On Thursday, April 6, students at Union University hosted the first-ever West TN Global Engagement Forum, a conference dedicated to exploring social issues on a local and global scale.
The conference consisted of various presentations by students from Union and other schools in the Jackson area on a variety of topics, including nationalism, race, adoption, language and intercultural studies.
“Jobs, contracts, a government who will enforce those contracts; these are things we take for granted,” said Anderson Underwood, senior Intercultural Studies major, during his presentation on the refugee crisis. This attention to global issues and desire to educate each other was the spirit behind the presentations that day.
The conference catered not only to Union community members, but also to the greater Jackson area, as individuals from other schools and organizations such as World Relief attended and participated in discussions.
“I thought it was amazing,” said Ben Bishop, a junior Literature major from the University of Memphis at Lambuth. “The presentations were very well prepared, the speakers are knowledgeable on the topics and I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly.”
Bishop attended not only as a viewer, but also as a presenter. He spoke on nationalism and the media.
“My advisor at Lambuth heard about it from one of her colleagues and passed it on to her students,” Bishop said, “and from that I thought it sounded like an amazing opportunity to do a little bit of research and to work with some other people.”
Over 20 presentations were delivered over the course of the afternoon and into the evening, ending with a plenary lecture by Cortney Stewart, a Ph.D. student at Kennesaw State University studying International Conflict Management.