A little more than a year ago, Cal State San Bernardino’s Yotie Talks series hosted a brown-bag discussion with faculty on the topic of the United States being an exceptional nation. On Friday, May 31, Yotie Talks will revisit the topic with “American Exceptionalism Panel 2.0,” organized by student Byron Williams. The panel discussion with faculty Annika Anderson (sociology), Daniel MacDonald (economics) and Marc Robinson (history) will take place at noon in the Santos Manuel Student Union Theater. Presented by the CSUSB History Club/Phi Alpha Theta and the Department of History, the program is free and open to the public. Parking at CSUSB is $6. According to the online New World Encyclopedia, “American exceptionalism has been historically referred to as the belief that the United States differs qualitatively from other developed nations because of its national credo, historical evolution, or distinctive political and religious institutions. The difference is often expressed in American circles as some categorical superiority, to which is usually attached some alleged proof, rationalization or explanation that may vary greatly depending on the historical period and the political context. However, the term can also be used in a negative sense by critics of American policies to refer to a willful nationalistic ignorance of faults committed by the American government.”In reprising the discussion, Williams said, “I wanted to put this event together and discuss this idea of American Exceptionalism because it speaks to the very nature of our current state and where we are at politically in this nation. “The only way that we can learn from these troubling times is by coming together as one and discussing the current issues that are threatening our civil liberties and personal freedoms,” Williams said. “It is also important to discuss how we got to this point in time by looking back at America’s past and where we are headed by looking at what America’s future holds for us and what we can do to make a difference.” Anderson, MacDonald and Robinson will explore the often controversial and contentious topic from different perspectives, after which they will engage in a question-and-answer session with those in attendance. Yotie Talks is a format similar to the TED Talks and is organized by the University Diversity Committee at CSUSB.For more information, contact Byron Williams, the panel’s student organizer, at 005153079@coyote.csusb.edu.

CSUSB’s Yotie Talks series revisits topic of American exceptionalism