An extraordinary lecture took place for Western Students on Thursday, April 16, in the lower level of Hearnes in room 102.
The speaker was none other than the director of the office of intercultural affairs in the intercultural center at our neighboring school, Northwest Missouri Western State University: Steven Bryant.
Bryant’s lecture dealt with three main important topics society deals with today: gender, race and sexual orientation. Throughout his presentation, he engaged with the audience, slowly but surely putting them out of their comfort zones and asking them to voice their assumptions on each of the topics.
Prior to Bryant engaging with the audience, some of the members had no clue what to expect.
Sophomore Kiyale Walker had no idea what she was walking into.
“My teacher mentioned it to the class. I didn’t know what I was walking into. But I’m still glad I went. He kept things interesting, I thought of things differently that I never have before,” Walker said.
This is the third time Bryant has spoken at Western. Although this was his first time discussing such bold topics, he still enjoyed himself.
Bryant feels very passionately about equality for everyone, regardless of race, gender and so on, and he hopes the audience felt the same way too.
“Hopefully what the audience left with is an understanding of wanting to look internally and see how they can make a difference within themselves,” Bryant said.
The presentation Bryant gave was due to the annual Galileo’s Legacy Conference. This year it was held at Western. The presentation that took place along side of Bryant’s was an American feminist and author Sikivu Hutchinson.
The conference was arranged to be at Western by Karen Koy, an associate professor in the biology department.
Koy hopes the audience left with an open mind and a greater awareness.
“The Galileo’s Legacy conference is designed to highlight the intersection of science and the humanities. We bring in presenters who illustrate the importance of combining work in the sciences and humanities. This year, we are looking at science from the angle of social justice. I hope the audience is able to listen with an open mind and walk away with a greater awareness of the impact of social justice issues,” Koy said.
To conclude his presentation, Bryant ended with one of his favorite quotes, spoken by Brene Brown from The Gifts of Imperfection.
“‘Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do,'” Bryant said.

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