FOCUS SESSION 1, 1:15 – 2:15 p.m.

Protecting the Beloved Community by Caring for the Global Climate and the Communities Affected by Climate Change
Presenter: Amelia Chizwala Peterson, ’11 J.D.
Location: Arts and Sciences Building, room 115
Description: Amelia Chizwala Peterson, a native of Zimbabwe and winner of the distinguished student award upon graduation from the Valparaiso University Law School in 2011, earned her LL.M. in Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2012. She will present on the work of the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force — a unique subnational collaboration between 22 states and provinces around the world that work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and improve the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities.
Moderator: Vanessa Verner, Valparaiso University Law School
Sponsor: Valparaiso University Law School

Working Within the Beloved Community: Developing Minority Businesses in Porter County
Presenter: Suman Das, owner, Dairy Queen (LaPorte and Sturdy), owner, Country Inns and Suites (Valpo), member, Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce, and real estate developer
Location: Harre Union, Gandhi-King Multipurpose Room
Description: Local hotel and restaurant owner Suman Das will discuss her struggles and successes in operating two separate local businesses in Porter County. Das, a native of India, together with her husband (the first foreign national student at Valparaiso University’s College of Engineering), arrived in Valparaiso in the mid-60s. Their family faced a hostile environment upon their arrival. Eventually, Das transcended biases, both past and ongoing, to become one of the most successful businesswomen in Porter County.
Moderator: Bruce MacLean, Valparaiso University MBA Director
Sponsors: 1st Source Bank and Valparaiso University College of Business

Waking up the Beloved Community Bringing Awareness to Interpersonal Violence
Presenter: Valpo student Leah Moore
Location: Harre Union, Heritage Room
Description: Interpersonal violence such as sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking, and rape are present in every community around the world. One out of three women worldwide will encounter interpersonal violence in some aspect. Specifically for the college community, interpersonal violence is an important issue, because one out of four college women will experience a rape or attempted rape. Interpersonal violence is not just an issue for women. It is a community problem. It is everyone’s issue. Following a video screening, there will be a “real talk” open dialogue. The goal of this interactive session is to encourage further discussion and increase awareness about interpersonal violence.

Enhancing the Beloved Community through the Circle of Sisterhood Initiative
Presenters: President Ginny Carroll, Circle of Sisterhood; Assistant Dean of Students for Greek Life, Leadership, and Volunteer Programs Carrie Whittier; and Valpo student Laura Mattson
Location: Neils Science Center, room 234
Description: After reading the book “Half the Sky,” Circle of Sisterhood founder Ginny Carroll identified a chance to turn oppression into opportunity for women worldwide. Carroll realized that, as a college- educated woman, she had a responsibility to do something to help girls and women around the world get an education, and she knew that she could not do it alone. But she was well acquainted with a very large community of college-educated women she knew would help — sorority women.
Sponsor: Valparaiso University Panhellenic Council

Cultivating the Beloved Community: Embracing a Policy of Inclusion through Diversity Training (Group “B”)
Presenters: Professor Heath Carter, Department of History, Professor Barb Crumpacker-Niedner, Department of Social Work, Assistant Director Samuel Payán, Multicultural Programs
Location: Christopher Center, Community Room
Description: In this extended focus session, a 90-minute presentation will be conducted by the presenters/facilitators as part of the campus campaign, “Building a Culture of Equity and Inclusion.” Materials comprising Valparaiso University’s Welcome Project will be incorporated into the session.
Sponsor: Diversity Facilitation Committee and Valparaiso University’s Welcome Project

Educating the Beloved Community: The Continuation of Adult Education through Neighborhood Educational Opportunities/ New Vistas
Presenters: Executive Director Rebecca Reiner, Neighbors’ Educational Opportunities Inc., Professor Emeritus Albert Trost, and Teodora Hurtado
Location: Harre Union, Alumni Room
Description: As census data for 2010 show that 20 percent of Porter County residents and 24 percent of Lake County adults 25 years of age and older have less than a 12th-grade education, the need for dropout recovery and adult educational opportunities is greater than ever. Partly in response to these statistics, the nonprofit Neighbors’ Educational Opportunities Inc. (NEO) received a charter in 2011 from Ball State University through the assistance of former Valparaiso University Arts and Sciences Dean Albert Trost and New Vistas founder and current executive director of NEO Rebecca Reiner. Speakers Reiner and Trost will relate their struggle and ultimate success to save, preserve, and expand adult educational opportunities at the site of the former Portage Adult Education Center. Co-speaker, Teodora Hurtado, mother of Valparaiso University instructor Tatiana Cochran, will describe her desire to continue and complete her high school education, emphasizing the opportunities provided by NEO/New Vistas.
Moderator: Professor Ruth Johnson, Department of Education
Sponsors: New Vistas and Valparaiso University Department of Education

Creating the Beloved Community through Relationship-Building
Presenters: Deacon Tom Brown, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Professor Larry Baas, Department of Political Science, and President Paul Schreiner, Project Neighbors
Location: Arts and Sciences Building, room 231
Description: The creation of the beloved community is predicated upon “loving one’s neighbor.” This necessitates relationship-building, volunteering time, talent, and treasure, and, in some cases, assuming risk. Numerous individuals and families living in untenable conditions and facing few opportunities for advancement have been assisted by Project Neighbors for nearly 30 years. This commitment to community service has been made possible by forging partnerships with members of local organizations, churches, and civic groups, uniting to answer the call in Luke 12:48: “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”
Sponsors: Immanuel Lutheran Church, Project Neighbors, Trinity Lutheran Church, and the Valparaiso University Department of Political Science

Ministering to the Beloved Community: Reaching out to the Detained and Forgotten
Sister Pat Murphy and Sister JoAnne Perch, Sisters of Mercy
Location: Arts and Sciences Building, room 113
Description: Certain groups comprising a portion of our beloved community have been designated as “illegals” — stripped of human dignity and isolated from the rest of society to face unknown and somewhat perilous futures. Acting through the Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants (, Sister Pat Murphy and Sister JoAnne Perch of the Sisters of Mercy have tirelessly worked with United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Illinois legislature to bring pastoral services to detained immigrants. Their decades of tireless work have been featured in the documentary “Band of Sisters” as well as in countless articles.
Moderator: Rev. Larry Morkert
Sponsor: St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Student Center

Celebrating the Beloved Community: Imparting Values through Music
Presenter: Three Rivers Institute for Afrikan Art and Culture
Location: Center for the Arts, University Theatre
Description: A performance by the Three Rivers Institute for Afrikan Art and Culture from Fort Wayne, Ind. will be given in celebration of our all- inclusive, beloved community. The Three Rivers Institute will demonstrate through drumming how our common values can be shared with each other and, particularly, with the next generation.
Moderator: Rev. Mike Cobbler
Sponsors: Union Community Church of Valparaiso and the Valparaiso University Department of Theatre

Promoting Diversity in the Beloved Community
Presenters: Selected Valparaiso High School students, under the direction of Ryan Labis, Deb Shaffer, and Principal Reid Amones
Location: Harre Union, Brown and Gold Room B
Description: Members of Valparaiso High School’s STAND and/or Key Club will discuss their efforts to advocate inclusiveness, service, tolerance, and understanding within their particular educational environment.
Moderators: Ryan Labis and Deb Shaffer
Sponsor: Valparaiso Community Schools (Superintendent Michael J. Berta, Jr.)

Unlearning Violence: A Problematic Within the “Beloved” Community
Presenter: Professor Gregory Jones, Department of Theology and the Northwest Indiana African American Alliance
Location: Arts and Sciences Building, room 114
Description: This presentation will reveal a brief overview of the problem of violence and its acceptance within western society. Particular focus will be on everyday integration of violence as a social norm within the beloved community and the problematic of passive acceptance of violence as a universal social reality within the cultural community.
Sponsors: Valparaiso University Department of Theology and the Northwest Indiana African American Alliance

Building a Community: The Student Literary Magazine, the Stage, and Campus Dialogue
Presenter: Editor Gregory Maher, The Lighter
Location: Mueller Hall Commons
Description: This presentation intends to show how a literary magazine can serve through its platform of publishing and hosting events to raise forth voices, encourage dialogue, and establish community through the act of mutual creation of appreciation. It will cover the unique role of student literary magazines, open mic performances, and the difficult but worthy task of nourishing and spreading community through these forms.
Sponsor: The Lighter (the literary magazine of Valparaiso University)

Storytelling in the Beloved Community
Presenter: Sarah Carson, Integrated Marketing and Communications, Elizabeth Hunter, Beverly Price, Jacob Saenz, and Angela Narciso Torres
Location: Arts and Sciences Building, room 234
Description: This session will discuss the power artists, storytellers, and creative professionals have to influence discussions of race, diversity, and inclusion by presenting these stories in their work. Presenters include a documentary filmmaker, two poetry and fiction editors, and a journalist/children’s editor who all use their work to tell stories of underrepresented and often marginalized populations.

The Ummah: The Concept of Community in Islam
Presenter: Valparaiso University Muslim Students Association
Location: Christopher Center, room 205
Description: The Islamic tradition greatly stresses the importance of being an active member of society. The Muslim Students Association will give a short presentation on the concept of community in Islam. The well-being of the community is considered the personal responsibility of each Muslim. In this session, the importance of being involved and Muslims’ place in the community is the main focus. As Muslims become a larger part of the Valpo community and the broader American community, learning about the Islamic perspective on community will help eliminate some misconceptions about Islam as well as help us take steps forward to work together to nurture a welcoming, productive community.
Sponsor: Valparaiso University Muslim Students Association

The Star Activity
Presenters: Valpo students Kelsey Larson and Caprice Balleweg
Location: Mueller Hall Refectory
Description: Students will present an interactive play that brings the audience into the struggles and simple victories of those in the LGBTQ community. The objective is to educate and build a compassionate understanding of the problems facing the LGBTQ community.
Sponsor: Valparaiso University Alliance

Reaching the Next Level of Beloved Community: Eliminating Racial Microaggressions
Presenter: Director of Counseling Services Stewart Cooper with Office of Multicultural Programs student panelists
Location: Harre Union, Brown and Gold Room A
Description: Racial microaggressions are brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of color. This presentation will help participants learn to identify and avoid microassaults, microinsults, and microinvalidations. The program will also cover the underlying issues for why race talk is difficult with suggestions for embracing such dialogue.
Sponsor: Valparaiso University Counseling Services

On Barriers and Benefits: An Open Dialogue about Connection, Community, and Selfhood
Presenters: Gideon Litherland, Northwestern University graduate student, and Sara Vivens, Chicago School of Professional Psychology graduate student
Location: Mueller Hall, room 112
Description: In this interactive forum, presenters will review the dramatic influence an empowering community may have on an individual’s psychosocial well-being. The presenters will share personal experiences illustrating the impact of collective rejection, individual resilience, and the necessity for intentional community-building. An open forum will offer attendees the opportunity to begin to dialogue about their personal reactions to the material presented as well as begin to reconsider how Valpo “does” community.

95 Years as a Community of Service
Presenters: Diane Marten, Edie Eickemeyer, Diana Iltzsche, and Nicole Kass
Location: Center for the Arts, room 1412
Description: Valpo alums and LDA Deaconesses/ students will talk about how deaconesses have built and sustained a faith-based community. Panelists will share how being part of the deaconess community helps them serve their churches and communities. Panelists include LDA Director of Education/Formation Diane Marten ’72, volunteer Edie Eickemeyer ’67, Special Education Case Manager Diana Iltzsche ’77, and current psychology major/Native American studies minor Nicole Kass.
Sponsor: Lutheran Deaconess Association

We All Have a Dream: Poetry Reading by DJ, the Kingdom Poet
Presenter: Alumna Debbie Hollingsworth
Location: Center for the Arts, Brauer Museum of Art
Description: Debbie Hollingsworth, who goes by the name “DJ, the Kingdom Poet” for poetry events, will read a selection of her poems. She has read her poems previously in the Brauer Museum in conjunction with the Museum’s exhibition of paintings by Prophet Blackmon. Hollingsworth’s poems are largely autobiographical, emphasize Christian themes, and demonstrate a commitment to fairness and equality.
Sponsor: Valparaiso University’s Brauer Museum of Art


Where Do I Belong?
Presenter: Ryan Bye, Valparaiso University Office of Residential Life
Location: Harre Union, Heritage Room
Description: Ryan Bye, son of two deaf parents, will share his story of growing up in a bi-cultural home. He will draw lessons from what it meant to be a hearing child of deaf parents and relate it to how one can belong to a beloved community. The session will explore the age-long question of belonging and how we can begin to identify where we belong. Lastly, this session will address how our individuality creates the beloved community we desire.
Sponsor: Valparaiso University Office of Residential Life

Widening Our Circle of Compassion
Presenter: Lauren Allison
Location: Neils Science Center, room 224
Description: Einstein believed “our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.” Through a humane- education-based presentation that incorporates art, video, and discussion, participants will examine the people, animals, and natural systems missing from our circles of compassion and identify changes we can make to ensure we are caring for the totality of our beloved community.
Sponsor: Institute for Humane Education

Developing the Beloved Community: The Role of 4-H and the Revolution of Responsibility
Presenter: Extension Educator Joan M. Grott and Department of Art Chair Aimee Tomasek
Location: Mueller Hall, room 140
Description: This session focuses on how bringing various segments of the community together — from rural youth to Saudi university students — through appreciation of art, farming, animal husbandry, crafts, and dialogue forge lifelong partnerships and cross-cultural awareness and appreciation.
Moderator: Jessica Wilson
Sponsor: 4-H of Porter County

Linking the Beloved Community: CATIS-Mexico
Presenter: Finance Director Meghan Kirkpatrick, CATIS-Mexico
Location: Arts and Sciences Building, room 231
Description: This session describes how Centers for Appropriate Technology and Indigenous Sustainability seeks to empower local communities through affordable and locally purchased technologies to meet regional, basic needs in sustainable ways. CATIS additionally helps to build local businesses to ensure sustainable regional growth. Kirkpatrick is currently a senior consultant at Health Management Associates’ Chicago office and administrator of its newly formed Accountable Care Institute, which focuses on making publically funded healthcare delivery more accountable and integrated. Kirkpatrick was the former director of development for non-profit organization CATIS- Mexico, part of iCATIS – International Centers for Appropriate Technology & Indigenous Sustainability.
Moderators: Professors Kendre Israel-Janssen and Jane Barden
Sponsor: Valparaiso University Department of Social Work

Cultivating the Beloved Community: Embracing a Policy of Inclusion through Diversity Training (Group “A”)
Presenters: Professor Del Gillispie, Department of Education, Professor Victoria Brockett, Department of Education, and Valpo student Caprice Belleweg
Location: Center for the Arts, room 1412
Description: In this extended focus session, a 90-minute presentation will be conducted by the presenters/facilitators as part of the campus campaign, “Building a Culture of Equity and Inclusion.” Materials comprising Valparaiso University’s Welcome Project will be incorporated into the session.
Sponsor: Diversity Facilitation Committee and Valparaiso University’s Welcome Project

Cultivating the Beloved Community: Embracing a Policy of Inclusion through Diversity Training (Group “C”)
Presenters: Equilla McClain, Integrated Marketing and Communications, Professor Lissa Yogan, Department of Sociology and Criminology, and Professor Phillip Powell, Department of Communication
Location: Mueller Hall Refectory
Description: In this extended focus session, a 90-minute presentation will be conducted by the presenters/facilitators as part of the campus campaign, “Building a Culture of Equity and Inclusion.” Materials comprising Valparaiso University’s Welcome Project will be incorporated into the session.
Sponsor: Diversity Facilitation Committee and Valparaiso University’s Welcome Project

Partnering with the Beloved Community: Valpo’s Interdisciplinary “Engineers/Everyone Without Borders”
Presenters: Professor Michael Hagenberger, Civil Engineering; Professor Coleen Wilder, Management; Professor Amy C. Cory, College of Nursing and Health Professions; and Valpo students Tobiah Meinzen and Bailey Bottorff
Location: Harre Union, Brown and Gold Room B
Description: This session illustrates the importance of serving others and discusses ways in which students can participate across disciplines despite time and resource constraints. Valpo’s EWB chapter focuses on particular needs throughout the world and the ways in which it partners locally, nationally, and internationally to address these needs.
Sponsors: Valparaiso University Colleges of Business, Engineering, and Nursing and Health Professions

Leading the Beloved Community
Presenter: The Honorable Jill Long Thompson, CEO of the Farm Credit Bureau, Washington, D.C.
Location: Harre Union, Alumni Room
Description: Jill Long ’74 Thompson will discuss her ongoing commitment to reform state government, promote greater accountability, and increase investing in vocational education by highlighting her personal experiences working with constituents and communities and by understanding the needs and aspirations of those she has served and continues to serve. Long Thompson is an American politician, businesswoman, and educator. She was the Democratic candidate in the 2008 gubernatorial election, having already served as a two-term Congresswoman for the 4th District in Indiana. She was the first woman in Indiana history to be nominated for governor by a major party. In 1995, Long Thompson was appointed by President Bill Clinton as Under Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Development where she served until 2001. Subsequently, she served as a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University. In October of 2009, she was nominated by President Barack Obama to the board that oversees the federal Farm Credit Administration. Her appointment was confirmed by the Senate to head the Farm Credit Administration where she currently serves as its CEO.
Moderator: Professor Larry Baas, Department of Political Science
Sponsor: Valparaiso University Department of Political Science and International Relations

Identifying the Beloved Community: The “Intentional” Community
Presenters: Rev. Karl Lutze, Department of Theology, Emeritus; Rev. Gregory Jones, Department of Theology; assisted by Gail Lutze, Valparaiso University Guild
Location: Christopher Center, room 205
Description: This session will involve a discussion between two theologians on the implications of “The Beloved Community” on today’s society. Rev. Lutze will emphasize how this community is intentional in nature; created by God for the benefit of all people without contingencies. Everyone belongs to this community as a gift of grace. Rev. Jones will emphasize issues of class and racial bias — and its impact on residents of color in Northwest Indiana — that must be acknowledged, confronted, and resolved to allow “The Beloved Community” to thrive.
Moderator: Professor Peter Lutze, Department of Communication
Sponsor: Valparaiso University Department of Communication

Serving the Beloved Community: Creating Sustainable Communities in Central America
Presenters: Kathleen Morkert ’64 and Rachel Stark Inch ’75, Chicago
Location: Arts and Sciences Building, room 236
Description: Two Valpo alumni will explain the core mission, accomplishments, and primary objectives of MayaWorks (, an organization that seeks to develop economic, social, and educational skills for Guatemalan women. MayaWorks helps foster artisan skills and create business opportunities through various partnerships around the world.
Moderator: Professor Phillip Humpfrey
Sponsor: Valparaiso University College of Business

Creating the Beloved Community: The Story of New Philadelphia, Ill.
Presenter: Sandra McWorter, Champaign, Ill.
Location: Arts and Sciences Building, room 213
Description: Sandra McWorter is the great, great granddaughter of Frank McWorter, the first African-American and freed slave to have incorporated a town in the United States. McWorter will narrate the story of the creation of this town, which was recently given “National Historic Landmark” status under President Barack Obama.
Moderator: Professor Chuck Schaefer, Departments of International Studies and History
Sponsor: Kiwanis Club of Valparaiso

Conserving the Beloved Community: The Call for Environmental Stewardship
Presenters: Regional Coordinator for Sustainable Indiana 2016 Kathy Sipple, and Executive Director Nicole Barker, Save the Dunes
Location: Harre Union, Brown and Gold Room A
Description: A leader in sustainable practices including green building, gardening, and local food production will present an overview of the ravages of climate change and then will more narrowly focus on promoting more sustainable practices in businesses, at home, on campus, and in the classroom to better preserve our beloved community. Sipple is also a community manager, social media strategist/trainer and founder of 219 GreenConnect.
Moderator: Professor Tom Goyne, Department of Chemistry
Sponsor: Valparaiso University Earthtones, Rachel Shore, president

Open Arms – Hand in Hand: Embracing and Exploring Valparaiso’s Growing Hispanic Population
Presenters: Jessica Burkman, Compass Education Program, Professor Salena Anderson, Department of English, and Rev. Tomás Angón
Location: Arts and Sciences Building, room 114
Description: Having worked with Valpo’s thriving Hispanic population for the past seven years, the presenters will share information about this beautiful, diverse group. Gloria Dei’s Compass Education Program welcomes several Valpo students who grew up in Hispanic immigrant homes – one being a product of Compass. The presentation will highlight Valparaiso’s diversity, share the challenges immigrant/refugee families face, explain how Compass is working with newcomers, and have stories to share.
Sponsor: Compass Education Program

Promoting a Community of Justice: The Social Action Leadership Team’s World Relief Campaign
Presenters: Valpo students Caleb Rollins and Cogan Blackmon
Location: Arts and Sciences Building, room 115
Description: This session will examine the annual community-based development project of the Social Action Leadership Team known as the World Relief Campaign through pictures, texts, and discussion. Attendees will gain an understanding of the fundraising and advocacy methods utilized by Valparaiso University students to complete the campaigns. The program will then focus on the past successes of campaigns, introduce the 2014 World Relief Campaign, and allow for discussion on the effectiveness of the campaigns.
Sponsor: Social Action Leadership Team (SALT)

Living Beloved with the Lutheran Malaria Initiative
Presenters: Dionne Lovstad-Jones, Lutheran Malaria Initiative, and Assistant Director of Multicultural Programs Monique Nunes
Location: Arts and Sciences Building, room 234
Description: This session begins with a true story about a beloved member of the Lutheran community who grew up in Africa, had malaria, and is now a Harvard researcher. The relevance of the Lutheran Malaria Initiative is also emphasized using a combination of presentation and video. Small group activities, brainstorming, and a discussion of the best methods of fighting malaria are also included. Prizes for the best ideas are given to participants and all attendees will receive gifts.

Cancer Does Not Discriminate: How to Help the Cause
Presenters: Valpo students: Tom Serratore, Men’s Soccer, Student-Athletic Advisory Committee, Fellowship of Christian Athletes; Charles Barden, Men’s Soccer; Sarah Dooms, Volleyball and PRSSA; and Zev Taublieb, Men’s Soccer
Location: Neils Science Center, room 234
Description: This session will be an interactive lecture, focusing on how we, as members of the community, can help find a cure for cancer by participating with various organizations. Examples of organizations include Northwest Indiana Cancer Kids Foundation, Relay for Life, and St. Baldrick’s. The idea that cancer can affect anyone at any time no matter their race, gender, or socioeconomic status will be discussed. This will be supported with researched data.
Sponsors: Men’s Soccer, Student-Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC), Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FAC), Women’s Volleyball

Bridging Differences
Presenters: Asian American Association (AAA), Black Student Organization (BSO), Latinos in Valparaiso for Excellence (LIVE)
Location: Harre Union, Gandhi-King Multipurpose Room
Description: The Asian American Association, Black Student Organization, and Latinos in Valparaiso for Excellence, all of which are part of the Office of Multicultural Programs, will hold an hour-long focus session that centers on “bridging the differences” between the three various encompassing cultures. The session emphasizes creating a united front with the many cultures that exist on the Valparaiso University campus, instead of letting those differences come between us, in order to create a more inclusive and beloved community. The goal of the session is for participants to walk away with knowledge on how to be accepting of everyone, despite differences.
Sponsor: Asian American Association (AAA), Black Student Organization (BSO), Latinos in Valparaiso for Excellence (LIVE)

The Stranger and the Beloved Community: A Screening and Discussion of the Short Film “The Lunch Date”
Presenters: Samuel Graber and Jennifer Prough, Christ College
Location: Mueller, room 114
Description: This 12-minute short film, which tracks an interracial encounter in a café, won numerous awards including the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film in 1991.
Sponsor: Christ College – The Honors College

Inclusion in the program does not constitute endorsement by Valparaiso University or the MLK Steering Committee of any of the views presented.

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