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MATC’s diversity workshops to spur dialogue on immigrant cultures

The community workshops are based on topics discussed in MATC’s “Introduction to Diversity Studies” course.

“Immigrant Cultures of the U.S.” will be the focus of Milwaukee Area Technical College’s January “Diversity Dialogues” forum. Set for 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Jan. 14, the free, public discussion will be held in the cafeteria at Washington High School, 2525 N. Sherman Blvd.

Sharlen Moore, executive director of Urban Underground, will emcee. A panel discussion, led by MATC anthropology instructor Jacqueline Robinson and MATC history instructor Zacharia Nchinda, will address Mexican, Somalian, Hmong and other immigrant experiences.

Zeynab Ali, a senior at Rufus King High School and author of the new memoir Cataclysm: Secrets of the Horn of Africa, will be a featured panelist. Ali and her family fled the Somali civil war and immigrated to the U.S. when she was six. Tammie Xiong from the Hmong American Women’s Association (HAWA) also will be one of the panelists.

Inspired by efforts to rebuild relationships in the Sherman Park community after the violence broke out last summer, MATC designed the monthly forum to gather the community to learn and share ideas about race, ethnicity, gender, ability, sexual orientation, age, religion and other forms of cultural diversity.

“We hope these sessions can be used as a model for an ongoing, community-wide discussion that could be a catalyst to transform lives and our community,” said Dr. Vicki J. Martin, MATC president. “It is my hope that these monthly discussions will lead to substantive changes, not just in Sherman Park, but throughout Milwaukee.”

The community workshops are based on topics discussed in MATC’s “Introduction to Diversity Studies” course. Sponsored by MATC’s School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, remaining discussions include:

  • Feb. 11 – “Privilege and Implicit Racial Bias”
  • March 11 – “Institutional Racism and its Effects”
  • April 8 – “Social Movements of Yesterday and Today”
  • May 13 – “Celebrating Diversity”

Pre-registration is not required. For more information, call Jennifer Mikulay, MATC associate dean of liberal arts and sciences, at (414) 456-5325.

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