Writing and Media Center concludes Speaker Series


Courtesy of the Iowa State Writing and Media Center's Speaker Series webpage

The Writing and Media Center will host a lecture discussing how to communicate with empathy.

Claire Hoppe

The Writing and Media Center’s final Speaker Series event will discuss communicating with empathy Monday.

Iowa State’s Writing and Media Center has hosted multiple events throughout the year focusing on language and communication justice.

“Through the series, we highlight the work of educators, researchers and activists who are advocating for language and communication justice in their communities,” Vivian Cook, graduate assistant director of the Writing and Media Center and the director of the 2021-2022 Speaker Series, said.

According to Cook, Monday’s event will fall in line with this theme, specifically focusing on communication justice through the lens of art, design and creativity.

The event will feature three speakers: Jordan Brooks, the director of equity, inclusion and multicultural student success for Iowa State’s College of Design and founder of KNWSLF, Mani Mina, an associate professor of industrial design and electrical and computer engineering, and Lucia M. Suarez, an associate professor of Spanish Latinx studies and director of US Latino/a Studies Program.

“Jordan W. Brooks, Mani Mina and Lucía M. Suárez are all inspiring educators, practitioners and researchers and leaders in art and design,” Cook said. Their work will provide us all with insights into the role that creative disciplines play in advancing justice and equity — and vice versa.”

Suarez said her part of the event will focus on listening to stories shared by different people in different communities and the importance of letting others use their own voice.

“Language is important, words matter, and being respectful of different languages as well as learning languages helps connect and build better community dynamics,” Suarez said.

Suarez, who is passionate about human rights work, said she gained interest in this topic when considering the amount of diaspora communities that have escaped horrific conditions in their native lands.

“The way these memories are processed through literature and performance is fundamental to understanding the past, being in the present and imagining a better, more just future,” Suarez said.

Suarez said her interest in human rights work and creatives makes her teaching style more dynamic and learner focused. According to her, teaching is a constant learning experience that is always transformative.

Cook said the event on Monday, which will take place at the College of Design at 4 p.m., is free to attend in-person or watch online. If anyone plans to attend, click here to register.