odds with the ideals upon which we have long stood.

Our Speakers Series theme this year offers a more liberating paradigm. Learning Pains: Honoring Our Truths, Unveiling Our Mosaic reminds us that global-mindedness and diverse community are inherently difficult quests. The pairing of the words that form the ideals is divergent. “Diverse” is plural, meaning varied, dissimilar, assorted while “community” is singular, forming as one. Likewise, “global” is pluralistic, encompassing all, while “mindedness” suggests perspective and individual opinion and view. Given the tension inherent in these ideals, we have chosen to come together in pursuit of them nonetheless. And so indeed we must embrace the learning pains of our individual truths, as this will lead to a splendid creation of our community mosaic.

This year’s Speakers Series will foster challenging conversations about cultural, religious, and political beliefs and practices in ways that will move us beyond knowing one another to understanding one another. We will be asked not only to see an experience from a perspective outside of our own but also to insert our own particular perspectives. We must talk! Talk through the pain to gain the most of the learning.