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Save the Date: Webinar on the Middle East Conflict on March 25

Dear Emersonians,

On Monday, March 25, the College will sponsor an educational webinar for Emerson faculty, staff, and students addressing the current Hamas-Israel conflict and broader challenges related to Palestine and Israel, titled “Reclaiming Nuance: Polarization & Framing Post October 7 – A Conversational Approach.” This online-only program requires no registration and will occur on March 25, 2024, at 11:30 am ET (Boston), 8:30 am PT (Los Angeles), and 5:30 pm GMT + 1 (Amsterdam).

Emerson College is holding this webinar to create space for difficult conversations and community engagement. We acknowledge that many community members have needed time to process, cope, and grieve. Our community may now be ready to create meaningful, earnest conversations that build bridges among us and not foment divisiveness.

It is important to note that this webinar is not about the history of the conflict. Instead, it is about what makes it so challenging to productively discuss this issue, including directly addressing common points of tension. Specifically, the event on March 25 aspires to:

  • Provide a greater understanding of what framing and polarization are and how they affect us as people and communities, especially in relation to Israel and Palestine.
  • Foster empathy and insight into the ways members of the Emerson community are reacting to and processing events in the aftermath of October 7.

Only the presenter’s cameras will be on during the webinar. Participants can submit questions in advance of the event and during the event via the Zoom Webinar tool. Participants will be in listen-only mode. A moderator will select and prioritize them in real time for the panelists.

Below are brief bios of the speakers who will engage in conversation with one another and with us on March 25..

  • Dr. Gail Sahar is the Jane Oxford Keiter Professor of Psychology at Wheaton College in Norton, MA. She earned her Ph.D. at UCLA, and has been teaching social and political psychology while researching attitudes toward controversial social issues for over 25 years.  Her scholarship is focused on people’s perceptions of the causes of social problems and how they relate to ideology and attitudes. 
  • Jonathan Feingold, J.D. is an Associate Professor at Boston University Law School. His scholarship explores the relationship between race, law, and the mind sciences. Much of his recent research has interrogated how and why various American legal regimes, including the equal protection doctrine, function to reinforce and reproduce racial hierarchy. He has his Juris Doctorate from UCLA. 

After this webinar, there will be additional small group discussions in April for Emersonians to engage thoughtfully with one another on this highly nuanced topic, which involves divergent perceptions, experiences, and histories.

We look forward to learning and modeling how to have complex conversations about this critical topic in our world.

Sincerely,
Jay Bernhardt, President
Jan Roberts Breslin, Interim Provost
Shaya Gregory Poku, Vice President for Equity and Social Justice 

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