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Three Panelists to Speak August 26th at Catawba College BookRevue

August 18, 2008

Category: Academics, Events


We Are All the Same by Jim WootenThree panelists will provide insights and perspectives on Catawba College's 2008 common reading selection, "We Are All the Same," when they participate in the annual BookRevue on campus Tuesday, August 26th.

Dr. Samuel Dansokho, an associate professor of religion and society at Hood Theological Seminary, Dr. Constance Rogers-Lowery, assistant professor of biology at Catawba College, and Ms. Tara Van Geons, M.A., who works at Greystone School in Misenheimer and is former case manager and service coordinator for Rowan County AIDS Task Force, will be part of a panel discussion at BookRevue. The event is slated at 7:30 p.m. in Hedrick Theatre and is free and open to the public.

"We Are All the Same" was written by Jim Wooten, an award-winning senior correspondent for ABC News and the recipient of a John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism. The book was the winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award and is subtitled "A Story of a Boy's Courage and a Mother's Love." 

In "We Are All the Same," the reader meets Nkosi Johnson, a Zulu, HIV-positive child with no hope for living, but whose life remains anything but hopeless. The reader also meets the indefatigable, white South African Gail Johnson who becomes Nkosi's foster mother. Johnson's persistence as an advocate for children like Nkosi helps draw international attention to discrimination and personalizes the apartheid struggle in their country.

Jim WootenMembers of Catawba's Common Summer Reading Ad Hoc Selection Group recommended the book because it includes topics which may be addressed in first-year seminars, including cultural differences, heroism, vocation and helping, as well as political and social issues. The book also will dovetail with a second semester course on globalization which all first-year students will also take. Author Jim Wooten will visit Catawba's campus during the second semester and speak to first-year students about his book and his friendship with Nkosi. Wooten's appearance, which will be free and open to the public, is slated for Tuesday, March 24, 2009.

"We Are All the Same" provides a starting point for Catawba's first-year students and their faculty. After completing the common summer reading, first-year students arrive on campus ready to participate in and contribute to intellectual dialog on campus. The book also provides a common thread for intellectual discussion throughout new students' first-year experience.

Catawba's Common Summer Reading began in 2005 as a way to help first-year students become intellectually engaged when they initially arrived on campus. Past selections include Edward Tenner's "Why Things Bite Back," Khalid Hosseini's "The Kite Runner," and Tracy Kidder's "Mountains Beyond Mountains."


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