Michael Kateman, PhD Student, ELPA and Director, Internal Relations for Strategic Communications in the Office of University Relations
Research Discussion: Poetry is Power: Using the arts, family heritage, and critical scholarship to inspire diversity and inclusion conversations at the University of Missouri
Critical scholarship related to race states that personal narrative and storytelling are important and valid ways to convey knowledge and are the beginning of developing a deeper understanding of race and racism. Following racial tensions, national media attention and top leadership resignations at the University of Missouri, Interim President Michael A. Middleton is combining scholarship, the arts and family heritage to help restore trust and confidence in the university.
This video presentation explores how as an African American man coming of age in the 1960s on the Mizzou campus, Middleton couldn’t reconcile the hatred, discrimination, and marginalization he experienced with a love for the country that supported it. “My country was treating me differently and I found it hard to believe I was valued as an equal citizen. I wanted to participate in perfecting our democracy, yet it seemed impossible.” The power of one particular poem changed his paradigm. He is using this poem, My Country, published in 1912 by Samuel Alfred Beadle, his great grandfather who was born during slavery, to inspire university stakeholders to create the university they can imagine.
Theresa Metz, Coordinator, The Bridge
A native Missourian, Michael Kateman is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, with an MA from the School of Journalism and a BS in Business Administration – Marketing from the Trulaske College of Business. He attended the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. Currently, he is a PhD candidate in Educational Leadership at the University of Missouri-Columbia College of Education.
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