Library lunch discussions focus on diversity, inclusiveness

A series of noontime brown-bag lunch discussions on various national, state and local issues addressing diversity and inclusiveness begin Wednesday, Sept. 4, at the main branch of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County in Youngstown.

The discussions are presented by the library and Youngstown State University’s Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs. All discussions will be at noon at the Main Branch Library Meeting Room. For more information, call 330-740-6086 or 330-941-3370.

The schedule:

Wednesday, Sept. 4, noon. “Language and Culture Among Hispanics in the United States.” Hispanics in America use Spanish and English, often in combination, to express themselves and interpret cultural imagery. Although Hispanic communities are bilingual, different versions of Spanish and English are used, thus creating many dialects. Join the discussion on the commonalities and distinctions in language and culture among Hispanics in America.

Wednesday, Nov. 6, noon. “Native American: Vanishing Race or Just Invisible?” The Native American still conjures up images of people wearing animal skins and feathers. Today, Native Americans make up a little over 1 percent of America’s population. This group is easily and often overlooked, yet this is a race of people who exist by legal and political definitions and federal laws that govern many aspects of their culture.  Join in a discussion about the Native American.

Wednesday, Feb. 5, noon. “Disability Awareness: Supports Not Crutches.” The role in supporting and promoting quality of life, life skills and independence for persons with disabilities is critical. It is also important to acknowledge and reward the contributions of individuals with disabilities. What can we do as a society to be more inclusive?

Wednesday, April 4, noon. “Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage.” May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are one of the fastest growing groups of immigrants in America yet possibly the most misunderstood. People from Asia have had an important role in the development of the United States (e.g., U.S. Secretary of Energy – Dr. Steven Chu; U.S. Former Secretary of Labor – Elaine Chao; and others such as Apolo Ohno, Jeremy Lin, Michelle Kwan, etc.). What are some of the contributions Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made to the culture in America?