UCCS to provide platform for engaged discussion on Islamophobia

A three-day series “The United States and Islamophobia” begins Sept. 19 at UCCS.

Inspired by the Syrian refugee crisis and recent political rhetoric, the series will feature a Sept. 19 UCCS faculty panel discussion about refugees and the notion of a so-called Muslim threat. The series continues with a Sept. 20 discussion of Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer-Prize winning 2012 play “Disgraced” and a Sept. 21 workshop aimed at leading students, faculty, staff and community members in recognizing and critiquing forms of Islamophobia.

“There’s no better place than a university to provide a platform to engage in discussion and stimulate thought,” said Carole Woodall, associate professor, History Department and Women’s and Ethnic Studies Program, who coordinated the series.

U.S. and Islamophobia Poster

All events are free and will be 5-7 p.m. in the Kraemer Family Library’s 3rd Floor Apse.

The Sept. 19 panel will be led by three UCCS faculty members:

  • Emily Skop, director, Global Intercultural Research Center. Skop will lead a discussion about refugees. Colorado Springs is home to at least three Syrian refugees.
  • Jeffrey Scholes, director, Center of Religious Diversity and Public Life. Scholes will speak about Christianity and Islamophobia.
  • Edin Mujkic, assistant professor, School of Public Affairs. He will discuss whether a Muslim threat is real or perceived. Mujkic’s research focuses on national security, defense, homeland security and U.S. foreign policy.

The Sept. 20 discussion will feature Woodall; Kevin Landis, associate professor, Visual and Performing Arts Department; and Max Shulman, assistant professor, Visual and Performing Arts Department. They will discuss Akhtar’s “Disgraced,” which features a Pakistani-American character and themes of identity. The discussion is a part of Kraemer Family Library’s Just Talk series.

The Sept. 21 workshop will be led by Catherine Orsborn, director of Washington D.C.-based Shoulder-to-Shoulder Campaign, an interfaith organization working to end anti-Muslim sentiment. The workshop is sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusiveness Dialogue: Moving Forward Through Violent Times.

Registration for the series is available on the UCCS event calendar.

The series is hosted by the UCCS Office of Diversity and Inclusiveness; College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences; School of Public Affairs; Global Intercultural Research Center; Center for Religious Diversity and Public Life; Kraemer Family Library’s Just Talk.

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