Bloomsburg University to present "Conversations for the Common Good"


By Tom McGuire

Bloomsburg University will present two events focused on how the attacks of 9/11 have changed the United States as part of the "Conversations for the Common Good" series, which promotes dialogue to bridge political and social divides.

On Wednesday, Oct. 20, from 5 to 7 p.m., in Carver Hall, Gross Auditorium, the topic is "Witness to 9/11: a Victim, a Journalist, a Soldier." The program is free and is open to the public. Masks are mandatory inside university buildings.

Conversations for the Common Good

Following selected clips from the new PBS FRONTLINE special (September 2021) on 9/11 and the U.S. response, a moderated panel of witnesses will explore their memories, reactions, and responses to 9/11. The panel, joining both in-person and remotely, includes BU alumna Elizabeth Miller '17 (Rule of Law Fellow with September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows), Steve Coll, (Pulitzer Prize-winning author; Dean, Columbia University School of Journalism; and staff writer, The New Yorker), and BU alumni Joseph Bennett '17 (former U.S. Army soldier and pilot). This event will be recorded for broadcast at a later date by VIA Public Media.

The series continues in November with "Reaction to 9/11: Dialing Back Civil Rights, Violation of Human Rights" on Wednesday, Nov. 10, from 5 to 7 p.m., which will be live-streamed at the WVIA Studios in Pittston for later broadcast by VIA Public Media. After providing context using select video clips, a moderated panel will be asked to share their knowledge on the development of the rendition/detention program and on their understanding - and personal experience - of the effect of the suspensions of U.S. law and human rights ideas on individuals.

The panelists joining in person and remotely include Mohamedou Ould Slahi, (best-selling author and 14-year Guantanamo detainee), Andy Worthington (activist, writer, founder of Close, and Elizabeth Miller '17, who developed a friendship with Slahi.

WVIA Public Media, The Bloomsburg Public Library, The Exchange, The Coalition for Social Equity, and the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble are sponsors of the series. For more information, contact BU Department of History faculty member William Hudon, at or 570-389-4159.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 7,800 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.