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Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Finding Common Ground

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion partners with the Office of the Provost and other organizations to host Finding Common Ground forums.

2019-20 Finding Common Ground Series

September 12, 2019
1:30 - 3 p.m.
Russell House Ballroom

Benjamin D. Reese, Jr., Ph.D. will discuss "Implicit Bias: Choices and Decisions" during the Fall 2019 Finding Common Ground lecture. 


The Provost's Forum Finding Common Ground series presents thought-provoking topics at various times each semester during the academic year. Formats may range from panel discussions to live performances to film series. All include a chance for audience participation. Previous forum topics have included:

Policing in the 21st Century

Opened by Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Joan T. A. Gabel, and Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin, the forum was facilitated by students and featured Henri Montieth Treadwell, one of the first African-American students to break the barriers of segregation at USC as well as faculty members Geoffrey Alpert, Todd Shaw and Seth Stoughton, and William 'Skip' Holbrook, chief of police for the City of Columbia.

Arts and A Movement

Assistant Professors Tanya Wideman-Davis and Thaddeus Davis performed an interpretive dance to a popular poem by UofSC Professor Nikky Finney, as part of a celebration of the fifth anniversary of Finney winning the National Book Award for her collection of poems, Head Off and Split. The forum was held to create awareness about the ways that university community members use their unique voices and talents to promote social change. 

Movement of Jah People

Kwame Dawes, Ph.D., is the author of Bob Marley: Lyrical Genius, which is held out as the authoritative study of the lyrics of Bob Marley. Dawes discussed Bob Marley's music and his cultural influence on politics and societies within and beyond his home of Jamaica.  

Celebrated Our Stories

Denise McGill, Saleem Reshamwala and Lauren Waring Douglas discussed their documentary films, each telling the stories about communities in the Carolinas, our challenges and commonalities. 

Medical Bondage

Deirdre Cooper Owens, Ph.D., discussed her award winning book Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology, which addresses the history of medicine and enslaved women. 


Related Events

Another of our partners, USC Connect has created a calendar to help students find events related to their Graduation with Leadership Distinction pathway, including diversity and social advocacy. The Finding Common Ground series is just one of the many events students can participate in throughout the year.

Diversity and Social Advocacy Event Calendar »

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