Debates Delve Into Weighty Questions
Windsor, N.J. - The impact of 9-11 ten years later was the
subject of two wide ranging panel discussions entitled, "Unity
Through Diversity," moderated by MCCC Vice President
of Academic Affairs Guy Generals. The first was held Sept.
12 at Kelsey Theatre on the West Windsor campus and the second
was held Sept. 14 at the James Kerney Campus.
Panel members presented their perspectives as educators and
religious leaders, as well as their personal experiences.
Panelists at Kelsey Theatre included Dr. Abdul Malik Ali of
Masjid UT-Taqwa in Trenton; the Rev. Samuel Atchison, president
and CEO of the Trenton Ecumenical Area Ministry; MCCC Associate
Professor Michael Dalton, coordinator of the Photography program;
English Professor Noreen Duncan; Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Ken Howarth; and Dr. Paul Winkler, executive director of the
New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education. At the Trenton
campus, the panelists included Rabbi Eric Wisnia of Congregation
Beth Chaim in Princeton Junction; Associate Professor Dalton;
Imam Ali and Rev. Julio Guzman of Living Hope Alliance Church
Central themes of the discussions included 9-11's effect on
constitutional rights, the importance of balancing individual
rights and freedoms with national security, the current fractured
political climate in America, and the key role of education
to eradicate hatred and increase tolerance of different cultures.
During the question and answer period at West Windsor, student
Holly Hagy observed that MCCC is the perfect setting to reflect
on such issues. "Mercer is such a diverse platform for
this discussion," she said. She noted that she attended
a small Catholic college many years ago. In her current environment
at Mercer, she says she has grown tremendously by engaging
with students from other backgrounds and cultures.
9-11 discussion of "Unity Through Diversity" on
Sept. 12 featured panelists, from left, MCCC faculty members
Michael Dalton and Noreen Duncan, Dr. Paul Winkler, executive
director of the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education,
Imam Abdul Malik Ali of Masjid UT-Taqwa in Trenton, the Rev.
Samuel Atchison, president and CEO of the Trenton Ecumenical
Area Ministry; and MCCC faculty member Ken Howarth.
panelists at the James Kerney Campus included, from left,
Rev. Julio Guzman of Living Hope Alliance Church in Trenton,
Rabbi Eric Wisnia of Congregation Beth Chaim in Princeton
Junction, Imam Ali and MCCC faculty member Michael Dalton.
closing, Dr. Ali appealed to the next generation. Rev. Atchison
concurred, encouraging students to come together on these larger
issues. "You can provide a model for your elders to follow,"
Atchison said. Dr. Winkler added that many were emotionally torn
by the events of September 11 and its aftermath. "Go one step
further," he told audience members. "Do something about
it. Do not accept intolerance and bigotry." MCCC Professor
Duncan noted, "One of the beauties of a college education is
that we can learn to see oppression and point out injustices."
Dalton added that mutual respect must be a part of any discussion.
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