Jeff Chang headlines Emma Norman Todd Distinguished Lecture Series

Series invites prominent speakers to campus to inspire dialogue

| Author: University Communications | Media Contact: Aaron Mills

Central Michigan University is honored to welcome Jeff Chang, renowned social historian, organizer, and author, as this year’s Emma Norman Todd Distinguished Lecture Series speaker. The event takes place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3  in Plachta Auditorium.

Chang is known for his ground-breaking work in politics, music, arts, literature and activism, and is a leader in the fight against anti-Asian violence in the United States. He has authored several critically-acclaimed books, including "Who We Be: The Colorization of America," in which Chang boldly explores the impact of recent tragedies and widespread protests, linking #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, and Ferguson to Washington D.C. The Washington Post called it “the smartest book of the year.”

Shawna Patterson-Stephens, vice president and chief diversity officer at CMU, says Chang’s contemporary approach to discussing culture, music and social justice issues is powerful and engaging.

“The aim is to have broader conversations at the institutional level that touches the classroom, social lives and peoples’ lived experience, and making sure we are providing institutionalized support around those discussions,” Patterson-Stephens said. “This is one of many opportunities to do so.”

An Asian-American man wearing a collared shirt and blue jeans sits on a mustard-colored chair in a room with a book case filled with books in the background.
Jeff Chang will speak at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3 in Plachta Auditorium.

The Emma Norman Todd Distinguished Lecture Series was established to bring distinguished scholars in the fields of racial and social justice to campus to share their knowledge and experiences. The series is named for one of the first Black students to attend CMU, Emma Norman Todd, who was an educator and advocate for community and equality during her time at CMU in the early 1900s and throughout her life.

“It is important to have a diverse array of voices on campus and Jeff has an interesting perspective that we believe will resonate with a lot of people in our community,” said Patterson-Stephens.

The speaker series is one of many events hosted by the Office for Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion throughout the year. Its purpose is to inspire dialogue, community engagement and civic education within the CMU community.

“We are an institution that is dedicated to ensuring students have a diverse array of experiences and opportunities when it comes to learning, when it comes to engaging, when it comes to connecting what they are learning in the classroom to their lived experience,” Patterson-Stephens said.

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