Focus Series

Join us as we explore our 2022 theme: Global Education
All events will be held via Zoom and are free and open to the public. 

Friday, January 28, 2022: 12:00 – 1:00 PM
Dr. John Brender "Chinese New Year: History and Traditions"

In this lecture, Dr. Brender will discuss the history and traditions associated with Chinese New Year.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 822 9613 3943
Passcode: 176179

Friday, February 11, 2022: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Dr. Arifa Javed, "Film- Essential Arrival"
Join us as Dr. Javed screens her film, Essential Arrival, a film that educates American students about the Indian diaspora here in Michigan highlighting their religious and cultural life and their contributions to the American society.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 838 2039 2692
Passcode: 422227

This is a GlobalEYEzers event and is co-sponsored by the SCII Focus Series, Student Activities and the Asian Students Association

Thursday, February 17, 2022: 12:00 – 1:00 PM

Dr. Volia Siankova, "Music in Belarus"
In this presentation, Dr. Siankova will teach about Belarus from the perspective of musical culture.

Monday, March 14, 2022: 10:00 – 11:00 AM
Dr. John Brender, "Cultural Values and Identity"

Thursday, March 31, 2022: 11:30am-12:30pm
Dr. Anu Taranath, "Beyond Guilt Trips: Mindful Travel in an Unequal World"
Dr. Taranath brings both passion and expertise to her work as a speaker, facilitator and educator. A Teaching Professor at the University of Washington for the past 20+ years, she invites people into conversations about global issues, race, gender, identity, and equity. In this presentation, Dr. Taranath will be sharing insightful lessons in cultural competence from her award-winning book, Beyond Guilt Trips:  Mindful Travel in an Unequal World.

Thursday, April 21, 2022: 2:30 – 3:30 PM

Jesse Deer In Water, "Dangers of FERMI: The Day We Almost Lost Detroit"
Jesse is Cherokee (Deer Clan, Stokes Stomp Ground), and a leader in CRAFT: Citizen Resistance at FERMI Two

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 870 6670 0492

This presentation is co-sponsored by: The Department of Sociology, The Native American Student Organization, and Student Activities

Fall 2021 Events (Click on lecture title to watch a recording of this event):


Thursday, September 30th:
Dr. Noura Erakat, “Palestinian Freedom, Israeli Apartheid, and Transnational Solidarity
This lecture will address the racial dimensions of Israeli settler colonization of Palestinian lands and how it is tantamount to apartheid as defined by the 1973 Convention, the legal dimension of apartheid, and the distinctions within Palestinian intellectual thought on the matter. The lecture will also explore how transnational solidarity has been a key source of Palestinian resistance and steady social justice transformation.

This lecture is co-sponsored by the University of Michigan
Monday, October 11th:
Mr. Sonyanga Weblen, “Female Genital Mutilation as a Violation of Human Rights
This presentation will explore what female genital mutilation (FGM) is as a form of human rights violation meted on women and young girls globally. 
The Maasai women's cricket team is helping to fight FGM, and educate attendees about the harm it does to communities. 

Thursday, October 14th:
Ms. Zubayra Shamseden, “From Repression to Genocide: China's Uyghur phobia
This presentation will discuss China's genocide against Uyghur people and why it is happening now.
Thursday, November 11th:
Dr. Mark Huston, “Making Sense of Human Rights”
This presentation will examine the nature of Human Rights. More specifically, it will clarify the different ways Human Rights are understood (moral, political, etc.) and present how the Human Rights scholar James W. Nickel "makes sense" of human rights.
Friday, November 19th:
Professor Samer Hariri, “Breathing Rights”
This presentation highlights air pollution as a human rights issue. Global and local examples will be used to demonstrate the impact of low air quality on the health and well-being of people.


Each year, the International Institute coordinates a campus-wide focus on one cultural region of the world or global theme. Launched in January 2004, the Focus Series features films, presentations, displays and performances allowing students and community to explore the culture, politics, economics and history of the featured region and its relation to the rest of the world. Instructors in many departments introduce materials related to the theme, and encourage their students to participate in these varied learning opportunities.

The Series sponsors talks by faculty from colleges and universities, leaders in area community organizations as well as other experts speaking on a wide variety of topics about the focus region. These presentations are videotaped and the DVDs are available to students and instructors at Schoolcraft's Bradner Library.

The Focus Series is supported by a generous grant from the Alexander and Rachel Liberacki Fund and Schoolcraft Student Activities. 


Previous Focus Regions

  • 2004: Middle East
  • 2005: Latin America
  • 2006: Africa
  • 2007: Europe
  • 2008: East Asia
  • 2009: South Asia
  • 2010: Middle East
  • 2011: North America
  • 2012: Latin America
  • 2013: Russia & Environs
  • 2014: Caribbean
  • 2015: Southeast Asia
  • 2016: Immigration & Immigrant Communities
  • 2017: Environmental Challenges in a Changing World
  • 2018: Spirituality and Religion in Today's World 
  • 2019: Exploring Physical & Mental Health Issues in a Global Environment
  • 2020: Language & Communication Around the Globe
    • Fall 2020 Special Topic (Intersectionality Matters)
  • 2021: Human Rights Around the Globe