Just Talk

Just Talk

just talk

Just Talk is the Kraemer Family Library's programming series that is designed to promote open and honest dialogue about equity, diversity, and inclusion on the UCCS campus and beyond.

Upcoming Events

blackbird outreach logoJust Talk: Sheltering the Homeless: Challenges and Opportunities

Monday, November 20 at 3:30pm-4:30pm
Library 3rd Floor Apse

Join us as leaders from Blackbird Outreach, His Urban Presence, and The Coalition for Compassion and Action will be speaking on the challenges they face as they provide support to Colorado Springs' homeless community.

Homelessness in Colorado Springs is increasing annually, and the city's capacity to provide emergency shelter to this population has not grown in kind. As winter is approaching, the need for more emergency shelter for the homeless is growing. Even as our city's shelter facilities are at or near capacity, there remain hundreds of people in our community who, on a cold winter night, cannot find safe shelter. This discussion is a forum to learn about the urgency of this situation and to find ways for our community to help.

  • Sky Foerster, Chair, Mission Giving and Outreach Committee, First Congregational Church (Moderator)
  • Trig Bundgaard, Co-founder and Chair, Blackbird Outreach
  • Andi Van Gogh, Co-founder and Director, Blackbird Outreach
  • Pastor Edwin "FedEx" Aldrich, Co-founder, His Urban Presence

Join us in this conversation and engage with community leaders who are working to solve this crisis.

Send us Your Just Talk Idea!

Ground Rules for Just Talk discussions

  • Listen actively -- respect others when they are talking.
  • Speak from your own experience instead of generalizing ("I" instead of "they," "we," and "you").
  • Do not be afraid to respectfully challenge one another by asking questions, but refrain from personal attacks -- focus on ideas.
  • Participate to the fullest of your ability -- community growth depends on the inclusion of every individual voice.
  • Instead of invalidating somebody else's story with your own spin on her or his experience, share your own story and experience.
  • The goal is not to agree -- it is to gain a deeper understanding.
  • Be conscious of body language and nonverbal responses -- they can be as disrespectful as words.*

Discussions of emotionally charged topics may lead you to need assistance with processing your feelings. Mental Health Services is available to help students at the UCCS Recreation and Wellness Center.

*These ground rules are based on the Guide for Setting Ground Rules for the EdChange project.

Previous Events

holding a globe imageJust Talk: International Panel

Wednesday, November 15 at 2:30pm-3:30pm
Library 3rd Floor Apse

At this event, audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage with a panel of international students to discuss the challenges and opportunities for international students at UCCS and in the U.S. The focus of the panel will be on cultural differences and similarities, how their educational experiences differ, surprises that international students have experienced here, and advice that they would give to someone from their country about studying abroad. The panel will be moderated by Benek Altayli from the Wellness Center Counseling Services and will include students from Nigeria, Mexico, China, Hungary, and Saudi Arabia.

homefront logo imageJust Talk: HomeFront Shakespeare's War

Wednesday, November 15 at 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Library 3rd Floor Apse

What does it mean to serve? What does it mean to lead? How do we talk about service, trauma, heroism? HomeFront Theatre Project attempts to address these questions and the many issues that face our veteran and military community through the theatre. SHAKESPEARE'S WAR features readings by excellent actors of excerpts from Shakespeare's plays that concern war, trauma, leadership, and service. Come and discuss with those who serve and have served as well as those who work in veteran's administration, trauma studies, and the arts. From this past, we will examine our present!

police do not cross line imageJust Talk: Firearm Violence in the U.S.

Monday, November 13 at 4:00pm-5:30pm
Library 3rd Floor Apse

The U.S. has one of the highest rates of firearm violence in the world, and firearm violence is considered to be a public health crisis. Recent events have rekindled discussion over what should, or should not, be done to reduce the number of firearm-related injuries and deaths. Unfortunately, there are no simple answers to this complex problem. Join Erik Wallace, MD, Associate Dean for Colorado Spring Branch at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, to discuss the epidemiology of firearm violence and what, if anything, we should do differently.

holding hands imageJust Talk: Beginning with the End

Monday, November 13 at 6:30pm-8:30pm
Library 3rd Floor Apse

Emma and Ernie ate lemon meringue pie together. Ernie taught Emma about life. And Emma helped Ernie to die. In 2002, a high school teacher in Rochester, NY, invited nine high school seniors to attend his new class. The name of the class: Hospice. A decade later, the program continues with student volunteers learning about and providing comfort care for the dying and their families. The film follows the real-life stories of four student volunteers through their senior year. In the quest to understand 'the big sleep,' they find a whole new kind of awakening.

Colin Kaepernick kneelingJust Talk: Pigskin, Patriarchy, and Patriotism: Athletic Protest in a Time of Nationalism

Wednesday, November 8 at 12:00pm-1:30pm
Library 3rd Floor Apse

During the 2016 NFL preseason, Colin Kaepernick sat through the national anthem to protest police violence and racial inequality. Shortly after, he modified his action to kneeling during the anthem. His simple action triggered enormous reactions. Athletes across the NFL, in other professional sports, and at all age levels joined the protest. Others derided the action as un-patriotic and disrespectful. This ongoing protest is encouraging discussions of racialized state violence at a time of strident nationalism. Jeff Montez de Oca (Sociology) and Jeff Scholes (Philosophy) will lead a discussion on the broader social, political, ethical, religious and economic dynamics of this protest and its opposition.

hate crime graphicJust Talk: Hate Crime

Wednesday, October 25, 5:00-6:30pm
Library 3rd Floor Apse

Puzzles: When Hate Came to Town tells the story of a hate crime in a LGBTQ bar called Puzzles Lounge in New Bedford, MA when a teenager entered and brutally attacked its patrons. Puzzles explores the correlation between economic hardship and homophobia, intolerance, and, ultimately, violence. In the wake of the devastating attack at the LGBTQ nightclub PULSE in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 patrons, this documentary is particularly important as it asks hard questions and frames the connection between hate crimes and extremist ideologies and the increase in hate violence against LGBTQ communities.

Please join us for a screening of the documentary (length: 53 minutes) followed by a discussion facilitated by Abby Ferber (Sociology/WEST) and Martin Garnar (Library).

Questions: Contact Martin Garnarat mgarnar@uccs.edu.

pink ribbonJust Talk: Breast Cancer

Wednesday, October 18, 12:15-1:30pm
Library 3rd Floor Apse

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women. Estimates are that, in 2017, about 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women and 2,470 in men. About 40,610 women and 460 men will die from breast cancer. At this time, there are more than 3.1 million breast cancer survivors in the United States (American Cancer Society, 2017).

Come talk about breast cancer. Come ask questions and share experiences with a local breast cancer surgeon, Dr. Toni Green-Cheatwood, Southern Colorado Breast Care Specialists; Director Breast Oncology; Medical Director, Colorado Springs specialty practices; Vice President Medical Affairs, St. Francis. Moderated by Professor Mary Ann Cutter, Department of Philosophy, UCCS, author of Thinking through Breast Cancer: A Philosophical Exploration of Diagnosis, Treatment, and Survival (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Questions: Contact Martin Garnarat mgarnar@uccs.edu.

troll graphicJust Talk: Engaging with the Trolls

Wednesday, October 11, 4:00-5:30pm
Library 3rd Floor Apse

Earlier this semester, a provocative poster about veterans on the UCCS campus caused an uproar, and the university community responded with official statements and a campus forum clearly stating that veterans are an important part of our community. The group behind the poster created another flyer targeting the LGBTQ community, but this flyer didn’t get the same attention. Is it better to ignore actions that are designed to provoke, or is it important to respond to every incident that may affect part of the UCCS community? Join the PRIDE committee for a conversation about the pros and cons of engaging with the trolls.

Questions: Contact Martin Garnarat mgarnar@uccs.edu.

92 LA Riots graphicJust Talk: The '92 LA Riots

Thursday, October 12, 7:00-8:30pm
Library 3rd Floor Apse

25 years ago, the acquittal of the Los Angeles Police Department officers on charges of excessive force in the arrest and beating of Rodney King sparked six days of protests and riots. Join us for a discussion with Barbara Headle (History) as she shares her firsthand account of the riots and a conversation about what lessons we might learn from that time. This program is part of the 2017 All Pikes Peak Reads @ UCCS project, focused on Anna Deavere Smith's Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 as the chosen book for academic readers. For more information on APPR@UCCS, including a creative contest for students, please visit the UCCS Humanities page.

Questions: Contact Martin Garnarat mgarnar@uccs.edu.

white supremacy and free speech graphicJust Talk: White Supremacy and Free Speech

Wednesday, October 4, 11:30am-1:30pm
Library 3rd Floor Apse

The recent events in Charlottesville represent how the white supremacist movement is changing, as are their tactics. In the wake of Charlottesville, the limits of free speech are being questioned. Does hate speech ever cross the line into unprotected speech? What's the difference between a protest and a provocation? Should groups promoting hatred and racism be allowed to use public facilities? Please join Abby Ferber (Sociology/WEST) and Martin Garnar (Library) for a dialogue about these issues and how our campus might respond.

Questions: Contact Martin Garnarat mgarnar@uccs.edu.

Just Talk: Putting Diversity into PracticeJust Talk: Putting Diversity into Practice

Thursday, September 28, 4:30-6:00pm
Library 3rd Floor Apse

UCCS has made strides to provide opportunities for dialogue around topics of diversity and inclusion. Our hope is that, by helping students become comfortable engaging with these topics, we can positively change the landscape of UCCS over time. If we are to create an inclusive campus where all students feel safe, we must work to ensure that our student body has the tools to engage in open and respectful dialogue about diversity. In addition, we must provide students with opportunities in the classroom to gain an understanding of how difference (economic, cultural, religious, sexual, gender) plays a part in the lives of those around them.

Join us to learn about resources now available to you that have been recently developed by the Faculty Minority Affairs Committee which are meant to help faculty introduce students to these concepts of diversity and inclusiveness.

Questions? Contact Carlos Duarte at cduarte@uccs.edu.

just talk: white nationalismJust Talk: White Nationalism

Monday, July 24, 12:00-1:00pm
EPC 304c (Library Conference Room)

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of hate groups in the United States continued to grow in 2016, with many of them related to white nationalism. This includes an increased presence on college campuses, with some groups reaching out to college students to grow their membership. Join us for a brown-bag discussion of how colleges and universities are responding to this trend, and help us plan a program on this topic for later in the 2017-2018 academic year.

Read more from the SPLC's annual report on extremism: //www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2017/year-hate-and-extremism

just talk suicide rates logoJust Talk: Suicide Rates

Thursday, June 29, 12:00-1:00p.m.
EPC 304c (Library Conference Room)

El Paso County has one of the highest suicide rates in Colorado, and suicide rates for teen Latinx and LGBTQ populations across the country are also higher when compared to the general population. Join us for a brown-bag discussion of this phenomenon followed by a planning session for a program on this topic during the fall semester. You may wish to read this Newsweek article (http://www.newsweek.com/2016/10/28/teen-suicide-contagious-colorado-springs-511365.html) to prepare for the conversation.

just talk after logoJust Talk: Inspiration Porn (and Summer Planning)

Tuesday, May 30, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
EPC 304c (Library Conference Room)

Inspiration porn is the calling of people with disabilities inspirational solely or in part on the basis of their disability. The term was coined in 2012 by disability rights activist Stella Young. Join us for a viewing and discussion of Stella's TED talk on the subject, and stay to help us plan Just Talk events for the summer. Please feel free to bring your lunch to the meeting.

just talk after logoJust Talk After: The Unity Project

April 27, 2017 at 5:00pm
Library 2nd floor apse

The Unity Project is an interactive art experience that celebrates individual diversity, while highlighting our interconnectedness as a campus community. As each participant has the opportunity to celebrate their diversity and individuality, the strands build and connect to produce an impactful visual art piece that highlights not only our individuality, but also the many intersections of our community. The Unity Project celebrates diversity and difference, but also the idea that those differences mesh to create the fabric of campus. Join us after the completion of the Unity Project for a discussion of its symbolism and how we can continue to build unity across campus and with the community.

just talk poetry logoJust Talk Poetry: National Poetry Month Celebration

Thursday, April 20th, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Library 3rd floor apse

In honor of National Poetry Month, the Kraemer Family Library and the Free Expression Poetry Club invite you to an evening of poetry, including an open mic segment for you to share your favorite poems. Light refreshments will be served.

people on the move: amreeka film screeningPeople on the Move: Refugee Journeys in Global Context

April 11, 2017
Library 3rd floor apse

  • 10am - Noon: Refugees Education Workshop with Colorado Refugee Services
  • 3pm - 5pm: Film showing of Amreeka host by Project Nur (pizza will be served)
  • 5pm - 5:30pm: Just Talk/Just Don't Talk Reflection with Dr. Sentwali 

A multifaceted event featuring a workshop with Colorado Refugee Services, screening of the 2009 film Amreeka, and time to discuss in a follow up Just Talk/Just Don't Talk event. This is part of the much larger People on the Move series organized by the Global Intercultural Research Center (GLINT) , Kraemer Family Library, Office of Diversity and Inclusiveness, Global Intercultural Research Center, and the Center for Religious Diversity and Public Life. All of these activities are free and no registration is required. Please contact either Dr. Emily Skop (eskop@uccs.edu) or Dr. Kee Warner (kwarner@uccs.edu) for any questions.   

Just Talk PoetryPoetry: Women's Poetry

Tuesday, March 21, 2017
7pm - 8:30pm
Library 3rd Floor Apse

In honor of Women's History Month, the Kraemer Family Library, the Free Expression Poetry Club, and the Women's and Ethnic Studies Department invite you to an evening of poetry by women, including an open mic segment for you to share your favorite poems by women. Light refreshments will be served.

work-life balanceIs Working in Higher Education Compatible with Family Life?

Thursday, March 23, 2017
Noon - 1pm
UC 303

Parenting and career advancement are often at odds in a woman’s professional journey in higher education. This session, facilitated by Dr. Megan Bell, Director of Administrative Assessment, Policy & Efficiency; Dr. Mandy Hansen, Director of the Global Engagement Office; and Dr. Patty Witkowsky, Assistant Professor in the College of Education, will provide a platform to discuss such challenges, strategize, and brainstorm ways in which our community of education can support working professional women and mothers.

Civic Power: Democracy in Action

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Outspoken advocate and internationally-recognized former elected official Dominic Frongillo will share his perspective as the youngest-ever councilmember in Caroline, NY, and delegate to UN climate talks on how young people around the world are leading successful impact enterprises, grassroots movements, and innovations for sustainability and political change. He will share inspiring stories from the front lines of the fight against climate change and for a sustainable future, from the United Nations climate negotiations in South Africa to rooftop solar innovations in California to winning a ban on fracking in New York. Participants will learn how to get off the ground directly after college to make a powerful impact for what truly matters.

dap event graphic

Adding Context to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)-Standing Rock Dispute

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The lack of depth in the media coverage of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and the Standing Rock Water Protectors has been a problem since the beginning. Depending largely on the political affiliations of the author, the story told is of an indigenous group either standing up to corporate interests or  getting in the way of economic progress. Meanwhile, the historic, legal, and moral implications of the pipeline dispute itself have been largely ignored. This panel discussion will bring together indigenous and archaeologist perspectives try to add context to the media coverage through presentations on:

  • the historical context of Standing Rock Sioux's rights to the land and rivers
  • cultural heritage preservation laws
  • how the tribal consultation process is supposed to work and how it went with DAPL
  • Colorado perspectives on heritage preservation and tribal consultation
  • and what life is really like at the Standing Rock protest camp

prologue event graphic

Prologue Town Hall on Race

Monday, February 20, 2017
Directly after the Prologue
Clyde's in the University Center

Attending the UCCS Prologue Town Hall on Race?  Meet up with other attendees to keep the conversation going directly after the event.  We will convene at Clyde's for drinks and discussion.

Please note: You must register for the Prologue Town hall here: //www.uccs.edu/vapa/index/theatre/prologue/goodwin.html.  Registration is not necessary for the Just Talk After portion.  

assistive technology graphic

Assistive Technology

February 14, 2017

Attending the Grand Opening of the Assistive Technology Lab in EPC 238? Come upstairs afterwards to the library's conference room (EPC 304c) for an informal conversation on assistive technology and its potential impact on our campus.

hidden figures graphic

Hidden Figures

 February 9, 2017

Please join us for a discussion of the book behind the new film Hidden Figures, which tells the story of African American female mathematicians working at NASA during the start of the space era. The discussion will take place in the main house of the Heller Center for the Arts and Humanities.

queer voices graphic

Queer Voices Speak Out

January 31, 2017

What does it mean to be LGBTQ+ in 2017?  Join Transmission, Spectrum, and FREEX as they share poetry from a queer perspective, with special guests from Inside/Out Youth Services.  There will be an open mic segment for attendees who want to speak on the same theme. Light refreshments will be served.

just talk after graphic

Just Talk After: The Fever

December 1, 2016

THE FEVER is an amalgam of music, theatre and choreography examining how we assemble, organize and care for our bodies and the bodies around us. Is it possible to feel the pain of others? How have we become who we are? What will become of us, and will we be all right? The thrilling performance inspired by Stravinsky's Rite of Spring invites the audience to co-create of a work of art that will change from night to night. Just Talk After will convene after the performance to discuss the event.

ethics of protest in sports graphic

The Ethics of Protest in Sport

November 17, 2016

Protest in sport raises an awareness and recognition of the ethical implications of racism within our society and organizations. Dr David J. Leonard will lead a discussion of San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick's actions within the history of black athletic revolt. At all levels of sport in the U.S., these protests challenge the commodification of black athletes; they express love and an ethical challenge to a culture that seems to only value black life when it is entertaining. Students, educators, and the community will be challenged to consider the implications of a sporting culture lacking in respect, trust, and fairness.

post-election community forum graphic

Post-Election Community Open Forum

November 17, 2016

Join the Library's Just Talk programming series and the Moving Forward Through Violent Times for an opportunity to reflect on the national elections and to foster dialogue. The purpose is to create a space for community members to share thoughts and feelings about the elections, recognize the need the heal on all sides, and to look at ways to move forward together as a community. 

international students and faculty graphic

International Student and Faculty Panel

November 16th, 2016

A panel with international students and faculty will discuss the challenges and opportunities they have at UCCS, including topics like cultural adaptation, academic adaptation, and ideas for working with international learners.

diversity of thought graphic

Diversity of Thought Panel and Discussion

November 3rd, 2016

In the spirit of the election season, please join us for a Diversity of Political Thought Panel and Discussion. Come hear the perspectives of a panel of community leaders representing diverse political views and engage in dialogue around the current political climate as well as discuss the role of the public University in addressing political/social issues.

cyber-seniors graphic


September 28, 2016

In a constantly changing world it is important to recognize the importance that generations of people have on each other and to set aside time to focus on intentionally connecting generations. September is Intergeneration Month and to join in the conversation JustTalk will host a screening of the documentary CyberSeniors and a discussion will be led afterwards by Martin Garnar and Intergeneration Librarian, Carlos Duarte.

Disgraced book jacket

Disgraced: A Play by Ayad Akhtar

September 20, 2016

In this "breathtaking, raw and blistering" Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Amir has built the perfect life. But as a high-profile case and his wife's art show reveal how little his culture is understood, their misconceptions become too much to bear. Please join us for this discussion of the play. Students are eligible to be entered in a lottery to receive a free copy of the play.

Colorado Springs Fitness from an International Perspective image

Fitness from an International Perspective

August 9, 2016

Colorado is graced with mountains, desert, sunshine, and fit people.   The state is home to two of the most fitness-friendly cities for 2016 according to the Huffington Post and Colorado Springs is home to the Olympic Training Center and the United States Olympic Committee. Join Randa Osman, 2016 graduate from the MSc Health Promotion program at UCCS on Tuesday, August 9th from noon to 1 p.m. in EPC 304C (the library's conference room) for a brown bag presentation on physical activity engagement of international students.  Her study and findings will illuminate physical fitness among a sub-population of international students.

Colorado Springs sit-lie ordinance image

The Colorado Springs Sit-Lie Ordinance

July 27, 2016

In late 2015,  the City of Colorado Springs debated the need for a Sit-Lie Ordinance, prohibiting excessive loitering in the downtown business district. The issue was hotly contested and in early 2016 City Council passed the Pedestrian Access Act. Join our discussion about the ordinance and the history behind the decision with City Council member Tom Strand and a member of the Human Relations Commission.

Photo Credit
: Jerilee Bennet, Colorado Springs Gazette

X-Men billboard image

The State of Race and Gender Representation in the Superhero Genre

June 14, 2016

With the summer movie season upon us, the theaters are going to be dominated by superhero films. As a result, conversations are already beginning surrounding issues of race and gender in the superhero genre. For example, this billboard for X-Men: Apocalypse has sparked thousands of trending conversations on Facebook. What is the state of race and gender representation in the superhero genre - both in comics and in film?

Between the World and Me book jacket

Transgender Issues

May 31, 2016

A brownbag discussion of transgender issues on campus.

Between the World and Me book jacket

Between the World and Me

April 28, 2016

The inaugural event in the Just Talk series was a facilitated discussion of Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.