"To regionalize is so often to marginalize. Instead, see the humanity and question that, rather than where they come from. We all keep looking for differences, but now more than ever I think we need to start seeing our similarities."
"I write from a very personal perspective about what divides us and what brings us together, " said Joy. He spoke about the tendency to stereotype people in other parts of the country, and to break that habit American must fight against stereotypes that promote "ignorance, lack of personal responsibility, and violence."
Appalachia is a region that scales from Mississippi to New York and many tend to stereotype its culture, environment, and people. In his essay, David Joy recalls a memory that speaks to this issue. He said, "I once had a media escort wheeling me around in a Mercedes through some noisy city who asked what people where I'm from thought of my work before stuttering, 'Or can they read?' I ate it and let that feeling roll around in my stomach and just said, 'Yes, we can read.'"
"To regionalize is so often to marginalize. Instead, see the humanity and question that, rather than where they come from. We all keep looking for differences, but now more than ever I think we need to start seeing our similarities." To break down barriers among polarized groups, people must take time to understand other viewpoints, said Joy. "Encourage meaningful dialogue. It takes bravery and empathy to listen to other perspectives."
With nationally known speakers, the National Agenda program encourages students, staff, faculty, and community members to join the conversation. CPC Associate Director Dr. Lindsay Hoffman moderates the series. She also teaches Communication and Political Science. National Agenda is made possible by generous support from the University of Delaware's Office of the Provost. To view previous National Agenda presentations, please visit the University of Delaware National Agenda YouTube Channel. A full schedule and more details about National Agenda are available at the website.