University Theme

University Theme Events

Find below a listing of all University Theme-related events for the upcoming school year. If you have an event related to the 2017-2018 University Theme Cultivating Peace at Home and Abroad: Our Social Responsibility please contact Michelle Janisz or Heather McIlvaine-Newsad with details.

September 13, 2017

WIU’s Expanding Cultural Diversity Project is Co-Facilitating a Community Dialogue on events surrounding Charlottesville on August 11-12, 2017.

This facilitated event will use the recent events in Charlottesville, VA and a framework to provide space for WIU students, faculty, staff and community to dialogue about this volatile event in our nation’s history.

Time: 7 to 9 p.m.

Where: Lamoine Room, University Union

Format: Brief Media & Panel Statements, Facilitated Small Group Dialogue

Organized by the Expanding Cultural Diversity Project and co-sponsored by the College Student Personal Program, Centennial Honors College, and Division of Student Services. Moderated by Dr. Tracy Davis, Professor and CSP Program Director, Department of Educational Studies.

September 19, 2017

Protests and violence erupted in Charlottesville, VA in August over plans to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The clashes resulted in one death and the wounding of dozens of others, and put the spotlight on questions about the nation's history and how it is interpreted today. Why was the Civil War fought? What role did slavery play in the conflict, and what memories and lessons are communicated by the many war monuments present in formerly Confederate states? What connections exist between those monuments and contemporary racism? Should we erase the past? Does removing monuments move America forward? Whose history is "right," and what constitutes "real" American history? Should/does free speech have limits?

To help answer these questions the Western Illinois University Department of History will be hosting the moderated roundtable discussion "Making Sense of Charlottesville: When Social Responsibility and Memory Collide"

Time: 4:00 pm - 5:00pm

Where: Sandburg Theatre, University Union

This moderated roundtable features panelists Tim Roberts (History), Erik Brooks (Centennial Honors College), and Jill Myers (LEJA), who will discuss Charlottesville and its implications. Audience Q&A will follow the discussion.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Jennifer McNabb, Chair of the Department of History at either (309) 298-1053 or

September 28, 2017

Join us for the International Day of Peace Celebration as Riad Ismat, an award-winning playwright, director, and author from Syria shares some of his writing depicting his experience in his civil war-torn country in his lecture "Living Dangerously."

This scholar has received threats to his life and that of his family due to his position as a well-known public intellectual and is sponsored by the organizations Scholars at Risk.

Time: 7:00 pm

Where: Lamoine Room, University Union

Sponsored by The Office of the Provost and Academic Vice President,
College of Arts & Sciences, Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research, Department of Political Science, Center for International Studies, Expanding Cultural Diversity Project. For more information, contact

October 5, 2017

Dr. Wendy Pearlman, Northwestern University. "Understanding Syria Through Refugees' Stories: Presentation of We Crossed A Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria"

Time: 6:30 to 8:30p.m.

Where: University Union - Heritage Room

How have Syrians lived the revolution and war transforming their country? What can their personal stories teach us about both tragedy and resilience? Wendy Pearlman, the Martin and Patricia Koldyke Outstanding Teaching Associate Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University, will explore these questions in this presentation of her acclaimed new book, We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria (HarperCollins 2017). Based on interviews that Pearlman conducted with more than 300 Syrian refugees across the Middle East and Europe since 2012, the book is a mosaic of first-hand stories and reflections that chronicle the Syrian conflict exclusively through the words of people who have lived it.

This event is sponsored by the Department of History with support from the U.S. Department of EducationTitle VI Grant – "Communities as Agents of Change," Peace Corps Programs, Department of Political Science, Expanding Cultural Diversity Project (ECDP), and University Theme Committee.

October 17, 2017

Please join us for the screening of BENDING THE ARC, a new documentary about Partners In Health, which looks at the global health movement through the experiences of PIH leaders Dr. Paul Farmer, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, Ophelia Dahl, Dr. Joia Mukherjee, and others.

The documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and has since screened at film festivals around the country, including the Aspen Ideas Festival, Berkshire International Film Festival, Greenwich International Film Festival, Miami International Film Festival, Montclair Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, Skoll Foundation’s World Forum in Oxford, England, Telluride Mountain Film Festival, and others.

The screening is free and open to the public.

Time: 5:00 p.m.

Where: Morgan Hall, Room 109

For anyone who wants to believe in the promise of Martin Luther King Jr.'s quote, 'the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice,' BENDING THE ARC is a must see. This event is made possible by Title VI Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) Grant Programming and Peace Corps Programs.

November 28, 2017

The Center for International Studies and the Women's Center Invite You To A Screening of He Named Me Malala. 

Screening is free and open to the public with a discussion will follow.

Time:  7:00 p.m.

Where:  Sandburg Theater-University Union