Promoting Dialogue on Campuses



Partisan and ideological divisions are causing ruptures in North America’s social fabric. We see freedoms stifled on college campuses and students unwilling to engage with differing points of view.


We aim to strengthen liberties for students by nurturing critical thinking on U.S. campuses.




CRITICAL THINKING UNIT:
Our campus program, Critical Thinking Unit, helps student leaders host impartial debates and events designed to engage their fellow students in open-minded inquiry about cultural, religious and policy issues.

Promoting Dialogue on Campuses


Partisan and ideological divisions are causing ruptures in North America’s social fabric. We see freedoms stifled on college campuses and students unwilling to engage with differing points of view.


We aim to strengthen liberties for students by nurturing critical thinking on U.S. campuses.



CRITICAL THINKING UNIT:
Our campus program, Critical Thinking Unit, helps student leaders host impartial debates and events designed to engage their fellow students in open-minded inquiry about cultural, religious and policy issues.

Critical Thinking Unit in Action



Critical Thinking Unit in Action




20

Campuses

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23

Fellows

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300000

Reached


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Critical Thinking Unit in Action




20

Campuses

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23

Fellows

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300000

Upcoming Event


Texas Tech University - Female Genital Mutilation: A Survivor’s Story

Date: November 5, 2019
University: Texas Tech University
Time: 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM Central
Address: Red Raider Ballroom, Texas Tech Student Union Building, 15th Street & Akron Avenue, Lubbock, TX 794090
Speaker(s): F.A. Cole with an introduction by CTU fellow Alana Krafsur
Description: From victim to survivor, F.A. Cole, an award-winning humanitarian, author, and women’s rights activist is courageous in sharing her story of female genital mutilation (FGM) across the United States and abroad.

Born in Sierra Leone, F.A. was sexually molested, forced to undergo FGM, and much more. She used her suffering as fuel to carry out impactful work to women who have undergone similar experiences and other forms of abuse.

Her book, “Distant Sunrise - The Strength in her Pain to Forgive,” offers mechanisms to overcome tragedies and unforgiveness. F.A. works to help people view themselves as “victors” instead of “victims.”

Join us in hearing F.A.’s riveting story, background information of FGM, and its prevalence in the United States on Tuesday, November 5, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Texas Tech Student Union Building in the Red Raider Ballroom.

Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and speak with F.A. at a reception following the presentation. Free food and refreshments are provided.

The event is free and open to the public.

Learn More



University of Minnesota - A Culturally Sanctioned Trauma: Female Genital Mutilation

Date: November 8, 2019
University: University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Central
Address: School of Social Work, 1404 Gortner Avenue, Room #5, Peters Hall, Saint Paul, MN 55108
Speaker(s): Joanna Vergoth
Description: Female genital mutilation (FGM) is an ancient cultural practice that is still happening around the world - including in the U.S. - and involves procedures that intentionally alter and cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The World Health Organization reports that FGM has no health benefits and can cause serious and often lifelong physical and psychological health problems. The number of girls under 18 at risk of FGM in the U.S. has quadrupled since 1997. In Minneapolis, there are an estimated 37,417 girls and women at risk of undergoing FGM. This relevant presentation will provide an overview of FGM and its psychosocial, psychological, and psychosexual consequences, as well as share best practices in working with FGM survivors. This presentation is a collaborative effort between the Critical Thinking Unit and MNCAMH.

Joanna Vergoth, LCSW, NCPsyA, is the Founder and Executive Director of forma, with 20 years of experience as a business executive followed by 20 years of experience as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Psychoanalyst. As a mental health professional, she has dedicated herself to the healing of trauma and in addition to her public service, private practice, clinic and advocacy work, Ms. Vergoth has also studied and volunteered with organizations in London, Cairo, New York and Chicago which provide services to refugees, children of divorce, recovering sex workers, and immigrant African women and girls. Over the past decade she has become a committed activist in the cause of Female genital Mutilation (FGM/C) first as Coordinator of the Midwest Network on Female Genital Cutting, and most recently with the creation of forma, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing comprehensive, culturally-sensitive clinical services to women and families affected by FGM/C.

Learn More



Columbia University - Feminism and Effective Activism

Date: November 18, 2019
University: Columbia University
Time: 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM Eastern
Address: Schermerhorn Hall 501, 1180 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10027
Speaker(s): Masih Alinejad and Rafia Zakaria
Description: Join CTU and Columbia Colloquia for a talk with Iranian activist Masih Alinejad and Pakistani-American lawyer and author Rafia Zakaria. They will be discussing their personal lives as activists, their work campaigning against human rights violations, the role of social media in activism, U.S foreign policy, perceptions of Muslim women in media, and the concept of a global feminism.

Alinejad lives in self-exile in New York City and is well known for her criticism of the Iranian authorities. In 2014, she launched a social media campaign called "White Wednesday" inviting Iranian women to post pictures of themselves without hijab. The campaign has reached hundreds of thousands of people. Last year, Alinejad published her memoir, The Wind in my Hair. The autobiography deals with her journey from a tiny village in northern Iran to becoming a journalist and creating an online movement that sparked the nationwide protests against compulsory hijab.

Zakaria was born and raised in Karachi and lives in the United States now. She was the first Pakistani-American woman to serve as a director for Amnesty International USA. She is a lawyer, author, and human rights activist working on behalf of victims of domestic violence around the world. She has written for numerous news outlets including the Guardian, Aj Jazeera, and DAWN, Pakistan's largest English newspaper. She wrote The Upstairs Wife: An Intimate History of Pakistan and Veil. She is currently working on a new book called Against White Feminism.

Learn More

Past Events

We welcome applications for the 2019-2020
AHA Foundation Critical Thinking Unit Campus Program



We are looking for student leaders at U.S. and Canadian Universities to help start a conversation on their campuses about human rights, and to spur action to protect important freedoms being stifled in the United States and across the globe today. Find more information about the program and how to apply here.


Apply to CTU


We welcome applications for the 2018-2019
AHA Foundation Critical Thinking Unit Campus Program


We are looking for student leaders at U.S. and Canadian Universities to help start a conversation on their campuses about human rights, and to spur action to protect important freedoms being stifled in the United States and across the globe today. Find more information about the program and how to apply here.


Apply to CTU