“The Whole Story: A Decolonial Cross-Cultural Day Institute” will be held Tuesday, Nov. 8, at Missouri Southern State University.

The fourth annual event – designed to open difficult dialogues about diversity at the university level – will begin with check-in starting at 11:30 a.m. in Billingsly Student Center’s Connor Ballroom.

“It’s a way to get people thinking about how to expand our inclusion of voices outside of the mainstream narrative we often hear, even on a college campus,” said Dr. Rebecca Mouser, associate professor of English and co-chair of the event, along with Dr. Megan Bever, associate professor of history and chair of the Social Sciences Department.

“We founded it four years ago to broaden our conversations and understandings. It has been endowed by major donors from across the country.”

It marks the first time since 2020 that the event has been held in person, though a virtual option will be available, said Mouser.

The interdisciplinary event will begin with a plenary session by writer Jake Skeets, author of “Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers” – winner of the National Poetry Series, American Book Award, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and Whiting Award. He is from the Navajo Nation and is an assistant professor of English at the University of Oklahoma.

Starting at 1 p.m., participants will have the opportunity to choose between a series of breakout sessions.

First session:

“Standard Grammar’s Colonizing Roots”: Dr. Rebecca Mouser

“Perspectives from a KCU Professor”: Dr. Jennifer Dennis, professor of anatomy at KCU-Joplin

Second session:

“Traditional Quapaw Beadwork”: Mariah Frazier, senior English-literary studies major

“Everybody in the Room-Decolonizing Our Classroom”: Dr. Jody Jensen, assistant professor of English

“These Sovereign Nations-Legislative Literacy, Sovereignty, and Peacemaking in Native America”: Alli Reichman-Bennett, senior English-literary studies major

Third session:

“Indigenous Languages and the Academy”: Dr. Jill Greer, professor of sociology

“Diverse Young Adult Fiction-A Reading and Discussion”: Dr. Jen Ferguson, assistant professor of creative writing at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and author of “The Summer of Bitter and Sweet”

Admission is free and open to the public, though donations to the conference and the Clark and Marina Pepper Scholarship Fund are welcome. To register, click here.