Summer reading series to welcome dialogue about diversity

May 17, 2010

The Diversity Resource Office announces a "Diversity Wednesdays" summer reading series for staff and faculty who are interested in reading and discussing books on contemporary diversity topics.

The reading series is an extension of the Diversity at Work staff education initiative, and the books selected for "Diversity Wednesdays" are texts that Diversity at Work participants have received for extended enrichment. Each lunchtime discussion will be co-facilitated by a Purdue faculty or staff member who brings a perspective that will enrich conversation and learning. Participation in Diversity at Work is not required to attend the summer reading series.

The book discussions will run on select Wednesdays from May to July, and participants are invited to bring a brown bag lunch. Beverages and dessert will be provided.

The series will launch on Wednesday (May 19) in Room G167, Lynn Hall, with a discussion of "Stealing Buddha's Dinner," a memoir by Bich Minh Nguyen, associate professor of English at Purdue. "Stealing Buddha's Dinner" was chosen as the first book in Purdue's Common Reading Program, serving that purpose in 2009-10. Kauline Davis, director of diversity for the School of Veterinary Medicine, will be the guest facilitator. The School of Veterinary Medicine is co-sponsoring this discussion.

The full "Diversity Wednesdays" schedule, each session from noon to 1 p.m., is as follows:
* May 19 in Room G167, Lynn Hall -- Book: "Stealing Buddha's Dinner" by Bich Minh Nguyen. Guest facilitator: Kauline Davis, director of diversity, School of Veterinary Medicine. (Co-sponsored by the School of Veterinary Medicine.)
* May 26 in Room 1284, Beering Hall -- "Cultural Intelligence: A Guide to Working with People from Other Cultures" by Brooks Peterson. Guest facilitator: Ellen Gruenbaum, professor and head of anthropology.

* June 16 in Room 128, Agricultural Administration Building -- "The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century" by Thomas Friedman. Guest facilitator: Edwin Cubelo, visiting global diversity scholar, Diversity Resource Office and the College of Agriculture.
* June 30 in Room B-2, Stone Hall -- "Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know -- and Doesn't" by Stephen Prothero. Guest facilitator: Daniel Olson, associate professor of sociology.
* July 14 in Room 111, Haas Hall -- "Is It a Choice? Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions about Gay and Lesbian People" by Eric Marcus. Guest facilitator: Rob Mate, interim associate dean of students.
* July 28, in Room B-38, Schleman Hall -- "Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America" edited by Mitchell Gold. Guest facilitator: Susan Prieto-Welch, director, Counseling and Psychological Services.

RSVPs are requested; participants should submit an RSVP form, which is on the Diversity Resource Office website at The series is free and open to all staff and faculty.