Inclusive Dialogue

Empathy in Times of Chaos – A virtual discussion with Imbolo Mbue, award-winning author of Behold the Dreamers
Friday, November 13, 2020

A Virtual Discussion with Author Imbolo Mbue


In 2020, Iowans are living in a time when the public health and economic shocks of COVID-19 are further fracturing our already polarized society. Political misinformation, xenophobia, and racism choke our collective capacities for seeing the common humanity in one another. During such times, when even the threat of political mass violence lingers over the country, Americans are reflecting on ideals such as the “American Dream” and seeking opportunities for reconciliation with our neighbors.

As part of the Stanley Center’s work to promote empathy and global citizenship in our local Iowa community, we, with our partners, organized a virtual discussion with Imbolo Mbue, award-winning author of the New York Times Bestseller, Behold the Dreamers. A native of Limbe, Cameroon, and a graduate of Rutgers and Columbia Universities, Mbue will discussed immigration and the American Dream and what her work can teach us about empathy in our relationships with others.

Many of our community members in Muscatine, Iowa (and beyond) read Mbue’s book and joined us on Friday, November 13, 2020 for a virtual discussion.

Behold the Dreamers

Imbolo Mbue’s book is a compulsively readable debut novel about marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream—the unforgettable story of a young Cameroonian couple making a new life in New York just as the Great Recession upends the economy.

For Muscatine area residents, you can purchase Behold the Dreamers at the Muscatine Community College Bookstore (in stock in late October).


This virtual discussion was organized in partnership with:

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Questions about “Inclusive Dialogue: Empathy in Times of Chaos” or our other local programming? Follow us on Facebook for updates, or contact Krista Regennitter, program officer for Global Education!