Missouri State University’s 17th annual Public Affairs Conference explores the importance of listening to others and using your own voice to express yourself and advocate for others.
“The Power of Voice” is the theme for the 2020 conference from Sept. 29–Oct. 1. The conference is a live virtual event and includes:
- A kick-off event with an in-person option.
- 20 panel sessions.
- Three plenary speakers.
All events are free and open to the public. Registration is not required.
A virtual event
The current pandemic has challenged large group gatherings. However, challenges also present opportunities.
Those unable to attend the conference on campus before can now participate from any device. The conference schedule lists individual Zoom webinar links for all panel sessions and plenary speakers.
“Participants will discuss how to find and shape their voice and how voices can be used to develop tolerance and unity,” said Dr. Amanda Brodeur, MSU’s provost fellow for public affairs. “Panels will highlight the use of our voices via social media and artistic expression, and we will learn how to use our voice to educate others and preserve the past.”
Conference kick off and schedule
The conference starts with an in-person kick-off event at 7 p.m. Sept. 29 in the PSU Theater. A panel of MSU students and community members will highlight pressing issues and incidents of racial injustices affecting campus and community alike.
If pandemic safety precautions exclude meeting in-person, a live Zoom webinar link will be uploaded to the Public Affairs Conference website.
The website also includes a complete conference program.
Marcus Engel, Lyrissa Lidsky and Sue Klebold will explore different issues related to the power of voice. Each virtual presentation examines a different perspective related to voice.
The Other End of the Stethoscope
12:20-1:20 p.m. Sept. 30
After being blinded and severely injured by a drunk driver, alumnus Engel overcame unimaginable obstacles to reclaim his life. His presentation inspires healthcare professionals and others to reignite their passion for patient care, celebrate the healing power of humor, and understand the unique issues surrounding trauma and loss.
Social Media Self-Sabotage
12:30-1:30 p.m. Oct. 1
Lidsky examines how and why individuals and companies sabotage themselves on social media. She shares tips for using social media safely and professionally, based on published research and teaching.
Reaching for Hope
7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 1
Following the Columbine High School tragedy of 1999, Klebold worked to understand how her son could have become a perpetrator in a mass shooting. As a passionate advocate for mental wellness, she shares a story of hope and determination to find solutions that prevent lethal thoughts from becoming lethal actions.