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Butler students’ Brave Dialogues to examine meaning of Biden inauguration

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Butler University students will talk Thursday about what Wednesday’s inauguration means to them.

The national event happened before students went back to class next week, and the idea is to continue the conversation, especially for Marcos Navarro Garcia and other students for whom the inauguration means more than just a change in leadership.

“Change feels a lot more possible,” he said.

Navarro Garcia is not just any Butler junior. His family moved to Indiana when he was 3. He was in the top 10 in his class at McCutcheon High School southeast of Lafayette and a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). President Donald Trump tried to end the program; if he’d been successful, Navarro Garcia could have been deported to Mexico. The Supreme Court overturned any chance of that prospect last summer.

Navarro Garcia hopes a new president means the end of that turbulence. “It’s a relief. The work is not done. There’s a lot of work still to be done in the undocumented community in particular. We have a lot of hope,” he said.

Those types of experiences and feelings are what Butler hopes to share through its regular series of Brave Dialogues sponsored by the Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Center for Faith and Vocation. The inauguration is the topic for Thursday.

“I think that this shows Butler is aware of the political moment we’re in.” Navarro Garcia said.

Gina Forrest, executive director of Butler’s Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, said giving safe spaces for students to talk, even virtually, is important.

“Not to change your mind or think that there’s right or wrong, but to hear others. We think that’s an important space and place to do,” Forrest said.

She has two more goals in mind as well: developing empathy and creating the ability to disagree in a healthy way.

“You will learn how to have that civil discourse that I might completely disagree with you, how can we do so so we’re not throwing things, we’re not angry, we’re not cussing each other out,” she said.

The Brave Dialogues will tackle a few more big topics in the spring. They include vaccinations, the value of human life, abortion, and the death penalty.

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