Mercer to Host Discussion Series on ‘Identity in America’


MACON – Mercer University will host a series of moderated discussions this spring on the topic of “Identity in America” as a follow-up to last spring's popular “Muslims in America” series.

The University's Center for Community Engagement, Department of International and Global Studies and Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Office are collaborating on the series, which will take place on the Macon campus.

The four monthly events, which are open to the community, will take place Jan. 24, Feb. 7, March 21 and April 4, in Willingham Auditorium. Each will begin at 6 p.m.

The topic of January's discussion is “We Come in Peace: Aliens in America and the Immigration Process.” A panel will feature Charles Kuck, managing partner of Kuck Immigration Lawyers in Atlanta; Raymond Partolan, Mercer alumnus and program associate at Asian Americans Advancing Justice in Atlanta; and Sister Roberta Treppa, executive director at Family Advancement Ministries in Macon. Dr. Eimad Houry, professor and director of the Department of International and Global Studies, will moderate.

The U.S. Census estimates that there are approximately 40 million immigrants living in the United States, which is 12.9 percent of the country's total population. In Georgia, 9.7 percent of residents are foreign born.

“The Center for Community Engagement is very pleased to be able to partner with the Department of International and Global Studies and the QEP Office to extend this series to the Middle Georgia community,” said Hannah Vann, coordinator of community engagement at Mercer. “These events are designed to inform and educate about some hot-button issues. We are being very intentional about including an emphasis on action this year that will give audiences the tools to put their knowledge to work, and I'm looking forward to seeing students, faculty, staff and the larger community come together to learn more about these topics.”

Subsequent panels will discuss “The Color Barrier: Opening the Conversation on Inequality in America,” “The First Americans: Hope and Healing with a Native American Medicine Story,” and “America, Land of the Free? Taking Action to Shape American Equality.” Panelists and additional details will be released at a later date.