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Courageous Conversations: “When Words Hurt: Bias, Stereotypes, and Derogatory Language”


Tuesday, November 06, 2018


Main Campus—Tama Hall Hawse Auditorium

Map and Directions

As part of the Hawkeye Courageous Conversations initiative, the Diversity and Inclusion Council and Multicultural Student Organization will host When Words Hurt: Bias, Stereotypes, and Derogatory Language.

Certain words in the American lexicon are considered derogatory and in some cases, abusive. These words, which have historical and contemporary roots, can be used affectionately, politically, or pejoratively. They are as complex and nuanced as they are distinct and intentional. The spectrum and debate surrounding freedom of expression versus disparaging, threatening, or obscene language is a conversation that many avoid, ignore, or challenge on college campuses and in the workplace in the U.S.

Please join us as we discuss bias, privilege, in-group/out-group dynamics, 1st Amendment, free speech/hate speech, and other problematic conversations surrounding hurtful and offensive dialogue.

Format: Presentation, lecture
Presenter: Dr. Susan Hill, UNI Professor of Religion and Director of Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
Facilitator: Rhonda McRina, Diversity and Inclusion Director; Shad Banks, Multicultural Student Organization President
Attendees: Hawkeye students and staff

Institutional Learning Outcomes:

  1. Students will be able to express ideas, identify behaviors, and actualize practices that promote positive learning environment
  2. Students will be able to articulate ideas and exhibit behaviors that cultivate critical thought and communication skills needed to function in a diverse workforce and global community.
  3. Students will be able to demonstrate techniques and utilize tools to interrupt micro-aggressions and bias behaviors that adversely impact under-represented communities.

The goal of the Courageous Conversation series is to have open, honest, relevant discussions with students, faculty, and staff about critical, current, and controversial issues affecting our diverse communities. They are not meant to convince, caution, or champion for any cause. These conversations tend to be challenging and uncomfortable yet authentic and powerful. To engage, empower, and enlighten our students through different ways of knowing is one of my primary aims as Director of Diversity and Inclusion. —Rhonda McRina, director of diversity and inclusion


  1. diversity and inclusion
  2. faculty and staff
  3. student activities
  4. students
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