CLS: Culture of Belonging

Stretch, grow, learn and connect with the Lakeside community. These sessions explore community building and social justice topics.

Dr. Jen Newton

“Inclusion & Belonging in School”
10:30 a.m., Monday, July 10 | Orchestra Hall
The push for inclusion in education systems can get derailed by funding streams, systemic barriers and siloed training/licensure. The systemic racism and ableism that has shaped our educational model harm so many students despite the equity and inclusion efforts underway. But, at the center, is the human and civil right for children to belong in families, in community and in schools and classrooms. We will consider ways we as the adults who cultivate the environment and facilitate the community can build belonging in all our spaces.

Dr. Jen Newton is an associate professor at Ohio University.  Newton’s research interests include anti-racist, anti-ableist education, early childhood inclusion and inclusive teacher preparation. She regularly presents locally, regionally and nationally on a range of inclusive educational topics.

She served as an early interventionist and an inclusive pre-kindergarten teacher prior to pursuing doctoral studies. Newton earned her doctorate in special education from the University of Kansas and spent four years as an assistant professor at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, then three years at Saint Louis University before finding her home at Ohio University.

Dr. Lisa Kentgen

“Solving Our Belonging Crisis by Observing the 6 Essential Qualities of Vibrant Communities”
10:30 a.m., Tuesday, July 12 | Orchestra Hall
Belonging is a central issue of our time, and yet its importance is undervalued in our culture, resulting in catastrophic consequences for our collective health and well-being.

For two years, Lisa Kentgen traveled across the country to meet people who prioritize community. She had dozens of conversations about how they understood community and how their thinking evolved, and lives changed for the better as a result of their participation in it.

This talk shares her core findings – the six qualities that characterize vibrant communities. By learning from stories of people who are building models of connection and care, we can strengthen our “we” muscle and invigorate our own personal communities, making them transformational places of belonging.

“Caring in a Way that Expands Our Ability to Connect as Humans”
3:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 12 | Orchestra Hall
In cultures of conditional belonging, where competition and individualism are often rampant, the notion of caring for each other is rigid and limited. These environments can be particularly difficult for those who have known vulnerabilities or are identified with having a disability.

If we start from the place of radical truth, that everyone is needed and has gifts to share, we can begin to unlock the potential of true interdependence. Interdependence implies allowing those we serve to impact us, too, in a mutually enriching, bi-directional exchange. This talk will introduce countercultural voices like L’Arche, a worldwide community of people with and without cognitive disabilities who are sharing life in ways that open eyes, hearts and minds to a broader vision of mutuality. L’Arche communities invite all of us to shed the masks we wear in order to offer the most authentic version of ourselves to the world.

Lisa Kentgen is a psychologist with a PhD in clinical psychology and has worked as an educator and clinician for over three decades. She has served on faculty at Columbia University Teachers College and as clinical director within a research center for childhood mood and anxiety disorders at New York State Psychiatric Institute. She is the author of two books and numerous scientific articles. Her scientific interests have included topics such as the development of conscious awareness, the biological correlates of depression and anxiety, identifying mental health needs of children and communal models of health and well-being.

Her most recent book, The Practice of Belonging: Six Lessons from Vibrant Communities to Combat Loneliness, Foster Diversity, and Cultivate Caring Relationships, was released in April 2023. The book has been endorsed by recognized leaders in community development as “making the world we want to inhabit accessible to us” (Peter Block) and for giving us “hope for the possibility of communities that aren’t only just but are also delightful” (Sandhya Jha).

After spending most of her adult life in Brooklyn, New York, Kentgen now lives in the Pacific Northwest. She focuses on sharing and supporting the quiet and often unreported local movements of community, justice and belonging.

Dr. Lara Wilken

“Assessment & Identification of Victims of Human Trafficking”
10:30 a.m., Wednesday, July 12 | Orchestra Hall
Nearly 90% of individuals recovered from the life of human trafficking stated that during their time of exploitation they were seen and treated by a healthcare provider and human trafficking was never recognized. This lecture provides an overview of both sex and labor trafficking, the intersection of healthcare and trafficking and resources available to assist those in need.

Lara Wilken is an Assistant Clinical Professor and Coordinator of the online RN-BSN program at Bowling Green State University. She recently earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) with a focus on healthcare and human trafficking. Her background in nursing is primarily medical-surgical oncology, with experience in public school nursing and SANE nursing (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner). She has a passion for educating healthcare providers on the assessment and identification of those involved in the life of human trafficking. Wilken has spent the last nine years traveling the northwest region of Ohio raising awareness in a variety of health care settings. She created the human trafficking policy for Firelands Regional Medical Center and is chair to the Ohio Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Public Awareness Committee. Wilken’s mission is to ensure health care providers receive education that is both evidence-based, and survivor informed.

Dr. Rowland Brucken

“Restorative Justice: Repairing Harm in Communities”
10:30 a.m., Thursday, July 13 | Orchestra Hall
Restorative Justice is a term applicable to a wide range of practices used in the aftermath of crime or wrongdoing. They aim to hold responsible parties accountable, meet the diverse needs of affected parties and make communities safer and connected. This presentation will lay out the basic themes and wide scope of activities, from reparative panels in Vermont to indigenous practices in post-genocide Rwanda and truth commissions in Argentina and Zimbabwe. The aim is to promote thinking about alternatives to the present punitive-based criminal justice system that can be implemented in any local community.

Dr. Rowly Brucken is a Professor of History at Norwich University in Vermont. He teaches courses on international human rights law, U.S. foreign policy and American history race/gender themes. He has been a restorative justice practitioner for 25 years on reparative panels, mediation meetings and domestic abuser accountability groups. He helped to create two community justice centers and served on their boards. His wife, Lisa, has become a devoted Lakesider and craft teacher at the Rhein Center. They have three children, Katherine, Grae and Caroline. He grew up in Lakeside, taking summer jobs as third shift gateman, glasswasher at the Abigail, mini golf attendant and shuffleboard maintenance.

Dr. Meredith Workman & Family

“Are we there yet? Navigating Culture, Medicine & Parenting as Medical Missionaries in Africa”
3:30 p.m., Thursday, July 13 | Orchestra Hall
Get ready for a family-friendly, enjoyable and often hilarious presentation as we take a journey with the Workman family. Just six months ago, they traded their suburban paradise for the African savanna.

Dr. Meredith Workman, a pediatric plastic surgeon and fourth-generation Lakesider, her husband, David, a Lakeside Foundation Board member, and their four children left behind a comfortable life in Arizona to become medical missionaries in Zambia with CURE International.

In this engaging talk, they will share their often funny and sometimes scary adventures as they adapt to a new culture, a new medical system and the challenges of raising children in Africa.

Join us as the Workman family takes us on a journey of faith, perseverance and adaptation, sharing the ups and downs of their new adventure, the lessons they’ve learned and the milestones they’ve achieved along the way. Workman is a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 10 years of surgical experience in pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgery and served for four years as a director of the ACPA-approved cleft team at Children’s Rehabilitative Services in Phoenix, Arizona. She has been involved in dozens of research publications and presentations.

Her specialties include congenital or acquired facial deformities, cleft lip and palate, congenital hand malformations, congenital or developmental breast deformities, scars and other lesions. Workman has a combined bachelor’s and medical degree from Northeastern Ohio Medical University. She completed an integrated general surgery/plastic surgery residency at Oklahoma University Health Science Center and a Pediatric Plastic Surgery fellowship at Nationwide Children’s Hospital through Ohio State University Medical Center. Workman most recently sold her private practice of East Valley Pediatric Plastic Surgery, PLC, to join the medical team at CURE Zambia where she will be responsible for evaluating and treating children with plastic surgical issues, coordinating care with other specialists, and providing postoperative care and therapy recommendations. In January, Workman, her husband David, and their four children, ages 6, 8, 12 and 14, moved from their home in Chandler, Arizona, to Lusaka, Zambia

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Jul 10 - 14, 2023



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