UAdiscusses Invites Community to Explore Complexities of Coexisting

UA News Services
Feb. 21, 2005


The Tucson and University communities are invited to a cultural exchange of ideas at the UAdiscusses "Coexistence" discussion on Thursday, March 3, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the University of Arizona's Student Union Memorial Center, Gallagher Theater.

Presentations will explore the complexities of coexisting in three areas: Palestinians and Israelis; American Indians straddling their sovereign nations within the United States; and Hispanics living on Tucson's south side or on the north side.

UA Vice President of Campus Life Saundra Taylor will provide opening and closing remarks, and Professor Richard Ruiz, head of teaching and teacher education at the UA College of Education, will moderate a panel discussion exploring how we can change the way we think and live.

Liat Tal, a master's degree candidate in language, reading and culture, and Mohammad Naser, a doctoral student in teaching and teacher education, both of the UA College of Education, will explore the Israeli and Palestinian conflict and the challenges to coexisting that occur when mutual mistrust and discord permeate an entire society.

Student producers from Cholla High School will present their documentary film "Questions for Answers" addressing issues surrounding Hispanics in Tucson. The 25-minute documentary was produced by Julio Cammarota, an UA assistant professor of Mexican American studies and the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology, and Cholla High School students Kim Dominguez, Nate Camacho, Veronica Trujillo and Angel Rodriguez.

The film will examine the differences in educational opportunity, environmental conditions, healthcare and housing between low-income students of color and more affluent students. The students will discuss their project and the lessons learned. The documentary film is part of the Social Justice Education Project in Tucson.

The documentary project began in January 2003 and was co-sponsored by the UA Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology, the UA Mexican American Studies and Research Center and the department of Mexican American/RAZA studies in the Tucson Unified School District. The Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Vision Mark Foundation provided funding for the project.

Coexistence for American Indians on and off the reservation will be presented by Roberta Tayah-Yazzie, a doctoral student in language, reading and culture, and UA Professor Robert Williams, the E. Thomas Sullivan Professor of Law and American Indian Studies and faculty co-chair of the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program at the UA Rogers College of Law. Williams is an enrolled member of the Lumbee Indian Tribe of North Carolina and recently served as the first Oneida Indian Nation Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

Williams and Tayah-Yazzie will address the challenges of coexisting as American Indians in a sovereign nation within the United States. They will address the lessons learned from history about the education of American Indians and how that can be used to engage tribal governments, federal governments and American Indians to improve education and opportunities for the future.

The UAdiscusses event is part of a UA project that promotes diversity. It follows the internationally acclaimed outdoor art exhibit, "Coexistence: The Art of Living Together," that was displayed on the UA Mall in February.

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