APPLETON, WIS. — John Quincy Adams, professor of educational and interdisciplinary studies at Western Illinois University, will deliver a pair of talks Monday, February 16 in conjunction with Lawrence University’s celebration of Black History Month.

Against a backdrop of global economies and an increasingly diverse national population, Adams will discuss the importance of understanding cultural differences and the steps needed to increase cultural sensitivity in the address “Tolerance – Respecting Diversity” at 12:30 p.m. in the Barber Room of Downer Commons.

In his second address, “Race – A Social or Biological Construct?” at 6:45 p.m., in the Wriston Art Center auditorium, Adams examines the social construction of race and ethnicity in the United States, exploring questions such as why is Barrack Obama Black, and what are the consequences of continuing to maintain this belief system. He also will discuss the implications of new research projects, including National Geographic’s genographic study.

Adams is a five-time recipient of Western Illinois’ Faculty Excellence Award and the 2002 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Illinois’ College of Education.

A scholar of African-American, Asian-American and Hispanic populations in public schools, Adams contributed the entry on multiculturalism to the “Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society.” He is the author of the 2005 book “Multicultural Films: A Reference Guide” and the videotape series “Effective Strategies For Learning and Teaching About Diversity in the U.S.A.”