Healing Through Conversation

Published on 24 February 2017

Award-winning author Rita Williams-Garcia has an unassuming presence, but her warmth and joy can fill an auditorium. As part of the Liberal Arts Convocation series, focusing on the theme of humble healing, and Black History Month programing, Williams-Garcia presented “A Conversation between 33 and 59” on Thursday, Feb. 16. Her lecture enacted a conversation between her 33-year-old self and her present, 59-year-old self.

Through her unconventional presentation, Williams-Garcia was able to explore topics of growth and the evolution of perspective in her writing with a compassion that would not be possible without the platform of a conversation.

“Rita Williams-Garcia offered our future pharmacists a great opportunity to consider the benefits of learning, growing and striving for truth and moral justice throughout their lives,” said Brian Walter, Ph.D., associate professor of English and director of the Liberal Arts Convocation Series. “As she thoughtfully demonstrated with stories of her journey as a writer, life at all points requires a balancing act if we are to best serve ourselves, our loved ones and our greater communities.”

Williams-Garcia recounted how over the years she learned to “relax into her profession” and change with the winds — unlike her headstrong, younger self. As Williams-Garcia stressed the importance of appreciating the dynamic between the wisdom of age and the energized potential of youth, she urged students to study and learn from that dynamic. True to the theme of ‘humble healing,’ Williams-Garcia’s presentation illustrated how, with time and compassion, healing begins with the conversation with ourselves.

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