Home News Public Affairs Conference seeks to create collaborative communities – News

Public Affairs Conference seeks to create collaborative communities – News


Several different flags.

Actress, producer and advocate Marlee Matlin headlines the conference slate.

Missouri State University’s 19th annual Public Affairs Conference explores turning words into actions to build collaborative communities.    

From Words to Deeds: Creating Collaborative Communities” is the theme for the 2022 conference. It will be a mix of in-person and live-streamed events Sept. 20-22. 

“This year’s Public Affairs Conference is based on the premise that complex problems require collaboration between individuals, organizations and ways of thinking,” said Dr. Shannon Wooden, MSU provost fellow for public affairs. “No single person, agency, professional field or intellectual discipline is likely to have the whole answer, so we have to think and work together.” 

The conference includes: 

  • A keynote speech from Marlee Matlin. 
  • Four plenary speakers. 
  • A total of 18 virtual panel sessions. 

All events are free and open to the public. No registration is required. 

Access the full schedule

Lifelong advocate for deaf and hard of hearing people 

With an unyielding dedication to those who face adversity and a successful career in acting and producing, Matlin has a wealth of inspiring insights on building collaborative communities.  

Matlin will serve as the keynote speaker at 7 p.m. Sept. 20 at Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts. The keynote is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.  

The event is made possible by the Missouri State Foundation with support from KY3/KSPR, Springfield’s NBC/ABC TV affiliate. 

The Missouri State Foundation will host a VIP reception with Matlin at 5:30 p.m. before her keynote speech. Tickets for the VIP reception are available for purchase online. 

Read more about the keynote

Plenary Speakers 

Liz Ogbu, American architect, designer and urbanist, will discuss how innovative design can affect the so-called real world, from daily conveniences to social justice. Ogbu will speak at 12:15 p.m. Sept. 21 via Zoom. 

Jamira Burley, MIT Media Lab Director’s fellow and head of youth engagement, will discuss how to be fearlessly authentic. Burley will speak at 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Plaster Student Union Theater. 

Zach Anner, award-winning comedian, show host and TV writer, will speak at 7 p.m. Sept. 22 at the PSU Theater. 

Leila Fadel, host of “Morning Edition” and “Up First,” will speak at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 22 at the PSU Theater. 

Schedule, parking and information 

For in-person speaker events, guests may park in BearPark North or BearPark South without a permit. 

Live virtual sessions are presented via Zoom webinar. Zoom links are available on the conference schedule page 

The free Bear Line shuttle provides transportation to the PSU from BearPark North. 

Interact with the campus map

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