Illinois Association for Cultural Diversity

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17th Dealing with Difference Institute
May 17-19, 2010
Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL

The 17th Annual Dealing with Difference Institute is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, May 17-19, 2010 at Western Illinois University.

The overarching theme for this 2010 Dealing with Difference Institute is master narratives, more specifically, the master narratives of the United States of America. We want to address this theme via the following questions: What are the master narratives that define our country, our nation? The Constitution of the United States indicates that it was adopted "to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. . . ." How do our master narratives promote these goals? What is their impact on our society? What values are implicit within these narratives? What view of the world do they assume and support?

How do the stories we tell each other relate to these narratives? Do they support or undermine them? How do the narratives our schools relay support or undermine them? Are there other sources we should explore when identifying the master narratives that influence our perspectives and values? How does our embrace of the contradictory philosophies of capitalism and democracy complicate the narratives? Can we promote genuine cultural diversity given the master narratives through which the U.S.A. identifies itself? Is it possible, useful, or even necessary to promote counter narratives? To what ends?

White privilege and racial inequity are master narratives that seem to undercut the nation's move toward "a more perfect union" and hinder its quest for justice. Tim Wise, the keynote speaker for the DWDI, has been critiquing white privilege and racism in his books, articles, and presentations for many years. A passionate supporter of equity and justice and an articulate and energetic anti-racist activist, he will continue his critique when he speaks on "Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity." Professor Diane Carson, the institute's second featured presenter will focus on "The Representation of Women in Master Narratives." Click 'Presenters' for additional information.

Click the appropriate links above for additional information about the institute, including course credit options, speaker biographies, and the program schedule. To register print, complete, and mail the appropriate form to the address provided. WIU students, faculty, and staff are asked to use the form identified specifically for them; all other participants are asked to use the Off-Campus Participant form. Questions can be directed to Janice R. Welsch (jr-welsch@wiu.edu) or J. Q. Adams (jq-adams@wiu.edu), co-directors of the institute.