Building Communities in a Global Society
The primary purpose of the Indiana University Southeast Common Experience Program is to develop a common dialogue among students, faculty, staff, and members of the local communities. The theme or dialogue of this year’s program is “Building Communities in a Global Society.” Community can be defined as developing an authentic relationship between people or a group of two or more people who, regardless of their backgrounds, have been able to accept or transcend their differences, enabling them to communicate openly and effectively, and to work together toward common goals, while having a sense of unusual safety with one another. Over the course of this year we will discuss how to build communities in the face of tremendous obstacles such as poverty, economic inequality, race, language, culture, and power structures.
There are many ways to participate in this program. One may attend some or all of our numerous programs and events scheduled over the course of the academic year. These programs are designed to allow you to “see the world through the eyes on another.” One may also read our common reading Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman’s Quest to Make a Difference by Warren St. John (2009) and engage in book discussions in either the fall or spring semesters. Students can register in almost 40 courses that have assigned the common reading as part of the class. Faculty members, staff members, and members of the community are invited and encouraged to purchase the book, read it, and participate in one of the book discussions. All are welcome and encouraged to come and participate in our on-going dialogue “Building Communities in a Global Society.”