MUSCATINE, Iowa—During the COVID-19 pandemic, colleges and universities worldwide have had to get creative to continue finding ways for their students and larger communities to continue interacting with thought provoking guest speakers. Muscatine Community College has proved no different, looking for ways to connect Muscatine to the wider world virtually. On Nov. 13, in partnership with the Stanley Center for Peace and Security, the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine, and the Musser Public Library, they will hold a virtual inclusive dialogue with celebrated author Imbolo Mbue.
Mbue grew up in Limbe, Cameroon and later came to the United States. She attended and graduated from Rutgers University and Columbia University. She wrote her fist novel, “Behold the Dreamers” about a young married couple from Africa working to realize the American dream while navigating the difficulties of living in a new country. Mbue’s novel earned her much critical acclaim as well as a spot on the New York Times Best Sellers List. Along with her writing, Mbue travels across the country to speak about her experience as an immigrant and how people can build more empathetic relationships with everyone in their community.
The Stanley Center’s Program Officer for Global Education, Krista Regennitter shared that the Center chose to partner with Muscatine Community College to bring Mbue to speak with the community because they felt her presentation would resonate with residents and help people learn more about the world around them, even at a time when travel proves difficult. “We felt “Behold the Dreamers” was relevant to Muscatine due to our immigrant and refugee community members,” said Regennitter. “Our goal with this event and others, is to provide an opportunity of listening to diverse voices to broaden perspectives and understanding of the Muscatine community and the world around us.”
The Stanley Center and Muscatine Community College will provide this virtual event to the community free of charge. Anyone interested in attending may register by visiting https://stanleycenter.org/iowa-community/inclusivedialogue/. Once registered, participants will have a log in for the presentation emailed to them. They will also receive a reading guide for “Behold the Dreamers.” Anyone wanting to purchase their own copy of the book prior to Mbue’s dialogue can do so at the Muscatine Community College bookstore.
Regennitter looks forward to this online event and hopes that many area residents will tune in, learn from, and enjoy Mbue’s discussion. She also hopes it will continue the Stanley Center’s mission of encouraging global citizenship and cooperation.