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Centenary's 'The Forum' to delve into diversity and race relations

Centenary College

Diversity and racial justice will be discussed Monday as part of “The Forum,” an annual event put on by Centenary College’s philosophy department.

The event, over two Mondays, includes a speech from a guest author and a and community panel discussion. Centenary philosophy professor Chris Ciocchetti says it’s time for philosophers tackle the ongoing discussion about diversity.

“Relatively recently, philosophers have started thinking about racial justice. At the same time, it’s very relevant to our community and people in our community. We wanted to choose that as a topic this year,” Ciocchetti said.

Michigan State University philosophy professor Kristie Dotson will give tonight’s talk on racial justice, followed by a Q-and-A. Dotson studies racial issues and feminist theories from a philosophical perspective and has a number of books on epistemology.

Dotson says struggles in one part of a society don’t exist in a vacuum.

“The lines that we often think are drawn between our struggles and someone else’s aren’t as clear and as absolute as people like to think,” Dotson said, who is also on the faculty at Columbia Law School. “That actually someone who is arguing for ’black lives matter’ is possibly moving forward the project that ‘all lives matter.’”

Dotson’s talk begins at 7 p.m. in Centenary’s Whited Room. On Monday, Feb. 9, Centenary students and community members will convene in a panel discussion on racial justice.

Previous years’ Forums have covered topics like religion in schools, stem cell research and art censorship.