17th Annual Bissell Grogan Symposium

17th Annual Bissell Grogan Speaker Series
Resilience in the Time of Change
Explore the concept of resilience through the lens of race and social justice, climate and the environment, and how the arts and creativity have managed to pivot and thrive.

Audience Webinar Link (for all sessions)

Social Justice, Race, and Resilience
Carolyn Chou, Executive Director of the Asian American Resource Workshop
JANUARY 19 • 1:40pm

2021 showed us the needs of our Asian American communities with the pandemic and the rise of anti-Asian violence. However, Asian American communities are diverse and include a wide range of class experiences, languages, and gendered experiences. We will talk about some of the different issues impacting Asian American communities and how we can work together to make change and make sure the people who are most impacted are at the center.  

Strategies for Climate Resiliency in our Municipalities
Julie Eaton Ernst '05, Lead Resiliency Engineer, Weston and Sampson
Caleb Stratton, Chief Resilience Officer, City on Hoboken
FEBRUARY 9 • 1:40pm

We are already experiencing the effects of climate change, from devastating wildfires to unprecedented rainfall and floods. We are at a global tipping point for our future, and climate action is needed now. At the same time, we are entering the third year of a global pandemic. As we look towards the future, there is a lot of uncertainty, but also opportunity and hope. We will hear from two experts working towards climate resilience from different perspectives in different communities: Caleb Stratton and Julie Eaton Ernst (’05). During this dialogue, Caleb and Julie will interview each other to explore the paths that led them to climate resilience, how they are addressing the climate crisis, and insight into managing uncertainty and finding hope. Please feel free to ask questions ahead of time here.

The Resiliency of the Human Spirit Experience Through Poetry
Liza Zayes (Luna del Flor), Spoken Word Poet
MARCH 2 • 1:40pm

The art of rhyme is heard in poems, songs, raps and found in greeting cards and other forms of expression. The ability to speak thoughts and emotions not easily defined in laymen's terms gives poetry the aura of power, its writer a liberation and the reader or listener a witnessing. Poetry's storytelling journey of human experiences allows for the human spirit's resiliency to be celebrated in non-fictional yet mythical tales allowing the writer to honor their courage, achievements and muses. Its outlet releases love, healing and even laughter. This talk hopes to encourage the audience to delve into their inner writer and appreciate the creativity and honesty unlocked when we do. 

The Role of the Written Word in Challenging Times
Ross Gay, Author and Poet
MARCH 101:40pm

Join Ross as he reads poems from Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, a sustained meditation on that which goes away—loved ones, the seasons, the earth as we know it—that tries to find solace and resilience in the processes of the garden and the orchard. These are poems that study the wisdom of the garden and orchard, those places where all—death, sorrow, loss—is converted into what might, with patience, nourish us. 
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