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From Diversity to Belonging: Embracing & Bridging a United States for All

From Diversity to Belonging: Embracing & Bridging a United States for All

Date(s) - 04/22/2021
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

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Mosaic America


Thursday, April 22, 2021, at 8:00 pm CDT.

In this opening event of Mosaic America’s forum series, we explore visions of belonging that offer pathways to a brighter future for all.

About this Event

Diversity, in many forms, is a fact of the United States. However, it is surely not a value that all embrace. If the last four years have taught us anything, it is that our diversity can be used very effectively as a wedge. The deep legacies of a racial caste system, high levels of mobility, social media silos, and increased political tribalism…Where do we even begin to address the polarization, and is the vision of the nation we are working towards?

As we enter a critical new chapter in U.S. politics, this forum invites leading thinkers to articulate what “belonging” offers to our national conversation. Belonging is a first order need of all humans– How do we move beyond a politics of othering, towards a politics that embraces all of us as essential? This dialogue will include leaders from different sectors who share visions that embrace belonging as the guiding light that we need right now.



Moderator: Christina Antonakos-Wallace

Christina Antonakos-Wallace is an award-winning filmmaker, cultural organizer, and lifelong activist for racial and gender justice. Director of With Wings and Roots, a collaborative of scholars who reframe migration and integration debates through media and storytelling, Christina aims to increase our hunger and agency to build a world where we all belong. Awards include: Euromedia Award for Culture & Diversity (2011), Media that Matters Change Maker Award (2012), and recognition from the German Alliance for Democracy and Tolerance (2015).



Dr. Sumun Pendakur (Diversity and Inclusion expert and speaker),

Dr. Sumun L. Pendakur is a scholar-practitioner, an activist-educator, a skilled facilitator, and a mom. Sumi’s work and research focuses on helping organizations build capacity for social justice and racial equity. Most recently, Sumi was the Chief Learning Officer and Director of the USC Equity Institutes at the USC Race and Equity Center. In 2019, she was named one of the top 35 women in higher education by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine.

Ashley Quarcoo (The Aspen Institute, Democracy scholar)

Ashley Quarcoo is a senior fellow with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program. She also serves as senior research manager with the Aspen Institute’s Citizenship and American Identity Program. Quarcoo previously worked for the US Agency for International Development (USAID) where she helped lead U.S. government responses to political transitions abroad. She also served at the US State Department, developing the strategy for UN peace operations in Sudan and South Sudan

Viêt Le (Artist, Curator, Academic, Refugee)

Việt Lê is an artist, writer, and curator whose work addresses trauma, representation, sexualities/spiritualities, and healing. Dr. Lê is an Associate Professor in Visual Studies at California College of the Arts. He is the author of Return Engagements: Contemporary Art’s Traumas of Modernity and History in Sài Gòn and Phnom Penh (Duke University Press, May 2021) and coauthor (with Latipa [née Michelle Dizon) of White Gaze (Sming Sming Books, 2020). He is a board member of the Queer Cultural Center and Art Matters.

Post-Panel dance party featuring Arturo Magaña (Mexican Folklorico) and Srividya Eashwar (Indian Folk Dance)

Presented by Mosaic America (Formerly Sangam Arts) in partnership with Commonwealth Club and With Wings and Roots

To register for this event, please click here

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