Baum Symposium

On Friday I was lucky enough to help Drake graduate Daniel Van Sant navigate his way through the 2015 Herb and Karen Baum Symposium on Ethics and the Professions.

Dr. Holly Atkinson gave the opening keynote. Her presentation was centered on what we can learn from long, deep, dark and shameful corridor of time – showing the urgency of now. As a medical professional, Dr. Atkinson is “overwhelmed by social inconsistencies in medicine.”

She focused on the public discourse around and need to make human rights part of popular culture. Dr. Atchison explained that young people are good at defining and creating popular culture.

She highlighted Donald Berwick’s commencement address to Harvard Medical students in 2012 as a shining example of American discourse around medicine and what it should look like.

In her speech, Atchison cited the need to expand human rights learning and for human rights framework should be required for poor, marginalized, vulnerable so they know how to make changes. In her speech, she called the audience to action by stating “we must speak up to confront social injustices where we find them within the economic and health care gap.”

This quotes from Martin Luther King’s 1967 speech on Vietnam really stuck with me, “Hope is to have strength with sight, morality and might with vision for the future.” Circling back to her earlier point about millennial, Dr. Atkinson closed by empowering the audience by explaining that it is up to millennial to create human rights language that is relatable in popular culture today in order to expand education and the relatively young human rights movement.

The next section of the conference was dedicated to the fine arts, showing how a range of stories in any culture shows diversify that can transcend socioeconomic, political, and gender differences.

Emily Lang, co – founder of RunDSM believes in leading with love, allowing youth to share their experiences. As a teacher in the Des Moines public schools, Lang see teaching as a reciprocal relationships between rather and student – depending on understanding of students as people, investigation of personal history and discussions

As co – founder, Lang saw non-traditional students in public school on north side of Des Moines. She then began to realize that there was more of a value put on the text in textbooks then in texts that mirror a student’s culture in school, which makes it harder for students to relate to. She wanted to change the view of how students portrayed. Lang believes in life as primary text that need to be used to explore the old, in addition for seeing a need to give students a safe space to share ideas and to engage in their communities.

RunDSM’s urban leadership program combines leadership, social justice internships, and human rights through deconstructing stereotypes of hip hop. Another RunDSM program is movement 515, which is street art and spoken work poetry, which provides summer camps and annual fundraisers for local nonprofits.

In closing, Lang explained the vision of RunDSM. She explains that the vision of the organization is to move perception of youth by showing that voices matter and to inspire kids to beat system from the inside out; transform traditional classroom and education inside safe spaces to better integrate their cultural ideas, beliefs, and forms of expression into everyday learning.

Dr. Atarlei Troutman from the University of South Florida gave the afternoon keynote. To begin, he explained that the opportunity to change the world is in all of us, which shows the great power of individuals.

Dr. Troutman explained how in America today we other think globally, and dot not locally. For example, we often think about radical groups abroad, war ships, or refugees, but other don’t act to help those in our own communities. Food deserts, police brutality, incarceration, and gentrification (the increase in city value by having poor population move into the suburbs) also need out attention as well.

Troutman uses a quote by Desmond Tutu to illustrate his idea that everyone is connected when it comes to human rights. The quote states, “If we could but recognize our common humanity, that we do belong together, that our destinies are bound up in one another’s, that we can be free only together, that we can survive only together, that we can be human only together, then a glorious world will come into being where all of us lived harmoniously together as members of one family, the human family…” Troutman closes with a powerful statement about the fact that human rights is about, “collective consciousness, power of one, risky movement, taking chances to improved society,” which shows how everyone has a role to play in the continued advancement of human rights.

The breakout session that I went to was Daniel’s presentation on creating a more inclusive environment for students with disabilities. He showed this video about disability sensitivity.

His session was focused on technology and skills to use to become more inclusive in the classroom of work environment. He began his discussion with CART (communication, access, real-time, translation, which translate verbal into written word word. This technology is not just beneficial for deaf, allows people to read along, but for those who learn orally, can’t follow well, international students, non native speakers, people who might miss something.

He then transitioned into American Sign Language interpreters, which are used to translate spoken English into American Sign Language. On Friday I was lucky enough to help Drake graduate Daniel Van Sant navigate his way through the 2015 Herb and Karen Baum Symposium on Ethics and the Professions.


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