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Symposia to re-ignite intellectual life on campus

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The Yellow Springs community is invited to join the Antioch College Morgan Fellows for a panel-led dialogue about a critical national issue. All interested persons are invited.

The symposium, “The Daily Struggle of Immigrant Workers,” will take place this Saturday, Nov. 14, from 2–4 p.m. at the Coretta Scott King Center for Cultural and Intellectual Freedom on campus.

“The symposium year is intended to re-ignite intellectual life on campus,” said Antioch College Chief Transition Officer Matthew Derr this week. College leaders seek to engage both the Yellow Springs community and Antioch College alumni with the symposium series, according to Derr, who said the alumni will have videos of the event made available.

Panel members on Saturday will be Drs. Theo J. and Linda C. Majka of the University of Dayton, authors of Farmworkers, Agribusiness and the State; Dayton attorney David Larson, a member of the American Immigrant Lawyers Association who has been working on immigrant issues for the past 10 years and who is active in the Dayton Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and Lupe Williams, a community activist, organizer, translator and teacher who serves on the Board of Commissioners at the Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs. Moderator of the panel will be Antioch College professor emeriti Victor Garcia, president of the board of Del Pueblo in southwest Ohio, a social service organization.

The immigration topic was chosen because it touches on several current national debates, including labor issues, unemployment and health care, according to Derr. And the topic of immigration also resonates with the growing Latino community in Ohio and the Miami Valley, said Morgan Fellow Anne Bohlen.

“We want to reach out to diverse communities as we rebuild the college,” said Bohlen, who also stated that “Antioch College has historically educated students to become engaged citizens in their communities, to have a commitment to social justice and equality, and to act to redress inequalities and injustice.”

Future events will include presentations on Native American issues, greening, juvenile justice and issues in higher education, according to Bohlen.

The Morgan Fellow symposium series is one aspect of the work of the five Morgan Fellows who were hired in September after the college re-opened. The fellows are currently traveling around the country to engage alumni in discussion about the future college curriculum, which the fellows will begin developing in the new year, according to Bohlen.

The Morgan Fellows, named in honor of former Antioch College President Arthur Morgan, are Bohlen, Jean Gregorek, Beverly Rodgers, Scott Warren and Susan Eklund-Leen, who were all Antioch College faculty before the college was closed in 2008. The college re-opened this fall after a successful effort by alumni to create a liberal arts college that is independent of Antioch University.

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