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Project Dialogue

Project Dialogue is a University-wide program that seeks to involve the entire Vanderbilt community in public discourse and reflection connecting classroom learning with larger societal issues. Project Dialogue dinner series give students and faculty an opportunity to engage in conversation on a number of topics around the dinner table over a delicious meal.

Speakers and Artists for Project Dialogue have included: Sandra Bernhard, Naomi Wolf, Cornel West, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Oliver Sacks, Danny Seo, Mary Lucking-Reiley, Neil Howe, Scott Turow, Adrienne Outlaw, John Douglas, Gore Vidal, Barbara Ehrenreich, Al Franken, John Ashcroft, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Elie Wiesel.

Project Dialogue on AnchorLink

Project Dialogue 2017-2018

the Shop

“The Shop” is a unique opportunity for students of color to engage in dialogical exchange of wisdom with pastors, activists, professors, and elders from the greater Nashville community concerning the trending cultural topics that impact the lives of people of color. These conversations will focus on the intersections of Black spirituality, faith, and activism and will give students of color the opportunity to explore faith from different perspectives. In addition, “the Shop” will offer cultural meals from local restaurants owned by persons of color.

Each gathering at “the Shop” features a guest who is able to engage from a pre-selected topic in conjunction with a relevant, trending article from the news and/or social media. Topics will include (but are not limited to): intersections of gender, race, sexuality, spirituality, mental health, faith, activism, the role of the Black Church, and interfaith dialogue. These conversations will help guests and students engage in the constructive work of developing self-awareness and create meaningful dialogue as to how we live moral, ethical, and spiritual lives in the midst of various lived experiences as people of color.

September 13, 12:00pm, OUCRL Fireside Lounge
Rev. Shantell Hinton
Intersections of Faith & Culture

October 18, 12:00pm, OUCRL Fireside Lounge
Pastor John Faison, Sr.
The Relevance of the Black Church

November 15, 12:00pm, OUCRL Fireside Lounge
Dr. Emilie Townes
Gender, Sexuality, & Race

January 17, 12:00pm, OUCRL Fireside Lounge
Rhianna Anthony
Activism as Spiritual Praxis

February 21, 12:00pm, OUCRL Fireside Lounge
Self-Love, Spirituality, & Mental Health

March 21, 12:00pm, OUCRL Fireside Lounge
Dr. Herbert Marbury
Black Masculinity & Spirituality

April 18, 12:00pm, OUCRL Fireside Lounge
Judge Rachel Bell
Politics & Theology


Bridge Building

Speakers engage with students at the dinner table over the question “How can we effectively build relationships that will influence the affairs of the world in ways that are just, inclusive, and compassionate?”

September 26, 5:30pm, OUCRL
Dr. Nahed Artoul Zehr, Faith & Culture Center of Nashville

October 24, 5:30pm, OUCRL
Ms. Candice Lee, Vanderbilt Senior Associate Athletic Director

November 28, 5:30pm, OUCRL
Dr, Imam Ossama Bahloul, Resident Scholar at the Islamic Center of Nashville

January 23, 5:30pm, OUCRL
Dr. Chris Purcell, Director of the K.C. Potter Center, Vanderbilt

February 27, 5:30pm, OUCRL
Trudy Hawkins Stringer, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Ministry, Vanderbilt Divinity School

March 27, 5:30pm, OUCRL
Dr. A.J. Levine, University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies, Vanderbilt Divinity School


Food For Thought

Speakers engage with students at the dinner table over the question “How did you decide to do what you do?”

September 5, 5:30pm, OUCRL
Dr. Donna Ford, Professor of Special Education, Peabody, Vanderbilt

October 10, 5:30pm, OUCRL
Dr. Catherine Fuchs, Director of the Psychological and Counseling Center, Vanderbilt

November 7, 5:30pm, OUCRL
Dr. Jaco Hamman, Associate Professor of Religion, Psychology, and Culture

December 5, 5:30pm, OUCRL
Dean Emilie Townes, Dean of the Divinity School, Vanderbilt

January 9, 5:30pm, OUCRL
Dr. Daniel Sharfstein, Professor of Law, Vanderbilt Law School

February 6, 5:30pm, OUCRL
Roberta Robison, Program Coordinator, K.C. Potter Center, Vanderbilt

March 13, 5:30pm, OUCRL
Rabbi Shlomo Rothstein, Campus Chabad Chaplain, Vanderbilt

April 3, 5:30pm, OUCRL
Dr. Issam Eido, Senior Lecturer, Vanderbilt Department of Religious Studies


Science & Religion

This series seeks to explore possible intersections – or lack thereof – between science and religion. Rebekah Austin, a doctoral student in electrical engineering at Vanderbilt, will kick off this series on September 18. Subsequent dates are listed below:

September 18, 5:30pm, OUCRL

October 16, 5:30pm, OUCRL

November 13, 5:30pm, OUCRL

January 22, 5:30pm, OUCRL

February 19, 5:30pm, OUCRL

March 19, 5:30pm, OUCRL