The Spring 2017 Social Justice Events Series, #MediaMatters: Social Justice as Product and Process, runs through April with a variety of speakers and events focused on issues of race, media, and power; activism, religion, and gender identity; literature, poetry and social media as tools.
All events are free and open to the college community and the public.
Twitter Talks Back: Communities of Color and Catalysts for Conversation
Thursday, February 16, 7 p.m., Kirby Hall of Civil Rights, room 104
For decades, social scientists have examined whether online discourse could or would translate into offline civic engagement, particularly among communities of color. Research centered on Black Twitter, and by extension, Black Lives Matter, indicates social media may be breaking through the discourse-to-action barrier, impacting everything from news coverage to policy development as users collectively advocate for change. Working within her research interests of race, media, and power, Dr. Meredith Clark will present an overview and look ahead at the impact of culturally informed social-media use in addressing social problems in the 21st century, and invite conversation about where we go from here.
Presented by: Association of Black Collegians, Black Heritage Month
Nia, Office of Intercultural Development
Talking Back: Challenging Stereotypes and Oppression in Media
Tuesday, February 21, 7 p.m., Gendebien Room, Skillman Library
Malcolm X asserted that the “media is the most powerful entity on earth…because they control the minds of the masses.” But now more than ever, communities are finding creative ways to resist harmful and stereotypical media messages and produce their own. In this talk, media activist and educator Nuala Cabral will discuss efforts spearheaded by artists, organizers, and educators to change the current media landscape and highlight some of the challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned.
Presented by: Black Heritage Month, Office of Intercultural Development,
Kaleidoscope Social Justice Peer Educators
Break Every Yoke: Religion, Power, and the End of Mass Incarceration
Monday, February 27, 7 p.m., Kirby Hall of Civil Rights, room 104
Joshua Dubler is a critically engaged scholar whose teaching and writing takes place where American religious history and ethnography intersect with critical theory, and with the theory of religion. Among other topics, he teaches classes on Religion in America, Islam in America, Theories of Religion, Guilt, Genealogy, and Pilgrimage. He is author of Down in the Chapel: Religious Life in an American Prison. With Andrea Sun-Mee Jones, he is the co-author of Bang! Thud: World Spirit from a Texas School Book Depository. With Vincent Lloyd, he is currently writing a book titled “Break Every Yoke: Religion, Power, and the End of Mass Incarceration,” which looks to marshal religious resources toward prison abolition. He also is working on a cultural history of the concept of guilt in America.
Presented by: Office of Intercultural Development,
Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, LANDIS Criminal Justice Week
While Black: Social Media, Social Justice
Thursday, March 2, 7 p.m., Kirby Hall of Civil Rights, room 104
Millennials are defined by their savvy integration of digital technology and by their seamless incorporation of cultural difference. A changing cultural landscape, however, has not drastically shifted power relations nor has it dramatically transformed how we make sense of race today. Dr. Aisha Durham will describe the “work” of post-race rhetoric and discuss the ways young people use social media as a tool to reinforce or resist racial terror.
Presented by: Departments of Anthropology and Sociology and
Women’s and Gender Studies program, Office of Intercultural Development,
Women’s History Month
Trampling Out the Vintage: Cesar Chavez and the Two Souls of the United Farm Workers
Thursday, April 6, 7 p.m., Kirby Hall of Civil Rights, room 104
Frank Bardacke is a political activist who protested the Vietnam War. He was featured in the film Berkeley in the Sixties, and according to the film, he: “Left Berkeley in 1970, and spent the next decade working in the fields and canneries near Salinas, Calif. He is still a leftist, active in labor and community politics.” In 2011 he published Trampling Out the Vintage: Cesar Chavez and the Two Souls of the United Farm Workers.
Presented by: Department of Government and Law,
Office of Intercultural Development
Gender, Identity, and Social Movements
Tuesday, April 11, 7 p.m., Kirby Hall of Civil Rights, room 104
Dean Spade is an Associate Professor at Seattle University School of Law. He teaches Administrative Law, Poverty Law, and Law and Social Movements. Prior to joining the faculty of Seattle University, Dean was a Williams Institute Law Teaching Fellow at UCLA Law School and Harvard Law School, teaching classes related to sexual orientation and gender identity law and law and social movements.
Presented by: Women and Gender Studies Program, Department of Biology, Skillman Library, Department of Intercultural Development
MacKnight Black Poetry Reading Featuring Kazim Ali and Student Competition Winners
Monday, April 24, 7 p.m., Kirby Hall of Civil Rights, room 104
Kazim Ali is a poet, essayist, fiction writer, and translator. His books include several volumes of poetry, including Sky Ward, winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry; The Far Mosque, winner of Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award; The Fortieth Day; All One’s Blue; and the cross-genre text Bright Felon: Autobiography and Cities. He also has published a translation of Abahn Sabana David by Marguerite Duras, Water’s Footfall by Sohrab Sepehri, Oasis of Now: Selected Poems by Sohrab Sepehri, and (with Libby Murphy) L’amour by Marguerite Duras. His novels include Quinn’s Passage, named one of “The Best Books of 2005” by Chronogram Magazine, and The Disappearance of Seth. His books of essays include Orange Alert: Essays on Poetry, Art and the Architecture of Silence and Fasting for Ramadan. Ali is an associate professor of creative writing and comparative literature at Oberlin College.
Presented by: Department of English
A reading by Javier Avila during the Jean Corrie Poetry Reading and Ice Cream Social
Tuesday, April 25, 4:10 p.m., Marlo Room, Farinon Student Center
Join us for an ice cream social and poetry reading, featuring the dynamic poet Javier Avila, author of books of poetry and fiction, and 2015 Pennsylvania Professor of the Year. Student winners of the competition will read their poems, followed at the podium by the competition judge Avila. Afterward, pizza will arrive, and we’ll hold an informal question and answer session with Avila.
Ávila is a renowned poet and novelist whose literary excellence propelled him to international recognition. His bestselling novel Different became an award-winning motion picture entitled Miente, which was screened in more than a dozen countries. His poetry books The Symmetry of Time and The Dead Man’s Position earned him prestigious awards by the Pen Club and The Puerto Rico Institute of Culture, respectively. Other books—Broken Glass on the Carpet, The Professor in Ruins, and The Oldest Profession—cemented his reputation as a celebrated writer. Audiences praise Ávila’s recent work for being “a powerful voice for Latinos in the U.S.”
Presented by: Department of English