Two signature events highlight Community Engagement Day

Academics Campus & Community

February 8, 2021

The first Community Engagement Day of spring semester features not one, but two signature events for the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University community on Feb. 19.

Coincidentally, both signature event speakers have the same last name.

Lor Lee, a 2001 graduate of SJU, presents “Tolerance is NOT Enough” at 9:30 a.m. Then at 2 p.m., Erika Lee presents “America for Americans: A Conversation.”

Community Engagement Days were intentionally included in the new academic block schedule for the 2020-21 school year as a place to offer high quality, compelling activities for members of the campus communities to participate in between each of the blocks throughout the semester.

Here’s a quick look at the day’s events, starting with the two signature events and followed by the day’s other events, listed chronologically:

9:30 a.m., “Tolerance is NOT Enough,” with Lor Lee (SJU ’01).

The term “tolerance” is thrown around quite a bit by people, who often believe if they simply tolerate others, that will lead to more inclusion. In this session led by Lee, participants will see firsthand that tolerance is actually NOT enough to create a truly inclusive environment. Instead, Lee will offer concrete ideas for how to achieve true inclusion at CSB/SJU and beyond.

Lee is the director/administrative partner for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Mayo Clinic. The son of Hmong immigrants and a first-generation immigrant, Lee came to the United States when he was 7 months old. Lee majored in political science at CSB/SJU, and received his Masters of Organization Development and Doctorate of Health Administration from Capella University.

This event is organized by SJU Alumni Relations, CSB Alumnae Relations and the XPD Office.

2 p.m., “America for Americans: A Conversation with Erika Lee about the History of Xenophobia.”

America For Americans: A Conversation with Erika Lee

Shannon Smith, assistant professor of history at CSB/SJU, and Ken Jones, professor of history at CSB/SJU, will interview Lee regarding her work on immigration history and her most recent book, “America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States.” There will be time at the end of the program for a question-and-answer period with questions for Lee.

Lee is a professor, historian and author who currently teaches at the University of Minnesota and serves as the director of the Immigration History Research Center and is the granddaughter of Chinese immigrants.

Her book, “America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States,” won the American Book Award and was deemed "essential reading" by Ibram X. Kendi, who spoke at the Oct. 23 Community Engagement day.

This event is presented by the Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy & Civic Engagement.

11 a.m., The Transformational Power of Data, with Angela Jerabek (CSB ’90) and Anu Sharma.

Join the discussion at this link

“Data” is a frequently used word, but what does that really mean and how can we use it to truly change others’ lives? Jerabek, founder and executive director of the BARR Center, a school improvement nonprofit, and Sharma, a senior research scientist, discuss more than two decades of work to understand the transformational power of relationships and the use of data.

This event is presented by the Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship.

11 a.m.-4 p.m., S WORD, an exhibit by visual artist Katayoun Amjadi, Alice R. Rogers and Target Galleries, SJU Art Center

Amjadi is an Iranian-born, Minneapolis-based artist, educator and independent curator. In her artwork, she often considers the social systems that continually construct the binaries which shape our perceptions of Self and Other, such as religion, gender, politics, and national ideologies. FAE credit will be offered during the open gallery hours. Please note that the galleries have COVID-19 regulations in place, including a capacity limit of 10 visitors, masked and socially distanced for 15-minute intervals.

More information about this exhibit is available here, and is presented by the Fine Arts Series.

1 p.m., Being Real Online, with author Chris Stedman.

Join the discussion at this link

Social media allows everyone to curate lives for an audience in ways impossible even 20 years ago. But is what you put online the “real you?” Stedman’ recent book “IRL: Finding Realness, Meaning and Belonging in our Digital Lives,” explores what it means to “be real” — particularly in our online lives. Join Stedman and the communication and philosophy departments for an interactive discussion of “being real,” the complexities and contradictions of social media use, the way the internet both unites and separates us and how to be more intentional online.

This event is presented by the communication and philosophy departments.

3:30 p.m., A Community Built on Granite

Join the discussion at this link

You might know that St. Cloud is called the “Granite City” and that this beautiful and practical stone is mined in our area. But did you know Stearns County granite is found in Mt. Rushmore? Or that Saint John’s Pottery Studio clay is derived from granite, and  that the great poet Goethe wrote in praise of this marvelous and, for us, local stone?

Join panelists from the Stearns County History Museum, Saint John’s Pottery Studio and the CSB/SJU German Department to learn more about the remarkable treasure just below our community’s feet.

Presented by the Saint John's Pottery Studio, the CSB/SJU German Department and the Stearns County History Museum

4:30 p.m., PechaKucha presentations with the Honors Planning and Advisory Council.

Watch the presentations at this link

PechaKucha means "chit chat" in Japanese, and it began as a nighttime get-together in Tokyo in 2003. Since then, 3 million people have attended PechaKucha events worldwide. The presentation format shows 20 chosen images, each for 20 seconds. In other words, you've got 400 seconds (just over six minutes) to tell your story, with visuals guiding the way.

Create and share a short PowerPoint presentation about your passion project or interest that you could talk about for hours - but each presentation can only be 20 image-only slides. Learn about all the cool things other students and faculty are learning right now, from groundbreaking research to the habits of CSB/SJU campus squirrels!

If interested in presenting or for more information, please email here.  

5 p.m., Tournées Film Festival: “The State Against Mandela and the Others.”

Register to watch the film here (once you register, you will receive a follow up email from Cultural Events with instructions). 

The 2018 documentary, directed by French journalist Nicolas Champeaux and French director Gilles Porte, follows the 1964 Rivonia Trial in apartheid South Africa, which led to the sentence of life imprisonment for Nelson Mandela. The important trial also became a breaking point in the fight against racial segregation. The film is in English, with original audio from the trial and more contemporary interviews with witnesses, including Winnie Mandela.

This is the fourth Community Engagement Day of the school year. The final CE Day is scheduled for March 19.

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Lor Lee SJU ’01

Erika Lee