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College’s I Am Oz Series Addresses Themes In Diversity

OSWEGO — SUNY Oswego’s I Am Oz: Diversity Speakers Series will feature presenters this autumn in free public appearances that key on multiculturalism, sensitivity and acceptance of differences.

Derald Wing Sue, professor of psychology and education at Columbia University’s Teachers College, will speak at 7 p.m. Oct. 8, in Sheldon Hall ballroom on “Overcoming Microaggressions: Toxic Rain in Higher Education.”

At 7 p.m. Nov. 16, in the Marano Campus Center auditorium, Robin W. Kimmerer, distinguished teaching professor of environmental biology at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, will present “Finding Common Ground Between Indigenous and Scientific Ecological Knowledge.”

Arlene Kanter, professor of law at Syracuse University, will appear at 7 p.m. Dec. 2, in Marano Campus Center auditorium on “Who’s In, Who’s Out and Who Decides: The Rights of People with Disabilities.”

Supported by an Explorations in Diversity and Academic Excellence grant from the SUNY Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the speakers series began Sept. 17 with a presentation by Bobby González, a multicultural lecturer, performance poet and storyteller, who spoke in conjunction with National Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month.

Each upcoming speaker has significant credentials in fields related to issues of diversity or multiculturalism:

One of the most prominent voices in cross-cultural studies, Sue is the son of parents who emigrated from China.

Enduring teasing as a child based on his ethnicity led Sue to his fascination with human behavior.

He has a doctorate in counseling from the University of Oregon and more than 150 publications, including several books: “Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender and Sexual Orientation,” “Counseling the Culturally Diverse: Theory and Practice” and “Overcoming Our Racism: The Journey to Liberation.”

Kimmerer, whose doctorate is from University of Wisconsin in botany, is founding director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, whose mission is to create programs drawing on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge.

A plant ecologist, she also is co-founder of the Traditional Ecological Knowledge section of the Ecological Society of America. Her research interests include ecological restoration and the ecology of mosses.

An award-winning author, her latest book, “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants,” was published in 2013.

The Bond, Schoeneck & King Distinguished Professor of Law at SU, Kanter directs the disability law and policy program.

She is also co-director of the Syracuse University Center on Human Policy, Law and Disability Studies, and co-founder of the Disability Law section of the American Association of Law Schools.

A former Fulbright Scholar and Distinguished Switzer Fellow, Kanter was invited to work for five years with the United Nations ad hoc committee on drafting the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

She has authored more than 100 publications, including the books “The Development of Disability Rights Under International Law: From Charity to Human Rights” and, as co-editor, “Righting Educational Wrongs: Disability Studies in Law and Education.”

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