Dorothy Pisarski, associate professor of advertising, is part of a panel discussion that has been accepted as part of Global Diaspora Week, a week of events dedicated to individuals and communities who have been separated from their homeland.
“Valuable Facets: Diaspora in American Society” will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15, in Meredith Hall Room 101. The free discussion, which is open to the public, features Pisarski and Leslie Olson, special projects manager at Oakridge Neighborhood Services in Des Moines. They will be joined by refugees from the South Sudanese and Tai Dam communities.
As a child, Pisarski was so strongly tied to her diaspora community that she did not start speaking English until she started school. When she got older, she began to understand the contribution of fellow immigrants who helped preserve the Polish folk heritage, help new waves of immigrants settle in, and bring money from the United States back to Poland to help rebuild after World War II.
“I suspect students who are rooted in generations in the USA don’t know the power of diaspora, and this enlightenment is the goal for Wednesday’s panel,” said Pisarski, who was born in New York City to immigrant parents from Poland.
The discussion is listed as a Global Diaspora Week event by the International Diaspora Engagement Alliance, a non-partisan, public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and Calvert Foundation.