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Learning Through Difference

Multicultural Students Academic Advising > Learning Through Difference



You Can't Tell by Looking at Me: The Experience of Diverse Identities

Tuesday, March 16, 2004
1:00-9:00pm (registration begins 12:30pm)
Haehn Campus Center (HCC), College of St. Benedict

The 2nd Annual Learning Through Difference conference (Click to view Flyer) at the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University will explore the ways race, culture, gender, sexuality, religion and other differences intersect to form the unique identity of each individual.


The tentative schedule for the conference is as follows:
(Click on Workshop Session #'s to view complete description)
12:30-1:00   Registration, Alumnae Hall
1:00-2:10   Workshop Session #1
  • “Benedictine and Catholic Values: Is There Room for Homosexuality?”
  • “How Do You Navigate?”
  • “Gay Marriage Forum”
2:40-3:50   Workshop Session #2
  • “Personal Stories” (two-part session)
  • “Creating Safe Space for GLBT Students, Faculty and Staff”
  • “What Are You? A Conversation with Pearl Fuyo Gaskins”
4:15-5:25   Workshop Session #3
  • “Beyond Awareness: The Truth About Race and Privilege in America”
  • “The Language of Blood: Adoptees’ Journey to Ethnic Identity”
  • “Christian and. . . : The Cultural Diversity of the Christian Tradition”
  • “Body Image and Ethnic Literature” (two-part session)
5:30-6:45   Supper at O’Connell’s with music by Magdalen Hsu-Li**
  • The buffet menu includes guacamole, pho soup, arroz con pollo, and cheesecake.

7:00-8:00   Keynote Address by Pearl Fuyo Gaskins
  • Pearl Fuyo Gaskins is an award-winning journalist whose articles frequently appear in Scholastic Choices magazine. The child of an interracial marriage, she wrote What Are You: Voices of Mixed-Race Young People “to be a forum for missed race young people to share their experiences and validate their feelings.” She is currently working on a book on young people and religion.

8:00-9:00   Questions and Answers

**This event is free and open to the public, but we request an RSVP by March 10 from those who would like to attend the supper. To RSVP or for more information, please contact Dan McKanan at 320/363-3181 or [email protected].


Learning Through Difference, which began in the fall of 2002, is a group of CSB/SJU students, staff, and faculty who are committed to cultivating and celebrating diversity on campus and beyond. This year's conference will be our second; last spring our conference on "Refugees and Immigrants in Minnesota" drew well over one hundred participants from campus and the Saint Cloud area. In addition, our learning community sponsors a mentoring program for first-year students and a variety of cultural events, both for learning community members and for the campus as a whole. It is linked to several courses. We are always looking for new learning community participants; if you are interested, please contact Dan McKanan at 320/363-3181 or [email protected]

The community, which invites students interested in diversity to become agents for change, takes a broad view of diversity and welcomes all who feel they have something to contribute to the diversity of our communities. The community is made up of first-year students, who take one or two courses together in their first year, and continuing students who serve as mentors. In addition to the academic component, Learning Through Difference sponsors and participates in diversity-oriented activities throughout the year. The learning community is led by a group of faculty, staff and administrators from both campuses.


Theresa Anderson
Academic Services Building, CSB