This July, Union Institute & University launched its Live Reading Series to offer a free event for the public where writers, journalists and poets can converge to read and speak about their works — all of which target important societal issues. The new series is also meant to help start a dialogue that furthers knowledge and initiates forward thinking.
The university, which has campuses in five states, specializes in adult education and offers a curriculum that takes flexibility into account with online, hybrid and face-to-face course options.
Ohio’s campus is located in Walnut Hills and seeks to not only deliver high-quality education to its students, but also play a prominent role within the community.
“We chose topics for our series that touch or impact everyone’s life,” says Donna Gruber, executive director of Cincinnati’s Academic Center. “The series is designed to open dialogue in a non-threatening way.”
The series occurs bimonthly. Last month’s topic was “Women’s Issues in Society,” and featured Bhumika Patel, a regional coalition specialist for the Salvation Army's Anti-Human Trafficking Program.
“Bhumika sees human trafficking as an issue that is often misunderstood and unrecognized in our community and seeks to address misconceptions and offer resources,” Gruber says.
Lo Kwa Mei-en, a poet and author, was another featured speaker at the Sept. 29 event. She addressed trauma and survival.
“The community doesn’t have to come up with solutions, but think and reflect on what they hear,” Gruber says. “Often change comes from within.”
Upcoming Live Reading Series events are Nov. 17, Mental Health Issues in Society, and Jan. 26, Business, Industry and Leadership in Society. The next event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at Union's Cincinnati Center.