Selected Materials Related to Diversity, Injustice and Inequity 

The Diversity Committee has compiled materials related to issues of inequity, diversity and injustice in the greater Madison area to promote a culturally inclusive learning environment in PLATO.  We will often feature a related book.  We hope to develop additional materials and welcome your suggestions. Contact Committee Co-Chairs  Kathy Michaelis ( or Rick Orton ( for the Diversity Committee meeting schedule.


Diversity Picks

Lectures, Events, Social Gatherings & Recommended Reading 


  • Winter and Spring    - Wisconsin Ideas
  • Sept. 11-Nov. 13,'18 - Facing Racism with Knowledge, Love, Compassion, Fearlessness, Forgiveness, Action                                        and Intervention.
  • Oct. 6 - Nov. 10, '18: - Hmong Community: Culture, Refuge Experiences and Challenges 
  • Oct. 7 - Nov. 18, '18 GroundWork: Anti Racism Workshop
  • Oct. 8 - Oct. 29,  '18 - Mira. History Not Yet History: The Talk Back

  • Oct 25, 2018            – Rainbow Connections

  • Oct.26, 2018             - RSVP for Milwaukee African American History and Food Tour by Bus

  • October 30, 2018      -- Madison Monuments and Meaning

  • Stories by Dean Mosiman: "Gun Violence in Madison"
  • Recommended Read: 
      • Why Work Doesn’t Work Anymore
      • Braiding Sweetgrass: indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants. 




I shall never be content until the beneficent influence of the university reaches 

every family of the state.

― Charles Van Hise, UW–Madison president, 1903-1918

Learn our state’s stories, then tell some of your own

Here at Continuing Studies, we’re dedicated to enriching lives. We’ve been doing it for decades by providing ways to learn new languages, discover new histories, and create new ideas. It’s all part of our commitment to the Wisconsin Idea, the notion that the University of Wisconsin should serve all residents of the state with opportunities for intellectual, creative, and community growth.

That’s why this fall we’re offering programs that dig into the history of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Idea, and the rich creative life of this state. Join a public discussion, take a class, or learn new skills for telling your own Wisconsin story.

Browse the list of classes and lectures below to start your Wisconsin Ideas adventure! for details or to register.





      • Fall 2018 Series
      • Thursdays, September 11 – November 13
      • 6:30 to 8:30 PM
      • Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa Street, Madison.
      • Registration:  $50. Email

A 10 week commitment is recommended for full understanding and impact.

This 10-week series aims to raise consciousness about the history and pathology of racism and help heal racism in individuals, communities and institutions in Madison. We work cooperatively to educate ourselves about the disease of racism through facilitated and voluntary sharing. Please come with an open mind and open heart.




  • Meet five Saturdays: October 6, 13, 27,  November 3 and 10
  • 8:30 am to 2:30 pm
  • Combined program of Edgewood College and the Hmong Institute
  • Location: Edgewood College, Deming Way Campus
  •                  1255 Deming Way, Madison

This series is uniquely designed to help you understand the culture, history and challenges of the Hmong American community. Through these workshops, you will have the opportunity to meet Hmong presenters of different experiences, and engage in activities and discussions that will help you sharpen your knowledge and skills to better interact with Hmong individuals.

For more information, contact Mai Zong at



      • Sundays 3:30 - 6:30 pm
      • October 7 through November 18
      • Trinity United Methodist Church,
      • 1123 Vilas Ave, Madison
Visit for info and to register.



      • Oct. 8, 2018 to Oct. 29, 2018 – Mondays
      • West High School, West High Gallery, 30 Ash St., Madison

Mira Project is a visual conversation between Latinx Escalera students at West High School and Mayan Students in Guatemala.  This exhibit invites viewers to learn, meditate, inquire, and reflect upon social and racial relations, politics and families, history and geography, and migration from the perspective of these artists.


A support group for LGBTQ people who have dealt with or are dealing with mental illness.  




      • RSVP BY Oct.26, 2018
      • Event held Nov 11,2018 
      • Bus departs from LaFollette High School Parking Lot
      • Time – 8:30 to 6:30
      • Age: 18 and over

Join us as we explore Milwaukee’s vibrant African American heritage.  Our day will begin by visiting two significant churches in the African American community, along with narration while driving about Milwaukee’s African American history.  Enjoy a stop for a sit-down lunch at an African American owned restaurant. Visit the Wisconsin African American Women’s Center for a drum and dance presentation. Conclude your day with dessert and shopping at an African American owned Bakery.  Fee includes motorcoach transportation, tours and lunch.


Tuesday, October 30th

Join experts from UW and the Madison community for a discussion of how local monuments and markers relate to national debates of them. 

Speakers: Heidi Lang (Wisconsin Union), Stu Levitan (Madison Landmarks Commission), Oman Poler (American Indian Curriculum Services, School of Education), Jennifer Pruitt (Art History)

  • 7PM, Tuesday, October 30, 2018
  • Dejope Residence Hall,  640 Elm Drive
  • See for details or to register.


Gun Violence in Madison

Cycles of Trauma

  • About the project:  Sudden and tragic, gun violence is increasing in Madison and the surrounding area, bringing both heartbreak and a thirst for revenge. For four months, the Wisconsin State Journal has been speaking with perpetrators, victims, emergency responders, doctors and those who study the root causes of violence to understand why it’s happening and what it might take to stop it..

          • 5 Part series in the Wisconsin State Journal
          • Stories by reporter Dean Mosiman.
          • Explore more stories from this series, video interviews and interactive graphics at 



    Recommended Reading

    The Diversity Committee hopes to make additional recommendations in the future - we welcome your suggestions. (Contact

    Why Work Doesn’t Work Anymore

    by Matthew Desmond, author of EVICTED, the 2016 Big Read, New York Times Magazine, September 16, 2018: pg 36-49

    “Americans still want to believe that a paid labor force is the antidote to poverty-BUT-in today’s economy, that belief has become a pernicious lie”

    Nearly a third of America’s workforce – 41.7 million laborers – earn less than $12/hr. and almost none of their employers offer health insurance. “What kinds of jobs are available to people without much education? By and large, the answer is “jobs that do not pay enough to live on.” America has witnessed the rise of bad jobs offering low pay, no benefits and little certainty. When it comes to poverty, a willingness to work is not the problem, and work itself in no longer the solution.

    To find the article itself I recommend going to a library and finding the magazine itself.  It's new enough that the issue should still available in print form and I believe most Madison branches carry it. 

    Call first.




    Braiding Sweetgrass: indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants 

    by Kimmerer, Robin Wall . Minneapolis, Minnesota : Milkweed Editions, 2013. Edition: First edition.

    Called the work of "a mesmerizing storyteller with deep compassion and memorable prose" (Publishers Weekly) and the book that, "anyone interested in natural history, botany, protecting nature, or Native American culture will love," by Library Journal, Braiding Sweetgrass is poised to be a classic of nature writing. As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer asks questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces indigenous teachings that consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise. (Elizabeth Gilbert). Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, a mother, and a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices.

    Available at Madison Public Library in print and audio editions


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