“We are at a moment in our history where productive conversation across divided groups has become exceedingly difficult,” Chancellor Christina Drale said. “Mónica Guzmán is bringing us valuable insight on how we can begin to change that. As learners and scholars, it is particularly important for us to develop this skill so that we don’t get stuck in our silos and may continue to encounter the world with curiosity and optimism.”
The university started the Inclusive and Inspiring Speaker Series last year with a lecture by Heather McGhee, best-selling author of “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together.” The speaker series is an opportunity for transformation and personal growth as we hear from thought leaders who challenge assumptions and inherent biases.
During her visit to campus, Guzmán will also hold a workshop for students and faculty and meet with members of the UA Little Rock Cabinet and Racial Barriers Committee.
“Guzmán’s book is so relevant to our current political climate because she focuses on the need for more civility in the ways we talk to each other about seemingly divisive issues,” said Dr. Melvin Beavers, the chancellor’s diversity, equity, and inclusion fellow. “I really applaud her efforts to offer practical strategies for folks who might otherwise choose not to engage in difficult, politically charged conversations.”
Guzmán is a bridge builder, journalist, and author who lives for great conversations sparked by curious questions. Her book was featured on the Glenn Beck Podcast and named a New York Times recommended read. She’s a senior fellow for public practice at Braver Angels, the nation’s largest cross-partisan grassroots organization working to depolarize America; founder and CEO of Reclaim Curiosity, an organization working to build a more curious world; and co-founder of the award-winning Seattle newsletter The Evergrey.
Guzmán was a 2019 fellow at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, where she studied social and political division, and a 2016 fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, where she researched how journalists can rethink their roles to better meet the needs of a participatory public.
She was named one of the 50 most influential women in Seattle and served twice as a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes. A Mexican immigrant, Latina, and dual US/Mexico citizen, she lives in Seattle with her husband and two kids.