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The original item was published from 10/2/2020 12:07:00 PM to 10/12/2020 8:57:01 AM.

News Flash

City of DeKalb News

Posted on: October 2, 2020

[ARCHIVED] City of DeKalb and NIU presents: "Belonging" featuring dr. john a. powell


Event Description:

Dr. powell is joining community members for a candid conversation about belonging and action needed to create a culture of belonging in our community. Please join us for this virtual engaging conversation on October 22, 2020 from 6-8p.m.

For questions or comments, please contact 

Monique Bernoudy at or

Jennifer Groce at 

Who should attend?

Residents, students, those who work in the community, leaders, volunteers, families, service organizations, stakeholders…everyone who lives, works, or studies in the DeKalb community and on the NIU campus.

Why Dr. powell?NIU-COD-Shaw-Belonging

john a. powell is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of civil rights, civil liberties, structural racism, housing, poverty, and democracy. john is the Director of the Othering & Belonging Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, a research institute that brings together scholars, community advocates, communicators, and policymakers to identify and eliminate the barriers to an inclusive, just, and sustainable society and to create transformative change toward a more equitable world.

What is belonging?

“We believe that the only viable solution to the problem of othering is one involving inclusion and belongingness. The most important good we distribute to each other in society is membership. The right to belong is prior to all other distributive decisions since it is members who make those decisions. Belongingness entails an unwavering commitment to not simply tolerating and respecting difference but to ensuring that all people are welcome and feel that they belong in the society.” Dr. john powell and Stephen Menendian[1]

Why should I attend?

The City of DeKalb and Northern Illinois University (NIU) are committed to creating a culture of belonging through connection and inclusion. As our community reacts to the tragic occurrences of social injustice and seeks new solutions, this effort could not be more critical.   

The City of DeKalb and NIU has invited Dr. powell to join our community for an action oriented conversation to focus on how we can better understand and promote belonging in our community.  

We hope this event will help advance existing efforts and engage additional community stakeholders, create bridges to greater understanding, and encourage action to promote belonging in our community.

How do I attend?

In the next week, we will post a registration form here and promote the link to register to attend. There is no cost to attend, but we ask attendees to register so we can provide a secure link. The event will also be shown on social media via our partners at Shaw Media. 


The following resources may provide further understanding about the concept of belonging in this context and the work of Dr. john powell. - recent article written by Dr. powell - an example of how one organization is utilizing the work of Dr. powell to create a culture of belonging.


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