2016 MLK CELEBRATION FOCUS SESSIONS

FOCUS SESSION I
1:15-2:15 P.M.

POVERTY

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? FOCUS ON POVERTY: PART 1

PRESENTER:
Tanya Smith Brice, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Health and Human Services, Benedict College
LOCATION:
Neils Science Center, Room 234
DESCRIPTION:
In the final years of his life, Martin Luther King Jr. consistently argued that the fight for Civil Rights must be broadened into a war on poverty. In the generations since his death, however, the gap between rich and poor in this country has widened to historic proportions. In this session, Tanya Brice will discuss how the systems and structures that sustain poverty have brought us to this point in our history.

VIOLENCE

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? FOCUS ON VIOLENCE: PART 1

PRESENTER:
Jerry Andrew Taylor, D.Min., Associate Professor of Bible and Ministry, Abilene Christian University
LOCATION:
Center for the Arts, University Theatre
DESCRIPTION:
Violence has become part of the daily reality for many people in the world. As we face new forms of terror, both foreign and domestic, we find ourselves grappling constantly with fear and uncertainty. In this session, Jerry Taylor will explore the topic of violence and how it has affected the world and brought us to this point in history. This session will also examine why Martin Luther King Jr. made this topic a priority toward the end of his life.

RACE

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? FOCUS ON RACE: PART 1

PRESENTER:
Alisha R. Winn, Ph.D., Applied Cultural Anthropologist, West Palm Beach, Fla.
LOCATION:
Christopher Center for Library and Information Resources, Community Room
DESCRIPTION:
Fifty years after the peak of the modern Civil Rights movement, race is back at the fore of American life. Controversies involving law enforcement and people of color have erupted across the country, even as persistent segregation and racial disparities in income and wealth continue to shape our society. Why has the “original sin” of racism proven so hard to overcome? During this focus session, Alisha Winn will discuss the social construction of race and how the U.S. arrived at its current state of race relations.


FOCUS SESSION II
2:30-3:30 P.M.

POVERTY

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? FOCUS ON POVERTY: PART 2

PRESENTER:
Tanya Smith Brice, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Health and Human Services, Benedict College
LOCATION:
Neils Science Center, Room 234
DESCRIPTION:
In this session, Tanya Brice will concentrate on the theme, “Where do we go from here?” and give us some tangible steps as we move forward to eradicate poverty and systemic economic oppression.

DEVELOPMENT THROUGH EDUCATION

PRESENTER:
Krista Stribling, Engineers Without Borders
LOCATION:
Harre Union, Alumni Room
DESCRIPTION:
After the tragic earthquake in Haiti, the country was in ruins and many children were left as orphans or in extreme poverty. Engineers Without Borders traveled to an orphanage to teach science-related fields including physics, chemistry, and 3D Plastic Printing. The objective was to encourage engineering and entrepreneurship to elevate economic and social conditions. The plan now is to continue teaching at the orphanage and to install solar panels to take it off the grid.

PRIVILEGE — DO YOU KNOW YOURS?

PRESENTER:
The Athena Society
LOCATION:
College of Arts and Sciences, Room 113
DESCRIPTION:
From the organization that brought you “Sex as a Business Model,” The Athena Society presents a close inspection of what it means to be privileged, how individuals can recognize their own privileges, and how we, as a society, can learn to overcome our deeply ingrained stereotypes, and therefore, entitlements. Whether a person’s privilege is based on race, gender, wealth, or education, each individual has a responsibility to learn which privilege benefits them, and how these benefits can negatively affect both the world and the people around them.

THE WORLD WE WANT — INTERACTIVE DISPLAY AND REFLECTION

PRESENTER:
Social Action Leadership Team (SALT), Multicultural Programs (OMP), and Christian Ministry Network (CMN)
LOCATION:
College of Arts and Sciences, Room 237
DESCRIPTION:
Throughout the week prior to today’s MLK Celebration, a display was set up in public areas around campus using a template from the global movement, “The World We Want” (http://www.theworldwewant.is/#about). This interactive display was constructed with the aim of sparking dialogue in unexpected places about what each of us
individually hopes to contribute in an effort to create positive change in the world. A breakout session will allow participants to reflect on responses and campus interaction with the display.

VIOLENCE

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? FOCUS ON VIOLENCE: PART 2

PRESENTER:
Jerry Andrew Taylor, D.Min., Associate Professor of Bible and Ministry, Abilene Christian University
LOCATION:
Center for the Arts, University Theatre
DESCRIPTION:
In Focus Session 1, Jerry Taylor analyzed violence and how Martin Luther King Jr. confronted it in his time. In this session, and with a continued focus on violence and war, Jerry Taylor will answer the question proposed by King: “Where do we go from here?”

MOSAIC AND THE FUTURE OF INTERFAITH DIALOGUE AT VALPO

PRESENTER:
The Rev. Brian Johnson, M.Div., and Brittany Reynolds and Cogan Blackmon, Valpo students
LOCATION:
Helge Center, Multipurpose Room
DESCRIPTION:
This session will begin with a presentation that includes background information about MOSAIC (Mobilizing Of Students, Advocating Interfaith Cooperation) along with the various faith groups that are represented here on campus (by students of their respective groups). Subsequently, it will be argued that interfaith dialogue is important not only here on campus but also in the world in general. An opportunity for interfaith dialogue will be included as well, which is the ultimate goal of the session.

LESSENING VIOLENCE AGAINST OUR MOST VULNERABLE: MENTAL ILLNESS AND MENTAL HEALTH RELATED MICRO-AGGRESSIONS, MICRO-INJURIES, AND MICRO-ASSAULTS

PRESENTER:
Stewart Cooper, Ph.D., Director of Valparaiso University Counseling Services and Professor of Psychology, and Aaron
Tempel, Counseling Intern at the Valparaiso University Counseling Center
LOCATION:
Harre Union, Heritage Room
DESCRIPTION:
This interactive presentation will enhance participants’ awareness of the everyday uses of language and illustrations of policies that perpetuate personal, interpersonal, and economic violence upon a currently stigmatized population — those with mental illness and those with mental health issues. The concepts of micro aggressions, micro-injuries, and micro-assaults will be presented with video and other examples. Advocacy to engage in Bystander Intervention as well as in legal and policy reforms will be encouraged along with specific suggestions on how to do so.

FOR RADICAL CHRISTIANS ONLY: A PUBLIC FORUM IN RESPONSE TO VIOLENCE AND RACISM IN AMERICA

PRESENTER:
Gregory Augustus Jones, Ph.D., Lecturer in Theology
LOCATION:
College of Arts and Sciences, Room 231
DESCRIPTION:
This session will provide a short presentation on violence and race in the American social/cultural context and will
seek to encourage dialogue related to three main issues:

  1. The rationale for violence in religious traditions and models used by religious communities in America
  2. The response and reaction of followers of Christ to institutional violence and racism in American ideological and cultural systems
  3. The need for urgent responses to the radical call of Christ to be peacemakers seeking to socially deconstruct this life, thereby destroying perspectives within American culture

RACE

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? FOCUS ON RACE: PART 2

PRESENTER:
Alisha R. Winn, Ph.D., Applied Cultural Anthropologist, West Palm Beach, Fla.
LOCATION:
Christopher Center for Library and Information Resources, Community Room
DESCRIPTION:
In this session, Alisha Winn will continue to focus on the theme, “Where do we go from here?” and give us some tangible steps as we move forward to deconstruct racially unjust systems. The final goal of this session is to engage the Valpo community and Northwest Indiana in a discussion that moves us, in Martin Luther King Jr.’s words, from “chaos into community.”

MUSLIMS IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT: THE LEGACY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSLIMS AND FOLLOWING IN THEIR FOOTSTEPS

PRESENTER:
Yamen Atassi, Haajar Shaaban, Eman Akbik, and Bayan Fares, Muslim Students Association (MSA)
LOCATION:
College of Arts and Sciences, Room 234
DESCRIPTION:
This session will begin with a presentation about the historical details of the contributions of African American Muslims to the Civil Rights Movement. An interactive discussion will then take up the question of where we go from here. Audience members will also have the opportunity to participate in a traditional question and answer session with the presenters. Malcolm X, in particular, who is often avoided as a topic of discussion on college and university campuses, will be discussed because of his long-lasting impact on the black community. Whether or not we agree with Malcolm X on certain matters, his life and perspective are crucial to understanding the dynamics of race, religion, and the movement for dignity for all people.

IT’S FOR REAL

PRESENTER:
About Face Theatre
LOCATION:
The Theatre Department, the Inclusion Office, and Wordfest in the English Department
DESCRIPTION:
About Face Theatre, an LGBTQ theatre company in Chicago, will present a 25-minute play and interactive discussion, which includes a collection of stories that connects issues related to race, class, sexuality, age, gender, self-esteem, and family. Based on the true experiences of the performers in the show, the audience is encouraged
to ask the actors about their stories and to share their experiences.

THE DEATH PENALTY & SOUTHERN LYNCHINGS: PUNISHMENT OR RACIAL DISCRIMINATION?

PRESENTER:
Latinos in Valparaiso for Excellence (LIVE)
LOCATION:
Harre Union, Gandhi-King Center
DESCRIPTION:
This session will include a presentation about the relationship between capital punishment and southern lynchings. LIVE members will highlight the history of executions and how they have changed over time. A discussion will follow that concentrates on the role of race in the application of the death penalty as well as whether it is truly a form of punishment or perhaps something else.

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