About Symposium Against Indifference

The College of Arts and Sciences at Ashland University inaugurated the Symposium Against Indifference in 2001 as a biennial series of events and lectures dedicated to overcoming apathy in the face of human concerns by raising awareness and promoting compassionate engagement. The Symposium seeks to challenge the University community — as well as the wider Ashland community — toward a deeper understanding of difficult affairs and toward creative personal and corporate responses.

2017-2018 Symposium: Building Bridges Through Dialogue

The 2017-2018 Symposium theme of “Building Bridges Through Dialogue,” in particular, seeks to elevate the level of discourse to civil discussion of diverse perspectives.

Index of Events (Click on event title for details)

No More EnemiesTue., Sep. 12 Rescheduled for: Tue., Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m.

Trustees' Room (Myers Convocation Center)
Presenters: Dr. Susan Glisson and Charles Tucker, Partners & Co-founders, Sustainable Equity, LLC

Using Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s quote, “My enemy is someone whose story I haven’t heard” as a touchstone, the co-founders of Sustainable Equity will share stories of dialogue, understanding and trust within divided America. From a historic conviction in a cold civil rights case, passage and implementation of a statewide law requiring civil rights and human rights history curriculum in all Mississippi schools, to work with the City of New Orleans on Confederate monuments, Glisson and Tucker have a diverse and substantial list of success stories of leading individuals and communities to examine their own attitudes and biases combined with the building of trust and respectful relationships. 

“Susan Glisson and Charles Tucker are raising small armies across the country to unite communities and guide the hard but needed conversations about racial reconciliation." - Bud Ferillo, University of South Carolina: South Carolina Collaborative on Race and Reconciliation

Co-sponsored by the Department of Religion

Welcome Table Workshop - Wed., Sep. 13 Rescheduled for Wed., Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m.

Trustees' Room (Myers Convocation Center)
Presenter: Dr. Susan Glisson and Charles Tucker, Partners & Co-founders, Sustainable Equity, LLC

Discover more about the Welcome Table process developed by Dr. Glisson in this interactive workshop which will introduce you to the tools and techniques used by the city of New Orleans and the state of South Carolina (among others) to help communities with deep racial and historical divisions. Learn more about this method of intentional dialogue that we can use in community building and in our daily lives. 

"The Welcome Table brings people of different ethnicities and backgrounds together to build relationships, tackle the issue of race and work together on projects that will make our city better and stronger."  --Mayor Landrieu, City of New Orleans

Co-sponsored by the Department of Religion

Interfaith Dialogue - Wed., Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m.

Hawkins-Conard Student Center Auditorium
Presenter: Imam Jamal Rahman, Co-founder & Muslim Sufi Minister, Interfaith Community Sanctuary

In these times of anger, fear, and separation, Imam Jamal Rahman will talk about the six stages of Interfaith dialogue to help us move beyond polarization, share practices to open the heart and use humor to convey inconvenient truths about ourselves. A popular speaker on Islam, Sufi spirituality, and interfaith relations, Jamal, along with his Interfaith Amigos, has been featured in the New York Times, CBS News, BBC, and various NPR programs. A local pastor and rabbi will join the discussion to further enhance our understanding of interfaith dialogue.

Co-sponsored by Ashland Center for Nonviolence

Strength Through Connection - Art Exhibition: Oct. 26 - Nov. 17

Opening Reception: Thu., Oct. 26 at 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Coburn Gallery

This art exhibition features animation artist Tracy Miller-Robbins and graphic designer Jonathan Clyde Frey as they address building a better understanding of our diverse
community population through race, class and religion. In conjunction with this exhibit, the gallery will host Thy Neighbor, a national mail art show that focuses on the connection
through our neighbors and encourages more active engagement within our communities.

Co-sponsored by the Coburn Gallery and Department of Art

I Come From - Mon., Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Hawkins-Conard Student Center Auditorium
Presenter: Robby Henson, Founder & Artistic Director, Voices Inside

A screening of this new documentary film, I Come From, illustrates the mission of the Voices Inside program which is to develop empathy, compassion and trust, and to nurture a desire to help others. Screenwriter and film director Robby Henson (who has directed films starring Academy Award winners Billy Bob Thornton and Patricia Arquette) founded this inspirational inmate writing and theatre program at Northpoint Training Center, a medium security prison near Danville, KY that uses theatre arts and creative thinking to increase communication skills, build self-esteem, humanize and enrich the lives of those closed off behind bars. He will speak about the film and a Q&A will follow.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Theatre

Filtered Through Networks - Wed., Mar. 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Hawkins-Conard Student Center Auditorium
Presenter: Dr. Bree McEwan, Director of Communication & Technology, DePaul University

Fake News. Filter Bubbles. Your friend’s misspelled meme. Your cousin’s change.org petition. Scientific information interpreted by a journalist, re-written as a hot take, shared and editorialized by… Aunt Tracy? Comprehending information diffused online through social networks is an important component for understanding debates on a wide range of issues. While it is important to think critically about our information consumption and media diets, other factors, particularly who information comes from and how we form those sources are important factors in the way we see the world and ourselves. Dr. Bree McEwan, the author of Navigating New Media Networks, will discuss the dynamics between media consumers, information ecology, social network platforms, and cognitive processes. McEwan will offer explanations and suggestions to help competently process the large swaths of information we encounter every day from our social networks.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Journalism and Digital Media

Previous Symposium Themes

  • Holocaust - 2001
  • Human Nature - 2003
  • Terrorism - 2005
  • The Promises and Perils of Technology - 2007
  • Inquiry Into What Makes a Hero - 2009
  • Against Global Indifference - 2011
  • Engaging Latin America and the Caribbean - 2013
  • Environmental Sustainability - 2015

CAS Symposium Blog

Symposium Ends with Suggestions for Processing Social Network Information

Dr. Bree McEwan, Director of Communication and Technology at DePaul University, will present a program titled "Filtered through Networks: How social technologies facilitate relationships that… Read more

Film Director Screens New Documentary

Screenwriter and film director Robby Henson (who has directed films starring Academy Award winners Billy Bob Thornton and Patricia Arquette) will present a public screening… Read more

No More Enemies, Welcome Tables & Confederate Monuments Focus for AU Symposium

Organized by the Ashland University College of Arts & Sciences, the biennial Symposium Against Indifference continues its 2017-2018 theme of “Building Bridges Through Dialogue” with… Read more

Get In Touch:

Dr. Dolly Crawford 
Assistant Professor
325, Kettering Science Building
419.289.5942
dcrawfo9@ashland.edu