Lecture to explore role of ‘niceness’ in social justice

September 22, 2017
Dr. Rosemary J. Perez

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – To raise awareness about the role of “niceness” in addressing political tensions on college campuses, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Social and Environment Justice program will host the lecture “‘Just be nice’: The power and peril of niceness in working toward social justice” on Thursday, Sept. 28 in Room 103 Doudna Hall, UW-Platteville, at 5:30 p.m. All are welcome.

During the interactive lecture, Dr. Rosemary J. Perez, assistant professor in the School of Education at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, will discuss tensions on college campuses stemming from identity politics and the growing political divide. She will ask to what degree “being nice” will help students and faculty address social inequalities.

Perez, whose research broadly focuses on college student learning and development and promoting equity in higher education, is currently engaged in projects examining the experiences of low-income, first-generation college students in a comprehensive college success program; graduate student socialization to equity, diversity, and inclusion; and how to improve racial climate for minoritized doctoral students in STEM fields.

The following day, Perez will facilitate a round table with university faculty and staff members in the Computer Conference Room in the Markee Pioneer Student Center from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., as their schedules allow. The conversation will provide an opportunity to discuss how heightened tension in higher education has affected their classrooms and experiences, with a particular interest in the experiences of international faculty/staff and faculty/staff from underrepresented groups.

“As someone who specializes in the study of inequity in higher education, Perez will bring interesting insight into how attention to racism, immigration, sexuality and other identity issues are affecting college campuses,” said Dr. Claudine Pied, assistant professor of sociology and coordinator of the Social and Environmental Justice program at UW-Platteville. “Her focus on niceness brings the discussion to the level of individual and the effect of our own attitudes and ideas.”

Written by: Laurie A. Hamer, University Relations Specialist, College of Liberal Arts and Education, 608-342-6191, hamerl@uwplatt.edu

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