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Celebrating Self luncheon to explore cultural identity

Miami U scholar to share travel experiences.

As a Miami University educator, scholar and a Ph.D. student, Johnnie Jackson will offer audiences a perspective on his studies and real-life experiences abroad during the next Celebrating Self luncheon series event at the Fitton Center.

“His talk is called #blackboyabroad,” said Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, executive director, Fitton Center. “His Ph.D. is a study of African-American men who study abroad during college in Europe, Latin America and Asia. He has taught English as a second language in South Korea. He brings an incredible perspective as a young, African-American male working in very different cultures and how that relates to America and his cultural identity.”

Jackson will be the guest speaker on Wednesday, Feb. 1. Jackson, an Ohio native, lived in South Korea for two years after earning his bachelor’s degree. In South Korea, he taught English and coordinated a teacher exchange program. Research for his doctoral dissertation project is rooted in topics such as equality, social justice and abolition.

MacKenzie-Thurley said, “He will bring a true multicultural perspective. I’ve traveled greatly throughout the world, but I’ve never met anybody quite like Johnnie and what he brings. It’s been very insightful, and I think that’s something exciting that fits into our whole series this year at Celebrating Self. It’s not just about a lunchtime chat, it’s about bringing in quality, engaging and insightful guests.”

Attendees will have a catered lunch. Following Jackson’s talk, there will be a time for a question-and-answer session with guests.

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“A luncheon series shouldn’t just be about lunch. You have 40 minutes to engage with an audience. It’s a real opportunity to offer a perspective, open a mind and to bring something new to our audiences, whether that’s cultural, artistic or business. … That’s what we’ve tried to do with this series is to make the hour that you spend at the Fitton Center a time where you take something real away with you. With that, we have a great mix of guests, and we’ve tried to draw locally as much as possible,” MacKenzie-Thurley said.

Other upcoming guests for Celebrating Self include Mike Dingeldein (CORE Fund and City of Sculpture) on March 1; Tony Orr (Hamilton City Schools) on April 5 and Carolyn Mazloomi (artist and advocate, Women of Color Quilters Network) on May 3.

Contact this contributing writer at gmwriteon@aol.com.

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