Annual 'Whole Story' cross-cultural event planned at MSSU

Nov. 7—"The Whole Story: A Decolonial Cross-Cultural Day Institute" will be held Tuesday 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 designed to get people thinking about how to expand the inclusion of voices outside of the mainstream narrative, said Rebecca Mouser, associate professor of English and co-chair of the event.

The interdisciplinary event will begin with a plenary session by writer Jake Skeets, author of "Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers" and 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.

The first session will feature "Standard Grammar's Colonizing Roots" by Mouser and "Perspectives from a KCU Professor" by Jennifer Dennis, professor of anatomy at KCU Joplin.

The second session will feature "Traditional Quapaw Beadwork" by Mariah Frazier, a senior English and literary studies major; "Everybody in the Room — Decolonizing Our Classroom" by Jody Jensen, assistant professor of English; and "These Sovereign Nations-Legislative Literacy, Sovereignty and Peacemaking in Native America" by Alli Reichman-Bennett, a senior English and literary studies major.

The third session will feature "Indigenous Languages and the Academy" by Jill Greer, professor of sociology, and "Diverse Young Adult Fiction — A Reading and Discussion" by Jen Ferguson, assistant professor of creative writing at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Admission is free and open to the public. Donations to the conference and the Clark and Marina Pepper Scholarship Fund are welcome.