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We Who Believe in Justice

A Conversation with Deborah Miranda and Barry Gan

Following individual lectures about social justice, Barry Gan and Deborah Miranda will come together for an in-depth discussion about the past, present and future of social change movements in the U.S. and worldwide. The conversation will be co-moderated by Sharon Ryan, chair of the Department of Philosophy, and Bonnie Brown, coordinator of the Native American Studies Program

Gan is visiting campus to deliver the 2019 Gandhi-King Lecture on International Relations and Peace Studies, "Gandhi on Truth and Minorities" at 5 p.m., and Miranda will speak on "The Making of Bad Indians: From Fragments to Story" at 6:30 p.m., both in 103 Oglebay Hall.

About the Speakers and Moderators

Deborah Miranda
Deborah Miranda is an enrolled member of the Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen Nation of the Greater Monterey Bay Area in California. Her mixed-genre book "Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir" (Heyday 2013) received the 2015 PEN-Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award, a Gold Medal from the Independent Publishers Association, was short-listed for the William Saroyan Literary Award and has been widely adopted for use in Native American studies and creative writing programs both in the U.S. and internationally. She is also the author of four poetry collections. She is co-editor of "Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature" and wrote the afterword for "A Generous Spirit: Selected Works by Beth Brant," edited by Janice Gould. She is the Thomas H. Broadus Professor of English at Washington and Lee University, where she teaches literature of the margins and creative writing. Deborah lives in Lexington, Virginia with her wife Margo and a variety of rescue dogs. 

Barry Gan
Barry Gan is professor of philosophy and director of the Center for Nonviolence at St. Bonaventure University. He is the author of "Violence and Nonviolence: An Introduction." He is also co-editor with Robert L. Holmes of a leading anthology on nonviolence, "Nonviolence in Theory and Practice," now in a third edition; and for 25 years he was editor of "The Acorn: Journal of the Gandhi-King Society." For two years he served as program committee chair of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the oldest and largest interfaith peace group in the United States, and also served for three years as co-editor of Peace and Change, a quarterly journal of peace research. He has taught at St. Bonaventure University for the past 35 years since receiving his MA and PhD in philosophy from the University of Rochester. Prior to that he taught high school and junior high school English for six years. He is married to Miaoli Zhang, a former trainer in microscopic photography for Olympus of China. His daughter is a writer and previously worked as school programs coordinator at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and his son is a writer and now works in the field of search engine optimization. 

Bonnie Brown
Bonnie Brown has served the WVU Native American Studies Program as coordinator and faculty since 2005. She is a recipient of the University’s Neil S. Bucklew Award for Social Justice as well as the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Award for Outstanding Public Service. She is a member of the National Congress of American Indians and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association. Bonnie came to WVU in 1996 as an Assistant Professor, having previously served on the University of South Dakota faculty where she developed the “Focus on Diversity” television series as a means of addressing racism through community dialog. She has been a panelist at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education, and National Public Radio’s diversifying the media presentation. She was a participant and facilitator with the National Institutes for the Healing of Racism. Her graduate work was at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Wisconsin Madison.

Sharon Ryan
Sharon Ryan is Professor and Chair of the WVU Philosophy Department. Her current research develops an evidentialist account of wisdom, understanding and other intellectual virtues such as open-mindedness and epistemic humility. She enjoys teaching epistemology, philosophy of religion, history of ancient philosophy and introduction to philosophy. In 2018, she founded the WVU Speculation Academy, an interdisciplinary community of faculty and students devoted to the exploration, discussion and supportive refinement of fresh and bold ideas.  She is the creator of THE QUESTION, an online forum that engages the public with philosophical questions at the root of important and difficult issues of the day.