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Gannon University Launches Cultural Conversations Series Tonight

Published: 02/11/2021

Gannon University Launches Cultural Conversations Series Tonight

Gannon University Launches Cultural Conversations Series Tonight

Gannon University is presenting Cultural Conversations: Exploring Issues of Racial and Social Justice Locally and Globally. This virtual speaker series promotes meaningful dialogue around today’s racial and social justice issues with insights from members of the Gannon and surrounding communities.

Cultural Conversations is hosted by Gannon’s Office of Global Support and Student Engagement and the College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences and build’s on this year’s CHESS Speaker Series, Racial Justice: Be the Change.

The first event in this series, The Transmigration Experience from Mississippi to Erie, will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. today. This discussion provides a fascinating historical overview of the northern migration and a few important pioneers to Erie (1930-1960), a 60-year examination of Erie (1960-2020), and a projection of the next 30-50 years.

Panelists include Parris Baker ’92, Ph.D., MSSA, Gannon’s director and assistant professor of the social work, mortuary science and gerontology programs; Johnny Johnson, M.Ed., retired member of the City of Erie Government and author of Erie African Americans in the 1880’s; Fred Rush, long-time leader in the City of Erie Government and the first director of the Erie County Human Relations Commission; Denise Horton, member of the Board of Stewards at St. James AME Church; Gary Horton, president of the NAACP of Erie; Gannon alumni Dorothy Smith-Frazier and Joshua X. Jackson ’20; and Gannon students Brevin S. Flowers and Tare Standback.

Register in advance for this Zoom webinar at:


Other events in this series are listed below and are free and open to the public via Zoom livestream.


> Immigration in the Americas: A Look into How COVID-19 has Impacted Hispanic International Students in the U.S. 

> Wednesday, March 3 | 11:15 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.

Join us to learn about the challenges that many international students face during the COVID-19 pandemic regarding U.S. immigration laws. This event is presented by the Gannon University International Hispanic Association.

Register at:


> Global Migration and the Inter-Generational Experiences of Indo-Americans 

> Tuesday, March 9 | 7 - 8:30 p.m.

This discussion between students and faculty will explore the Indo-American community and global migration, stereotypes such as the “model minority,” post-9/11 anti-Asia sentiments, and the evolving relationship in business between India and the U.S.

Panelists and presenters include: Gannon’s Anjali Sahay, Ph.D., program director of political science; Kuastav Mukherjee, Ph.D., assistant professor of English; Shreelina Ghosh, Ph.D., assistant professor of English; and Leena Manjunath, a graduate student.

Register at:


> The Philippine Poor in the Time of Three Pandemics: Duterte’s Iron Fist, Extrajudicial Killings and COVID-19

> Thursday, March 11 | 9:30 - 10:50 a.m.

In 2016, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte initiated a “War on Drugs” that has killed more than 20,000 individuals through extra-judicial state violence and that has continued through the COVID-19 pandemic. This discussion focuses on research around the epidemiological qualities of violence in the Philippines to consider the intersections of three pandemics in the country during COVID-19.

Panelists include: Chris Magno, Ph.D., Gannon’s associate professor of criminal justice and environmental science and engineering; Philip Parnell, Ph.D., associate professor of international studies at Indiana University; and Patria Luwalhati Garcia, a graduate criminalistics student and research assistant at Gannon, as well as an Institute of Philippine Culture graduate research assistant.

Register at: 


> Japan: Bi-Cultural, Mixed-Race, and Returnee Experiences in Japan and the U.S.

> Tuesday, April 13 | 7 - 8 p.m.

“Returnees” are individuals who have lived abroad for extended periods of time – typically for work or school – and who have returned to their native countries again. This adjustment to being “home” again can be challenging, and notions of “home” become more complicated for children who are bi-cultural or of mixed race. This panel will explore a variety of bi-cultural, mixed-race and returnee experiences in Japan and the U.S. Topics include pop culture representations, cultural assumptions, overcoming reverse culture shock, stereotypes, navigating identity, and finding a space of belonging.

This event is moderated by Derek DiMatteo, Ph.D., assistant professor of English at Gannon. Panelists will include members of the Gannon, Erie, and Japanese communities.

Register at:

All media inquiries can be made by contacting Doug Oathout, Chief of Staff and Director of Marketing and Communications, at (814) 871-7470 or