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Afghanistan and its Implications

Presented by Roby Barrett, Ph.D., Middle East Institute, Washington, DC

2:00 p.m., October 12, 2021 at the NDSU Memorial Union, Anishinaabe Theater[1]

Abstract: This presentation places Afghanistan and the “Endless War” in a broader more strategic framework. For 20 years, the events of 9/11 mesmerized U.S. foreign policy and drove a failed effort to transform Afghanistan into a “sovereign” state – something that it never was and never could be. The understandable obsession with “The Global War on Terror” obscured broader strategic interests and undermined other more important priorities as U.S. poured untold treasure and thousands of lives into the failed efforts to “stabilize”, “democratize”, and “liberalize” Afghanistan and Iraq as well. This is an effort to think about the future by understanding a present that is informed by the past – past as present, present as future – and answer critical questions about the strategic interests of the United States.

[1] All in-person attendees are required to wear masks and maintain social distancing according to NDSU directives.

For more information see the Forum article here and the NDSU news item here

 Click here to see the full presentation. 

The Ethical Implications of Sexism & TV News

The Northern Plains Ethics Institute at NDSU and the YWCA Cass Clay announced Teri A. Finneman was the Learning the Language of Diversity and Meaningful Inclusion program’s September speaker. 

Dr. Finneman participated in the conversation series on Tuesday, September 7, at noon Central Time via Zoom. Her presentation - "I Always Watched Eyewitness News Just to See Your Beautiful Smile": The Ethical Implications of Sexism & TV News – began the program, which was followed by moderated conversation and audience questions. 

In this talk, Finneman argued that the rise of social media in recent years has created increasingly concerning problems for women who work in television as they receive sexist and downright sleazy comments from viewers on their social media accounts. Through a national survey and analysis of journalists' Facebook pages, it's become clear that employers are not doing enough to protect their employees with supportive social media policies. This session included an open discussion of sexism and how to shift cultural attitudes toward women in the workplace. 

Teri Finneman, Ph.D. Teri Finneman is a journalism professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas. Finneman is also the author of Press Portrayals of Women Politicians, 1870s-2000s. She is a former reporter for The Fargo Forum and WDAY and is Past Chair of the AEJMC History Division. 

The event was provided free of charge by Leann Wolff of Great Outcomes Consulting, the Northern Plains Ethics Institute, the YWCA Cass Clay, and Humanities ND, and to all NDSU stakeholders and the public. 

 Click here to see the full presentation

Politics of Sex Education in North Dakota

Molly Secor-Turner, PhD, RN, FSAHM
Professor, School of Nursing and Department of Public Health, NDSU 

Decision making about sexuality education for youth in the United States has long been influenced politics, religion, parental rights and discussions of morality. Although sexual development and sexuality are part of the basic experience of being human, open discussion about sexuality is often limited, especially in socially conservative areas. Protecting the health of youth in North Dakota depends on access to accurate sexual health information and access to reproductive health services.  

Despite strong evidence for comprehensive sexuality education’s effectiveness and abstinence-until-marriage education’s demonstrated ineffectiveness in reducing risk for unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection among youth, North Dakota continues to have laws that require an abstinence-based education.  

The purpose of this presentation is to describe the state of sexuality education in North Dakota, provide an overview of the politics associated with sexuality education, and discuss the implications of politicizing sexuality education on the health of youth in North Dakota.

Bio:  Using both qualitative and quantitative approaches to her research, Molly Secor-Turner explores methods to improve adolescent health through reducing risk and building protection in the lives of youth. Her work focuses on how social context shapes adolescent sexual health, access to youth-friendly health services, and global health. For nearly a decade, she has led the implementation and evaluation evidence-based comprehensive sexuality education in community settings across North Dakota. She is particularly interested in understanding how tailoring evidence-based strategies to context can help improve health outcomes for at-risk populations of youth.   

Secor-Turner received her Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Minnesota in 2008 and she is currently a Professor in the NDSU School of Nursing and Department of Public Health Community Health Sciences specialization. She is a fellow in the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. She currently serves as the NDSU Faculty Senate Past-President.

You can see the recording of this presenstation on the NPEI’s YouTube page here

UPDATE: We followed up with the NDSU administration on the cancelled class mentioned near the end of this recording (52:35). From our understanding, the involved parties met to discuss the issue, determined there was a miscommunication, and resolved the issue. NDSU's administration reaffirmed their commitment to protecting and supporting academic freedom.

Unpacking and Confronting Linguistic Racism

University of Michigan Experimental Sociolinguist participated in NDSU diversity conversation on confronting linguistic racism

See the full presentation here on the NPEI's YouTube channel.

The Northern Plains Ethics Institute at NDSU and the YWCA Cass Clay have announced Kelly Elizabeth Wright will be the Learning the Language of Diversity and Meaningful Inclusion program’s April speaker.

Wright participated in the conversation series on Monday, April 19, at noon Central Time via Zoom. Her presentation began the program, and was followed by moderated conversation and audience questions.

In this talk, Wright provided a historical, sociolinguistic account of Linguistic Racism in the United States by cataloguing how it manifests in the founding documents of this nation, which equate Whiteness with Standard Language use. Attendees learned about the ramifications of the defaulting of White Mainstream English by considering the process of naturalization, US educational histories, and failures of our legal system. Wright shared contemporary examples of Linguistic Racism from her research on media representations of Black athletes and voice-based discrimination in the housing market. This talk ended with a discussion of inclusive language, focusing on action steps we can take every day as educators, administrators, and citizens to create equitable and representative spaces. 

Kelly Wright's research focuses on the link between Linguistic Production and Perception. She applies mixed methodologies including machine learning; massive corpora studies; perceptual and cognitive experimentation; and quantitative phonetic and qualitative sociolinguistic analyses. She upholds the civic responsibility of higher education through the creation and distribution of public-facing scholarship. Currently, Wright is developing a dissertation on Raciolinguistic Ideologies and Black Professional Speech. Her previous research has examined Language Planning and Policy; Reification of ideology through popular print media; Linguistic Profiling in the housing market; and Sociosemantic Field development and change over time.

The event was provided free of charge by the Northern Plains Ethics Institute, NDSU Office of the President, the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, the YWCA Cass Clay, Humanities ND, and the Department of Anthropology and Sociology to all NDSU stakeholders and the public.

Attending to Racial Violence and Anti-Racism

The Northern Plains Ethics Institute at NDSU and the YWCA Cass Clay have announced Professor Joo Ok Kim will be the Learning the Language of Diversity and Meaningful Inclusion program’s March speaker.

Kim participatee in the conversation series on Wednesday, March 24, at noon Central Time via Zoom. Her presentation - Attending to Racial Violence and Anti-Racism– began the program, followed by moderated conversation and audience questions.

The presentation is organized around the question of how might we attend to histories of racial violence and contemporary anti-racist movements? Kim’s presentation reviews some ongoing dialogues on race and racism; foregrounds historical and current anti-racist work converging across racial justice movements; and offers community-based, activist, and academic tools and methods as resources for dismantling racist structures.

Joo Ok Kim is Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of Kansas. Her book, Warring Genealogies: Race, Kinship, and the Korean War (Temple University Press, 2022), examines the racial legacies of the Korean War through Chicano cultural production and U.S. archives of white supremacy.

The event is provided free of charge by the Northern Plains Ethics Institute, NDSU Office of the President, the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, the YWCA Cass Clay, Humanities ND, and the Department of Anthropology and Sociology to all NDSU stakeholders and the public.

Watch the full presentation on the NPEI's YouTube channel here

Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience & Environment to participate in NDSU diversity conversation

Dr. Kim TallBear was the Learning the Language of Diversity and Meaningful Inclusion program’s February speaker.

TallBear participated in the conversation series on Monday, February 21, at noon Central Time via Zoom. Her presentation - Indigenization, Reconciliation, and Decolonization in Science – will begin the program, followed by moderated conversation and audience questions.

Scientific research, technology, and related policy are performed within our society that is foundationally structured by hierarchical, Eurocentric, and colonial narratives and worldviews. No one is exempt from such influence, including scientists, engineers, and other disciplinarians. In this talk, Dr. TallBear highlights colonial assumptions and practices, and resistance to those ideas in several research case studies drawn from the genome and health sciences and from green building. She also highlights a program that helps train Indigenous genome scientists in order to increase the benefit of genome research for Indigenous peoples. Finally, Dr. TallBear provides those within and beyond the university an analytical framework to understand the relationships between “inclusion,” "Indigenization," "reconciliation," and "decolonization," in order to help us envision possibilities and concrete steps for science and technology to aid decolonization.

Kim TallBear is Associate Professor, Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta, and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience & Environment. She is the author of Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science. Dr. TallBear founded a research group at the University of Alberta, Indigenous Science, Technology, and Society ( She is a co-founder of the Summer internship for Indigenous Peoples in Genomics (SING) Canada and a faculty member of SING USA ( Dr. TallBear is a regular commentator in US, Canadian, and UK media outlets on issues related to Indigenous peoples, science, technology, and environment. She is a regular panelist on the Canadian-based weekly podcast, Media Indigena. She is a citizen of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate and is also descended from the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma.

The event is provided free of charge by the Northern Plains Ethics Institute, NDSU Office of the President, the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, the YWCA Cass Clay, Humanities ND, and the Department of Anthropology and Sociology to all NDSU stakeholders and the public.

Watch the full presentation on the NPEI's YouTube channel here.

North Dakota Ethics Commission - How we got here and what's the future

Watch the recording on our YouTube Channel here

What it is like to be black? – Toward a naming, genealogy, and epistemology of (the intractable) anti-black racism

Thomas Nagel’s famous essay on “What it is like to be a bat?” demonstrates the intractability of cognitive closure, and the (often unethical) chauvinism of persons and groups. To be sure, this chauvinism doesn’t guarantee the discard of others (or difference), but it most often operationalizes either a self-priority or “us vs them” mentality. A major ethical problem, in my opinion, is that this way of thinking perpetuates artificial and unimportant variables that makes naming intractable. “What is it like to be black?” is a different question from “what it is like to be African American?” (or American African or African American living in a non-American society). Chauvinistic perpetuation of unimportant variables pushes questions of identity/genealogy and epistemology/ontology when one tries to be discursive about race, racism, and anti-black racism. Ultimately, an-other may be able to understand what it is like to be black (through empathic considerations derived from beliefs, pain, desires, aspirations, etc.), but knowing what it is like to be black is impossible. Thus, people of good will should put in the energy and the effort to achieve good will, embrace inclusion and diversity, and eradicate anti-black racism (and all other discriminatory practices).   

Dr. Hodge currently serves as Associate Director of Education for the National Center for Bioethics in Research and Healthcare at Tuskegee University. In this role, which he began in October 2017, he coordinates the center’s Bioethics Honors program and bioethics minor, its annual Public Health Ethics Intensive Course, and various outreach programs designed to engage the center’s target audiences, as well as teaches bioethics and public health ethics courses.

Watch the presentation on our YouTube Channel here

Knowing Your Rights and Wrongs: North Dakota Employees and Being Politically Engaged

Chris Wilson, Chief of Staff, President’s Office, North Dakota State University

Knowing Your Rights and Wrongs:  How to Engage Politically as an NDSU Employee

It is a right to be part of the political process, but many NDSU employees worry about violating laws or policies.  However, with a little caution and care, employees can engage in political participation without problems.  Please come to learn more about current guidelines and to check with the university’s expert on the subject.

NDUS Policy 308.3 Political Activities

NDSU Policy 160 Political Activities and Voting Rights of University Employees

NDCC 16.1-10 Corrupt Practices

AAUP 1940 Statement on Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure

The Northern Plains Ethics Institute’s mission is to promote democratic participation in social and ethical issues affecting the Northern Plains and beyond.  The NPEI fulfills its charge by engaging citizens in various discussions focusing on what kind of society they want to live in and how they go about creating it.

See the full video here on the NPEI's YouTube Channel.

The Development of Prejudice and Stereotyping from a Psychological Perspective

NY Times’ “The Ethicist” to participate in NDSU diversity conversation

The Northern Plains Ethics Institute at NDSU and the YWCA Cass Clay have announced May Ling Halim will be the Learning the Language of Diversity and Meaningful Inclusion program’s December speaker.  See the full presentation here

Halim is scheduled to participate in the conversation series on Wednesday, Dec. 2, at noon Central Time via Zoom. Her presentation - The Development of Prejudice and Stereotyping from a Psychological Perspective: Challenges and Potential Solutions – will begin the program, followed by moderated conversation and audience questions.

Present-day injustices experienced by people of color have sparked outrage and a demand for change. Halim argues that we have gained a large body of psychological research that can inform us about the challenges human nature presents in facilitating prejudice and stereotyping and about possible solutions to reduce it.

Halim’s talk will have three broad sections. In the first, Halim discusses how prejudice has been defined within the field of psychology and shares research showing how racial/ethnic discrimination can affect children’s health, academic achievement and motivation, and well-being. In the second, she  talks about a number of human tendencies psychology has identified that facilitates us to form stereotypes about groups and show bias. Finally, Halim presents possible solutions to reduce prejudice based on psychological research. I will focus on how adults can monitor language use that inadvertently emphasizes race/ethnicity as an all-encompassing category, such as the use of generics, labels, and contrasts. I will also discuss why striving to shape colorblind children is not realistic and can, in fact, be harmful to efforts to dismantle racism. Relatedly, I will discuss ways that parents and teachers can be proactive in their efforts to talk about race/ethnicity with their children and students. Finally, I will highlight work that stems from intergroup contact theory showing how encouraging friendships and cooperation among children from different racial/ethnic groups can be effective in reducing prejudice.

Dr. May Ling Halim is an Associate Professor of Psychology at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). Dr. Halim completed her MA and PhD in Social Psychology with a Developmental Focus and Quantitative Minor at New York University and her BA in Psychology at Stanford University. Dr. Halim has won numerous awards and grants, such as from the National Science Foundation and the American Psychological Foundation Kenneth B. and Mamie P. Clark Fund. She has been invited to speak at several events and universities, such as at the Society for Research on Child Development Biennial Meeting, and the Society of Experimental Social Psychology Meeting. Her research spans two broad areas. The first is gender and racial/ethnic identity development in children of different cultures. The second is the effects of group discrimination on health and well-being. Her research papers have been published in national academic journals such as Child DevelopmentDevelopmental Psychology, and Health Psychology. Her work has also been featured in the popular media, such as on NBC Think, NPR and in Psychology Today.

The event is provided free of charge by the Northern Plains Ethics Institute, the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, the YWCA Cass Clay, Humanities ND, and the NDSU Department of Anthropology and Sociology to all NDSU stakeholders and the public.

Understanding "Racisms" and Racialism - Kwame Anthony Appiah

The Northern Plains Ethics Institute at NDSU and the YWCA Cass Clay announced Kwame Anthony Appiah was the Learning the Language of Diversity and Meaningful Inclusion program’s October speaker.

Appiah participated in the conversation series on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at noon via Zoom. His presentation - Understanding "Racisms" and Racialism – began the program, followed by a moderated conversation, and then audience questions until around 2pm.

Exciting and erudite, Kwame Anthony Appiah challenges us to look beyond the boundaries—real and imagined—that divide us, and to celebrate our common humanity. Named one of Foreign Policy’s Top 100 public intellectuals, one of the Carnegie Corporation’s “Great Immigrants,” and awarded a National Humanities Medal by The White House, Appiah currently teaches at NYU, though he’s previously taught at Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Duke, and the University of Ghana. He considers readers’ ethical quandries in a weekly column as “The Ethicist” for The New York Times Magazine. From 2009 to 2012 he served as President of the PEN American Center, the world’s oldest human rights organization. He is currently chair of The Man Booker Prize.  

Anthony Appiah’s book Cosmopolitanism is a manifesto for a world where identity has become a weapon and where difference has become a cause of pain and suffering. Cosmopolitanism won the Arthur Ross Book Award, the most significant prize given to a book on international affairs. In The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen, Appiah lays out how honor propelled moral revolutions in the past—and could do so in the future. Walter Isaacson calls it “an indispensible book for both moral philosophers and honorable citizens.” Among his most recent books are As If: Idealization and Ideals, an exploration of the way ideals facilitate human progress; Mistaken Identities, further explores subjects of his popular BBC series; and the brand new The Lies That Bind, an incandescent exploration of the nature and history of the identities that define us. 
Kwame Anthony Appiah was born in London to a Ghanaian father and a white mother. He was raised in Ghana, and educated in England, at Cambridge University, where he received a Ph.D. in philosophy. As a scholar of African and African-American studies, he established himself as an intellectual with a broad reach. His book In My Father's House and his collaborations with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.—including The Dictionary of Global Culture and Africana—are major works of African struggles for self-determination. In 2009, he was featured in Astra Taylor’s documentary Examined Life, alongside Martha Nussbaum, Slavoj Zizek, and other leading contemporary philosophers.

The event was provided free of charge by the Northern Plains Ethics Institute, the YWCA Cass Clay, Humanities ND, and the NDSU College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences to all NDSU stakeholders and the public. However, registration was required.

YWCA Event

YWCA’s Racial Justice Committee presented their first ever virtual circle dialogue on race, on October 8, 2020 leading up to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. This event is a virtual adaptation of dialogues we’ve hosted in the past in connection with the exhibit RACE: Are We So Different? co-owned by YWCA and the Science Museum of Minnesota. Due to the pandemic, the RACE Exhibit is currently closed to the public, but we look forward to working with organizations and groups to safely view and host events around the exhibit in the future at our new Administrative Offices (4650 38th Ave. S, Suite 110 in Fargo). We hope this will be a catalyst for a continued series of conversations about race and equity in our community and will continue to be in touch about further opportunities and events.

A Conversation on the Complexities of Race and Racism

To watch the presentation on our Facebook page, click here.

Native Conversation about Work and Community

A conversation with community members on Indigenous persons in the workplace. Featured guests are Lyndon Pease, Anne LaFrinier-Rithcie, and Whitney Fear. Sponsored by the Northern Plains Ethics Institute.

For the YouTube Video of this even, click here

Meeting NDSU’s Enrollment Challenges MU Century Theater 19 February 2020

Abstract: Across the country, fewer traditionally aged high school graduates are choosing to attend colleges and universities and in the coming years there is a predicted decline in high school graduates This presentation will discuss these phenomena and how NDSU’s is working to meet the challenge.

Presenters: Chris Wilson, Chief of Staff, and Laura Oster-Aaland, Vice-Provost for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management

PowerPoint presentation click here

Video on the NPEI YouTube channel click here

1st Think and Drink sponsored by NPEI and Humanities North Dakota a success.

KVRR news story click here

Science, Religion, and Lunch Seminar presented by Larry Reynolds

You Are What Your Parents Ate (and Did)

NDSU Budget Process 101  MU Century Theater  12:00pm-1:00pm  29 January 2020

Abstract: The University’s budget is large and extremely complicated because of numerous internal and external factors.  This presentation will provide a basic overview of (1) the University biennial budget process; and (2) the role of the Division of Finance and Administration in that process.

Presenters: Bruce Bollinger, Vice President of Finance and Administration, and Cynthia Rott, Budget Director

For the PowerPoint, click here

Northern Plains Ethics Institute (NPEI) Public Forum:

Chris Wilson, Chief of Staff, NDSU

Separating Fact from Fiction: NDSU Employees’ Rights and Responsibilities in a Political Season

January 23, 2020

Being part of the political process is a right, but many NDSU employees worry about violating university, SBHE, or state policies and laws. Many of those concerns are unjustified, but it is always good to learn more about current guidelines and to check with the university’s expert on the subject.

Science Religion and Lunch Seminar

Charles Sawicki

Retired Professor of Physics, NDSU

Topic: Religion and the Formation of Empires

MU's Meadow Lark, North Dakota State University

Powerpoint Presentation


SRLS by Chancellor of the NDUS

Mark Hagerott

Chancellor of the North Dakota University System

Topic: Can Humans Flourish in the Age of Robots, Cyberspace, and Artificial Intelligence: Suggesting a Theoretical Framework...and What This Might Mean for the University of the Future

MU's Century Theater, North Dakota State University

Watch the presentation on the NPEI's YouTube channel

The Presentation Slides

INFORUM Article on this upcoming presentation

The TedX Talk

Abstract and Bio

Swami Atmarupananda Presentations in Fargo

Swami Atmarupananda spoke at the SRLS on October 22. 

He delivered another community lecture in the evening of October 22. The title of his talk is: "The Art of Inner Joy". This was at 6.15-7.15PM in the Spirit Room in downtown Fargo. Please see the Spirit Room’s Facebook page for more info,

Dr. Roby Barrett, Public Forum


Ethical Issues Affecting Indigenous Communities in North Dakota
The Center for Bioethics at Cedarville University, the Northern Plains Ethics Institute at NDSU, and the International Academy of Medical Ethics and Public Health's conference Clinical Ethics and Conscience Rights

Thursday, June 6 - Saturday, June 8, 2019

Cedarville University, Cedarville Ohio


Ethical Issues Affecting ND’s Indigenous Communities


View Panel Discussion here

Personhood and Science in the 21st Century

January 7-8-9, 2019
Amphithéâtre Lavoisier A (3rd floor)
Centre Universitaire des Saints Pères 75006 Paris


Productive Civic Engagement in the 2019 Legislative Session

15 November 2018 in the Memorial Union’s Room of Nations 

Panel with Chris Wilson, Chief of Staff the NDSU’s President

Fake News III: Opining versus Reporting – practitioners, roles reporters play.

October 25, 2018 Century Theater, NDSU Campus

The questions for this presentation were:

1.     What do you think is the difference between opinion and reporting? Please ground your answer in your experience.

2.     What is the value of good opinion?  What is the value in good reporting?

3.     How do you develop a story?  What does a week look for you? 

4.     If it happens, what do you do when you get a story (opinion) wrong?

5.     In the current climate, what challenges are there?

6.     How do you know that your communication was effective?

Fake News II

View Panel Discussion here

Keeping It Clean: How to be Politically Active without Violating the State’s Corruption Statutes

Chris Wilson

Chief of Staff the NDSU’s President

13 September 2018 in the Memorial Union’s Room of Nations

Project to Address Good Government in North Dakota at Valley City State University Campus

March 28, 2018, 7-9 p.m., Skoal Room, VCSU’s Student Center, Valley City State University, Valley City, ND
Free and Open to the Public, Refreshments Provided, Students Welcome

NDSU’s Northern Plains Ethics Institute and ThinkND hostrf a conversation about “What is Good Government in North Dakota?” on Wednesday, March 28th, from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. in the Skoal Room in the VCSU Student Center on the Valley City State University campus. The Bush Foundation and the North Dakota Humanities Council awarded ThinkND grants for this project.  The discussion featured moderators Luis Da Vinha, assistant professor of political science in the Geography and Political Science Department at Valley City State University, and Scott Hennen, radio talk show host broadcasting from The Flag, KFYR Bismarck, KTGO Williston, Tioga, Watford City, and KLTC Dickinson, and author of Grass Roots, A Commonsense Action Plan for America.

The moderators gave opening remarks and engaged in audience conversations about: What makes good government? What makes a good legislator or governor? What makes a good citizen?

According to institute director Dennis Cooley, North Dakotans have reported that trust in government has eroded. “They feel that rapid changes in everyday life and government at every level have left many disconnected, if not reeling,” Cooley said. “Facts seem often to contradict one another. Legislators are not as accessible as they used to be. Concerned citizens attending government hearings often feel dismissed, as if decisions have already been made. There are concerns about out-of-state money influencing government decisions. This comes at a time when trust is needed to pursue success for each citizen and the state.”

The discussion was part of a multi-faceted initiative to engage North Dakota citizens and academic experts in a discussion about ethics and trust in government. The elements of the initiative include:

·        Five gatherings of academics and citizens around the state

·        A culminating event at the Heritage Center in Bismarck

·        Participation in statewide conference programs and radio talk shows

·        A series of Dakota Datebook programs on Prairie Public Radio

The project focused on academic collaboration, participant engagement and preserving or creating content for re-use. Scholars addressed such topics as the role of ethical behavior in the history of North Dakota government, how ethical government affects a state’s economy, the cost of mistrust and other matters related the requirements of good government.

The gatherings focused on local thought leaders; teachers; students; people involved with township, city and county government; rural residents and the Native community.

“By providing an opportunity to engage in conversations with each other and experts from the academic community, a grass works-based framework for possibly rethinking government can be sketched out,” Cooley said.


Community Conversation: How Does Education Address Healthy Environments and Behavioral Health?

The panel included:
Dr. Anne Blackhurst (President of Minnesota State University Moorhead)
Dr. Lynne A. Kovash (Superintendent, Moorhead Area Public Schools)

Arlette Preston (owner of Home Instead Senior Care) served as the moderator.

Thursday, December 1, 2016
Rourke Art Gallery and Museum

The panel discussed the following questions:

1. How do educational opportunities help people think differently in regard to the values underlying health and their place in the world?
a. How are recidivism and education linked?
2. Where is the educational system failing our community?
3. Where is the educational system being successful?
4. What changes would you recommend?
5. What can we do in the community to help?

Untangling Quality of Life and Oil Development: The Case of Western North Dakota

Dr. Felix Fernando, North Dakota State University

18 November, 2015

View PowerPoint Presentation here

Diplomacy and War: Prospects for U.S.- Iran Relations and the Nuclear Issue in the Coming Year

NDSU’s Northern Plains Ethics Institute hosted its Spring 2013 panel Discussion on 4 April 2013.

Two internationally known policy specialists on the Middle East and security issues in the region conducted a panel discussion and question and answer session on U.S.-Iran relations and the ongoing nuclear crisis with Iran. The panel members were Allen Keiswetter, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Middle East Affairs and now Senior Consultant at the international law firm SNR Denton, and Dr. Roby C. Barrett, a former Foreign Service Officer and a Senior Fellow for Strategic Studies and Applied Intelligence at the Joint Special Operations University of U.S. Special Operations Command. Both Mr. Keiswetter and Dr. Barrett are Scholars at the Public Policy Center of the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C.

The panel discussion focused on the questions of Iran and its nuclear program as well as addressed broader regional security issues including Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, Gulf and Israel within the context of the current crisis between Iran, its Arab neighbors, the European Union and the United States. The topics of war and diplomacy were central to the discussion.

Spring Lecture: The Nature of Evil

The 20th century witnessed the Holocaust, an unparalleled evil in the eyes of most people, as well as attempted genocide in Rwanda. The beginning of the 21st century saw the launching of a so-called “war” against terrorism, proclaimed to be a struggle of good against evil. BUT WHAT IS EVIL? If we don’t know what we’re struggling against, we’re unlikely to be successful. We can kill plenty of people, but we won’t know that we’re killing evil people. Nonviolence provides a perspective from which to answer this question and points the way to a more constructive response to violence than mere condemnation and force.

Professor Robert Holmes distinguished career in ethics and peace studies has taken him around the world. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Rochester. He is the first recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Professor of Peace and Disarmament, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and is a former Fulbright Lecturer, Moscow State University. Most recently, he held the McCullough Distinguished Visiting Professor of Political Philosophy, Hamilton College. He has also served as president of the international group, Concerned Philosophers for Peace.

Land Grant Traditions Panel Discussion

A panel-led discussion that examined the Morrill Act of 1862 and considered what it means to be a land grant university, both historically and for the future. The forum was led by Thomas Isern, University Distinguished Professor, and moderated by John Helgeland, NDSU professor of religious studies and director of the Northern Plains Ethics Institute. Featured panelists included:

·        James Carlson, Founder of PRACS Institute

·        Richard Hanson, Interm President NDSU

·        Mark Meister, Assoc. Prof. of Communications, President NDSU University Senate

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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