‘Faculty Unhinged’ aims to help Miami Regionals staff, students think differently

The Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Miami University Regionals will continue to present the “Faculty Unhinged” series of programs on Wednesdays through Wed., Apr. 27. The next program, “Ally2 Activist” will be held on Wed., Feb. 16 with Sue Sepela.

“These programs are important because it’s an opportunity for our students, faculty and staff to get to know each other in a different way. Our staff, faculty and community members are the presenters, and the students get to come and partake, but it’s also an opportunity to come and challenge someone else’s thinking in a way that promotes critical learning or critical thinking,” said Dr. Bennyce Hamilton, director of the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Miami University Regionals.

We want our students, faculty and staff to be open to new ways of thinking about things that are happening in the world, and to get different perspectives on those things, she said.

“This series of programs came about because we wanted to get people in the room, and we wanted to get them to talk to each other and get them to talk to each other across our differences. One of the things we have not done is create rules for how people will engage. It’s just developed organically, but we know that we’ve set that center up to be a space that’s open, welcoming and accepting, and where all voices can be heard. We call it a brave space, not a safe space,” Hamilton said.

It’s a “brave space,” where you know your voice may be challenged, or your thinking may be challenged, but you get to do the same to other people, she said.

Other upcoming programs will include “Zoos: Why Do We Need Them?” with Caryn Neumann on Wed., Feb. 23 and Is American Democracy in Trouble? on Wed., Mar. 2 presented by John Forren. For a complete schedule of programming, go to https://www.miamioh.edu/regionals/student-life/dms/events/faculty-unhinged-hamilton-sp.

The weekly programs will be held in person on the Miami University Hamilton campus in the Diversity Center in 114 Rentschler Hall. The programs will also be streamed (shown virtually) from Miami University Regional locations at Miami Hamilton Downtown at 221 High St. and in the Diversity Center, 100 Johnston Hall, in Middletown.

All programs will begin at 11:30 a.m. and will run until 12:30 p.m. Free lunch will also be provided at the 114 Rentschler Hall and 100 Johnston Hall locations. Participants will have the opportunity to engage with the presenter and other participants and ask questions during the presentation.

The “Faculty Unhinged” series of programs features current, hot topics, which are facilitated by faculty, staff and local community members.

Faculty, staff and community members are asked to present, or they recommend a topic, and they choose the topic to present, so there’s a wide range of topics covered.

“The premise is to choose a hot topic that gets people engaged, that makes them talk, and that promotes critical thinking, and they bring it,” Hamilton said.

The response to the programs has been “phenomenal.” Pre-COVID, up to 75 people have attended the weekly program. Around 35 attendees were present at the last in-person “Faculty Unhinged” event.

“Miami Regionals’ motto is ‘Empowering Minds, Strengthening Communities.’ An event like this is an opportunity for both…We are living our motto,” Hamilton said.

For questions, or more information about “Faculty Unhinged” contact Bennyce Hamilton at (513) 785-3283, or Amy DePew at (513) 785-3024. Miami University requires face coverings at all public events.

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