2010 Sessions
MLK Session Program
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FOCUS SESSION I  1:15–2:15 p.m.


“Solidarity Forever!” Labor and Civil Rights Sing from a Common Songbook
Presenter: Professor Ruth Needleman, Indiana University Northwest
Mueller Hall: Commons

Description: There is no better way to overcome fear than to join hands and sing. Slaves sang their steps to freedom. Nineteenth century wage slaves called out: “Hold the Fort for we are coming!” The Industrial Workers of the World, the first all-inclusive labor organization at the dawn of the 20th century known as the Wobblies, paraded in protest, staged street theater to gather the people, and satirized the boss to music. From the 1930s to the 1960s, from the farm workers to the Mississippi freedom struggle, hear the songs, learn the context, and join hands in solidarity — more important today than ever!

 

Remembering Martin Luther King Jr. — We Shall Overcome
Presenter: Dr. Albert E. Jabs, Allen University, Columbia, S.C.
Harre Union: Brown and Gold Room

Description: Dr. Jabs’ long experience with the African-American community in the American south and in South Carolina, in particular, spans a full four decades. The session will bring Dr. King’s message to life with stories of Dr. Jabs’ past experience and a bit of role play. As a former VU student, Dr. Jabs also will speak about the way in which his Valpo education helped shape his life and work. Professor Karl Lutze and Rev. Andrew Schulze, in particular, were two prophetic Valpo mentors who influenced Dr. Jabs greatly as he developed his vision of race and reconciliation.

 

Andrew Schulze and the “Post-Racial” Church
Presenter: Dr. Kathryn Galchutt, Concordia College-New York
CCLIR: Community Room

Description: Since the election of Barack Obama there has been much debate and discussion about the development and potential of a “post-racial” society. But what about the possibilities and potential of a “post-racial” church? In Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” he expressed his disappointment with the church. As Dr. King explained, “The contempo- rary church is often a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. It is so often an arch- supporter of the status quo.” Rev. Andrew Schulze was a Lutheran leader who also called for the church to be active in the cause of racial justice. As Rev. Schulze stated, “Unfortunately most churches — including the Lutheran Church — have allowed the world to set the pattern in the matters of social living.” What do Dr. King and Rev. Schulze have to say to Christians today about the development of a “post-racial” church and society?

 

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign
Presenter: Tracy Rongers, VU
VUCA: Lobby

Description: Signs were the silent messengers of the civil rights movement. Past Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day visual artist-in-residence, Tracy Rongers explores the evolution of the visual narrative from protest signs to historical representative artworks. Examination of her creative process reveals the artist’s perspective and perceptions of the visual layers within this story that enrapture spectators through their poignant, strong messages. Tracy Rongers is a sculptor whose attention has been diverted to the antiquated high art of historical painting and who has led a career dedicated to relating our personal journeys to a collective reference.

 


FOCUS SESSION II  2:30–3:30 p.m.

 

Violence and Religious Traditions
Presenter: Rev. Gregory A. Jones, United Church of Christ; VU
Huegli Hall: Lumina Room

Description: Explore the history of the use of violence in Western culture and on the nature of the acceptance of violence as a legitimate response within some religious cultures. The acceptance of the myth of redemptive violence will be explored as well as the pervasive nature of violence in contem- porary Western culture. This examination will help participants to better understand Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s work toward peace and his vision for the “Beloved Community.”

 

“This Little Light of Mine”: Music and the Struggle for Freedom
Presenters: Diane Marten, Jessica McCallum and Johnna Venuto, servant leaders, VU; Jane and Paul Schreiner, community activists/musicians
Mueller Hall: Commons

Description: Enjoy a musical performance by a number of guitarists and singers who will present folk songs from the 1960s that were popular because they connected with the struggle for freedom. The group will sing a number of church songs related to the period’s struggles as well. A number of more recent church songs that remind us of diversity and unity will be included.

 

Race in America: The Lutheran Perspective
Presenter: Professor James Albers, VU; Dr. Kathryn Galchutt, Concordia College-New York; Dr. Albert E. Jabs, Allen University, Columbia, S.C.; and Professor Emeritus Karl Lutze, VU
CCLIR: Community Room

Description: Panelists will discuss the relationship between Lutheran theology and the struggle for civil rights. The discussion will also include the challenges that racial tensions have posed to the Lutheran church at the congregational, district and national levels, with an emphasis on the key roles that members of the VU community have played in overcoming these challenges.

 

Mental Health Illness: The Disability with Stigma
Presenter: SALT Mental Health Promotion Committee and VU Counseling Services Staff
Harre Union: Brown and Gold Room

Description: A very high level of stigma exists against those with a diagnosis of a mental illness, and both external and internal stigma serve as barriers to accessing treatment. The program will focus
on the stigma and the nested stigma effects of ethnicity and socioeconomics status, the latter particularly through the twin effects of a lack of national health care coverage and a lack of imple- mentation of the federal parity law where access to mental health services is to be on par with access to medical services, but in reality, is not.

 

Is This #%$@! Funny?
Presenter: Dr. Alan Bloom, VU
Neils Science Center: 234

Description: Examine the comedy of the likes of Dave Chappelle and Cedric the Entertainer. Many people find their acts hilariously funny; others find them degradingly offensive. But what do you think of this material, and why? Can you make fun of Rosa Parks? Is a black, blind white supremacist funny? Is it amusing to think that if there were reparations FUBU and KFC might merge to form the largest company in the world? Finally, how deferential do we need to be about previous civil rights lead- ers who carried the torch, and how much can we laugh at stereotypes without reinforcing them?

 


FOCUS SESSIONS I AND II: TWO-HOUR SESSIONS 1:15-3:30 p.m.

 

Express Yourself
Presenter: Nicholas Henton, VU
VUCA: Theater

Description: Throughout history, African-American culture has accented many dreams. Explore how African- Americans, past and present, have lived out their dreams through expressions of peace, love and hope through their voices, hands and feet. This session includes live music, dance and art. 

 


FOCUS SESSIONS I AND II: REPEATED SESSIONS 1:15-2:15 p.m.; 2:30-3:30 p.m.

 

Sex Trafficking: A Well-Hidden Secret of American Society
Presenter: Lisa Ellens and Jodi Naumann, Student Social Work Organization
CCLIR: 205

Description: Explore the sex-trafficking problem facing the United States. The short film 43 Days presents the story of a young woman who runs away from home and falls victim to the dangers of sex trafficking in urban America. After the film, a discussion will follow relating to the film’s impact on the viewers and the broader implications of the sex-trafficking problem in American society. This presentation demonstrates a celebration of the arts through a dramatic and artistic por- trayal of this largely unknown social problem.

 

How Latin Culture (Art, Music, and Literature) Has Influenced Culture Here in America
Presenter: Timothy Garibay and Crystal Sandoval, Latinos in Valparaiso for Excellence (LIVE)
Harre Union: Heritage Room

Description: Enjoy video clips of Latin music, dance styles, works of art and literature that have influenced Latin culture in America. For centuries, Latin culture has been widely known for celebrations that include dancing and good music. A discussion will follow.

 

Movin’ On Up: A Look at African-Americans on TV
Presenter: Professor Bridget Kies, VU
VUCA: 1412

Description: As a more contemporary art form, television is often underappreciated, but a number of
shows were intended to have an impact on social change on a broad scale. When the Jeffersons “moved on up” in the 1970s, the show sent a powerful message that African-Americans can achieve the same wealth as whites, but it also left the door open for the claim that African- Americans still in poverty had only themselves to blame. This presentation will examine dueling depictions of African-American life, post-MLK, through clips from the 1970s through today.

 

A Journey to Room 306
Presenter: Professor Phillip Powell, VU
Harre Union: Victory Bell

Description: This past summer, Professor Powell visited the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tenn., and experienced what it was like to be involved in the civil rights movement. Since he was only 8 years old at the time of Dr. King’s journey, Professor Powell now has a clearer memory of Dr. King’s crusade for civil rights. Professor Powell will discuss his personal journey to Room 306 in the Civil Rights Museum and how significant it is for others to do the same in order to celebrate the accomplishments of Dr. King. He will also show the film Witness to Room 306. 

 

Milk
Presenter: Gideon Litherland, Alliance; LAMBDA
VUCA: Duesenberg Recital Hall

Description: Milk, the 2008 Gus van Sant film, touches on many profound issues that face the LGBT commu- nity. The discussion will include the movement Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood for, perhaps best articulated in one of his sermons in Strength to Love: “The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.”

 

“If the Spirit Say Fight”: Songs of the Civil Rights Movement
Presenter: 
Rev. Derek Perkins, Community Pastor, First United Methodist Church, Valparaiso
Mueller Hall: Refectory

Description: Rev. Perkins recalls the important role that music played when he was growing up in Missis- sippi. He remembers how Fannie Lou Hamer came by his family’s house in Mendenhall just to gather a few people and sing. She was from the Mississippi Delta, but she knew his family well. He will share many stories of the family’s struggles in Mississippi and how singing helped them through those times with words like, “Em Gonna Do What the Spirit Say Do (If the Spirit Say Fight, Em Gonna Fight Oh Lord...).”

 

Black Survivors of the Holocaust
Presenter: Dr. Jennifer Bjornstad and Dr. Sarah DeMaris, VU
Mueller Hall: 140

Description: Watch excerpts from the documentary film Black Survivors of the Holocaust by David Okuefuna (1997) and engage in a discussion of the historical context that led to the racial crimes of the Third Reich. The film chronicles the experiences of Afro-Germans during the Nazi era, uncovering the oppression, torture and murder many suffered. Interviews of the survivors and the descen- dants of the victims, along with documentary footage from the 1930s and 1940s, document a moving, if brutal, tale of medical experiments and oppression.

 

Access and Support: Keys to Campus Transformation
Presenter: Kelley James Johnston, Senior Trainer, Posse Chicago
Harre Union: Alumni Room

Description: Although education has become a core value in our society, we have a history of closing doors, intentionally and unintentionally, to specific groups of people, especially in higher education. Will our nation’s shifting demographics be reflected in college-going and graduation trends? This workshop will examine educational access, explore opportunities and challenges faced by the next generation of college students, and see how organizations like the Posse Foundation are part of the solution.

 

Honoring Dr. King Through Song, Dance, and Mime
Presenter: Spiritual Dance Ensemble, First Evangelical Lutheran Church
Chapel of the Resurrection

Description: The children, youth and adults of First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Harvey, Ill., will honor Dr. King with dance, mime and song as they join with VU on this Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2010. First Lutheran is in the process of establishing an Association for the Performing Arts
in Service of the Gospel.

 

Inclusion in the program does not constitute endorsement by Valparaiso University or the MLK Steering Committee of any of the views presented.