What do we know and how do we know it?
These are two of the questions raised as Central Michigan University's Critical Engagements series continues to explore this year's theme: fake news.
Students, faculty, staff and community members are discussing challenging topics, such as how information — and misinformation — is spread and the way important issues like race and climate change are discussed in the media.
Christi Brookes, director of academic initiatives in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and professor of French, said this year's theme is both relevant and timely.
"From elections to a changing climate and from "deep fake" videos to vaccines, it is clear that we all regularly encounter multiple viewpoints, perspectives and even disinformation," Brookes said.
"Without good information, we run the risk of making poor decisions with consequences that impact everything from our bodies to the well-being of our communities."
The interdisciplinary program renews its series of events this month, beginning with a visit from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Wes Lowery at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23 in the Bovee University Center Auditorium.
Lowery will speak about his experience reporting in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting of Michael Brown, and working as a journalist during the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The schedule of events also includes panel discussions with refugees, guest speakers and an escape room designed by students. All events are free and open to the public.
"We are excited to work with our university and community partners to examine these issues up close and — with any luck — find some solutions," Brookes said.