(Virtual) Things to Do, June 12-26, 2020

NOTE: During this time of social distancing and university life interrupted by the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Chronicle’s virtual Things to Do provides a variety of opportunities to engage with Cornell resources and programming. See the University Events Calendar for updates.


Chatting in Russian

Cornellians can practice their language skills and meet new people in a series of Russian Language Conversation Hours this summer, presented by the Language Resource Center and the Russian Language Program in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The informal virtual sessions are Sundays, June 14-July 12 from 4-5 p.m. EDT. Providing an opportunity to listen to and speak in the language, the hours can help participants gain confidence in language skills in a low-pressure atmosphere without instruction or correction. Conversation hours are open to any learner, but may be most useful to those at an intermediate level or above.

Alliance for Science Live

The Cornell Alliance for Science will launch a series of provocative and informative conversations and salons addressing key issues around science, disinformation campaigns and agriculture, starting June 15.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn joins a panel of Congressional Black Caucus members discussing race and justice in America, June 15.

The first session covers COVID-19 and food security in Africa, June 15 at 10 a.m. Upcoming conversations include anti-science sentiment in Brazil, June 17; updates on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s genetically engineered organism regulation, June 23; and exploration of the most promising COVID-19 vaccines, June 25.

Join Sarah Evanega, Ph.D. ’09, director of the Alliance for Science in the Department of Global Development, at these virtual events live on Zoom and the Alliance’s Facebook page.

Congressional panel

The Institute of Politics and Global Affairs (IOPGA) at Cornell will present a conversation with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Monday, June 15 at 5 p.m. EDT. Register in advance. The event is open to the Cornell community and current IOPGA members.

“A Congressional Conversation on Race and Justice in America” will feature caucus members’ perspectives on policies that have led to current economic, law enforcement and racial justice inequities, and meaningful solutions.

Participants in the online event include Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C.; Emanuel Cleaver II, D-Mo.; Terry Sewell, D-Ala.; and Barbara Lee, D-Calif. The 90-minute discussion will be moderated by Basil Smikle Jr. ’93, adjunct professor at Columbia University and former executive director of the New York State Democratic Committee.

Grief support group

The Cornell Women’s Resource Center (WRC) is hosting a weekly COVID-related bereavement support group for Cornell employees and students, Tuesdays through July 28 from noon to 1:30 p.m. EDT.

The pandemic has brought unprecedented losses for the community, and the group offers anyone affected by a COVID-related death a space to share with others who are also grieving. New members are welcome at any time.

The Zoom-based support group is facilitated by Shura Gat, WRC assistant director, and Katherine Goldberg, Counseling and Psychological Services community consultation and intervention specialist. For more information on the group or to sign up, contact Goldberg at 607-255-5155 and press 2.

Conversations on race, racism

Cornell will host a series of community conversations about race and racism to help strengthen the Cornell community and its efforts toward social equity and justice.

The trainings will focus on learning, thinking deeply about and unpacking issues of systemic racism, to help community members engage in proactive and meaningful dialogue.

Topics include “Allyship,” available June 11-26, on how to support colleagues and engage meaningfully in advancing equity in our work and daily lives. “Why Are People Protesting?” available June 10-25, provides historical context for the current protests in response to recent killings of black people in America, and how institutional racism manifests in communities. “Urban Policing,” available June 15-26, explores what underlies the tensions between communities of color and police departments, actions to transform that relationship and the prospect of change. Register through CULearn at the links provided.

The conversation series will be augmented by additional programming including skill-building workshops, new episodes of the Inclusive Excellence Podcast, and a series of virtual discussions from a Cornell community read of “How to Be an Antiracist” by National Book Award winner Ibram X. Kendi. The ebook is available for purchase now from The Cornell Store. Kendi gave the Krieger Lecture in American Political Culture on campus in April 2019.

Mary Opperman, vice president and chief human resources officer, said future programs will be announced. The conversation series is presented by the Department of Inclusion and Workforce Diversity in partnership with the Office of Organizational Development and Effectiveness and Joseph Margulies ’82, professor of law and government.

Pandemic: global impacts

Pandemic is a Greek word meaning “all people.” COVID-19 has been a shared experience, with global impacts including the breakdown of public health, economies and international cooperation.

Cornell undergraduates and graduate students interested in global thinking and action are invited to hear regional experts from the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies discuss the COVID-19 pandemic as a world-shaping event.

“Pandemic: What International Studies Tells Us” will take place June 25, noon to 1 p.m. EDT. The online discussion is open to the Cornell community; register online.

The event features panelists representing Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America, discussing the questions facing major world regions during the crisis, potential reforms, new ways of thinking and new challenges to emerge from the pandemic. The discussion is moderated by Einaudi Center Director Rachel Beatty Riedl.

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