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Guest Lecturer to Address Diversity on ‘South Park’

Canandaigua, N.Y. - Matt Glowacki, a national speaker on disabilities, will give a talk on “Diversity According to Family Guy and South Park,” on Thursday, Oct. 29, at Finger Lakes Community College.

Glowacki will explore how TV shows operating on the fringes of societal acceptance, such as “The Family Guy” and “South Park,” often have a more developed, logical and inclusive view of society.

His lecture begins at 1 p.m. in Stage 13 on the second floor of the main campus, 3325 Marvin Sands Drive. Entry is free and open to the public. Visitors should arrive early to leave time for parking due to on-campus construction.

Glowacki’s birth in 1973 in Janesville, Wis., drew attention because he was born healthy but without legs. His parents, however, made sure to provide him with every opportunity to participate in a normal life. At age 3, Matt became involved in community activities. At 5, he was mainstreamed into Harrison Elementary School and went on to graduate from Craig High School.

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Glowacki worked for three years as an outside sales account executive for Lucent Technologies where he earned the regional Master Sales Award and the Giving Back to the Community Award.  In October 1999, he left to focus on three of his own businesses: MOGO Wheelchairs, a successful wheelchair building and sales business; Glow Music, a mobile disc jockey and entertainment service; and Myriad Communications, his speaking and consulting company. He also donates his time and efforts to The Confluence , a not-for-profit wheelchair sports foundation in St. Louis, Mo.

In his presentations to schools, colleges and workplaces, Glowacki challenges notions of what constitutes a disability. For example, among his promotional materials is a poster that asks “Which one is disabled?” and features photos of himself and an able-bodied drug abuser.

Glowacki’s “Family Guy and South Park” presentation explores the different portrayals of stereotypes through video clips from well-known television programs. His goals are as follows:

  • Break down stereotypical attitudes and behavior towards differences
  • Attune viewers to a higher level of understanding of how the media portrays diversity
  • Reinforce the theme of education through absurdity

For more information on Matt Glowacki, go to www.mattglowacki.com. His visit is part of the College’s Diversity Series, which features speakers, demonstrations and performances meant to expand students’ understanding of their world.

About FLCC:
Finger Lakes Community College (www.flcc.edu) is a State University of New York two-year higher education institution. FLCC’s 250-acre park-like campus is located in the heart of the Finger Lakes in Canandaigua, N.Y. The College offers more than 45 degree and certificate programs, including environmental conservation, ornamental horticulture, music recording technology, nursing, communications, graphic design and tourism management. FLCC’s current enrollment is 6,600 full- and part-time students.

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