Courageous Conversations: An ongoing series of discussions open to the AU community.
Class & Campus Life: Managing & Experiencing Inequality at an Elite College Sponsor: Campus Life & Dean of Academic Affairs
The Creative Process of Bringing Truth to Power: The Art of the Black Panthers & AFRICOBRA Sponsor: AU Museum/Alper Initiative
The 2016 Election: What is at Stake, Who Decides & How We Get to Full Participation Sponsor: AU Library
Riffing on the Legacy of the Black Arts Movement Sponsor: AU Museum/Alper Initiative
Theatre on the Front Lines Sponsor: Department of Anthropology
Latina(os) and the Upcoming Election Sponsor: College of Arts & Sciences
The Free Speech Debate & the Classroom: What We Need to Consider Sponsor: CTRL
Hope Against the Evidence: The Underside of Resistance Politics in Palestine Sponsor: Department of Anthropology
Events from Spring 2016
A CONVERSATION WITH LONNIE BUNCH ABOUT THE NEW NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE
American University was pleased to welcome esteemed alumnus and the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, Lonnie Bunch (BA history '74 and MA history '76), to speak on campus. He is regarded as one of the nation's leading history and museum professionals.
AU President Neil Kerwin shared the stage with Bunch. They discussed the challenges of building a national museum and what steps need to take place before President Obama cuts the ribbon at the museum opening ceremony in September 2016.
GASPING FOR AIR: STUDENT READINGS AND A CONVERSATION ABOUT RACE AND SOCIAL INJUSTICE
A student project to write letters to those who died in racially motivated violence became a book, which now becomes an evening of readings and discussion about what matters, what divides us and what unites us.
EXPLORING SOCIAL JUSTICE SERIES
Paul Butler, Professor of Law at Georgetown University will speak on race relation.
KPU PRESENTS: THE ROOTS OF BLACK LIVES MATTER WITH PATRISSE CULLORS
Black Lives Matter Founder Patrisse Cullors addressed American University Students. This event was co-sponsored by The Darkening, Black Student Alliance, African Students Organization, Caribbean Circle, Latin American Students Organization, Student Advocates for Native Communities, and NAACP at AU.
Cullors delivered opening remarks to the crowd, followed by a Q & A session with attending students. The event was followed by a mini-fair involving the co-sponsoring organizations. The event was open to American University students, faculty, and press.
THE YOU THAT YOU CAN CREATE: PERSONAL STORIES OF IDENTITY, DIFFERENCE & POWER
Are you interested in how people experience the effects of race, class, dis/ability, gender, and sexual identities but tired of "talking heads"? The event opened with AU faculty talking with each other about their journeys through life using the lens of identity, difference, and power. The discussion then turned from these life experiences to audience comments, stories, and questions.
The informal conversation included six AU faculty members: Kyle Dargan (literature), Caleen Jennings (performing arts), Marc Medwin (performing arts), Celine-Marie Pascale (sociology), Theresa Runstedtler (history), and Kathryn Walters-Conte (biology).
GASPING FOR AIR BOOK LAUNCH AND READING: SOC STUDENTS WRITE LETTERS ABOUT RACE, SOCIAL INJUSTICES AND POLICING IN AMERICA
In recognition of Black History Month, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion and the School of Communication presented student readings about race, violence and loss in the black, Native American, Latino, Asian American and white communities. In Fall 2015, School of Communication B.A. and M.A. students in the Race, Ethnic and Community Reporting class researched and wrote letters to those who have lost their lives in racially charged killings. Starting with the Black Lives Matter movement, the students' writings evolved to include shooting victims of all races, including police officers, students' own family members, and even perpetrators of racial violence. The letters are collected in a self-published book, Gasping for Air: Letters About Race and Social Injustices in America, which was officially launched at the reception and event. Students read from their letters and the audience was invited to participate in a facilitated discussion about race relations in the United States, as well as on the AU campus.
AMANEY JAMAL PRESENTS: RACE AND THE MUSLIM AMERICANS: "US" AND "THEM"
Professor Amaney Jamal spoke on race and Muslim Americans, grounding her talk in her research on Muslim and Arab Americans and the pathways that structure their patterns of civic engagement in the US. She also discussed her work on democratization and the politics of civic engagement in the Arab world. Jamal is a leading researcher and speaker in this field.
Among other things, she also directs the Workshop on Arab Political Development, is currently is president of the Association of Middle East Women’s Studies (AMEWS), and is a co-founder and member of the steering committee of the Arab Barometer Project. She is the co-editor of Race and Arab Americans after 9-11: From Invisible Citizens to Visible Subjects (2008); co-author of Citizenship and Crisis: Arab Detroit after 9-11 (2009); Of Empires and Citizens: Pro-Democracy or No Democracy at All (2012); and Barriers to Democracy: The Other Side of Social Capital in Palestine and the Arab World (2008).
PANEL AND NETWORKING SESSION FOR MULTICULTURAL STUDENTS
Hosted by Office of Alumni Relations, Center for Diversity & Inclusion, and Career Center, the goal of this event was to create discussion around issues of race and culture at work, the challenges and successes of being your “authentic self,” and behaviors necessary for successful career growth.
DESPITE THE BEST INTENTIONS: HOW RACIAL INEQUALITY THRIVES IN GOOD SCHOOLS
"Through five years' worth of interviews and data-gathering at Riverview, Amanda Lewis and John Diamond have created a powerful and illuminating study of how the racial achievement gap continues to afflict American schools more than fifty years after the formal dismantling of segregation. As students progress from elementary school to middle school to high school, their level of academic achievement increasingly tracks along racial lines, with white and Asian students maintaining higher GPAs and standardized testing scores, taking more advanced classes, and attaining better college admission results than their black and Latina/o counterparts. Most research to date has focused on the role of poverty, family stability, and other external influences in explaining poor performance at school, especially in urban contexts. Diamond and Lewis instead situate their research in a suburban school, and look at what factors within the school itself could be causing the disparity. Most crucially, they challenge many common explanations of the "racial achievement gap," exploring what race actually means in this situation, and how it matters.
Diamond and Lewis' research brings clarity and data into a debate that is too often dominated by stereotyping, race-baiting, and demagoguery. An in-depth study with far-reaching consequences, Despite the Best Intentions revolutionizes our understanding of both the knotty problem of academic disparities and the larger question of the color line in American society."
ARTS MANAGEMENT SPRING COLLOQUIUM: ADDRESSING FUNDING INEQUITIES FOR ARTS ORGANIZATIONS OF COLOR
Several recent studies have explored issues of equity and funding for arts organizations of color. The DeVos Institute of Arts Management, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, the National Center for Arts Research, and others have all drawn conclusions and offered recommendations to define the problem and suggest solutions.
Moderator: Baraka Sele, Independent Arts Consultant Panelists: Michael Kaiser President, DeVos Institute of Arts Management
Donna Walker-Kuhne Vice President, Community Engagement for NJPAC
Malik Robinson Executive Director, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance
Zannie Voss Director, National Center for Arts Research
MEN OF EMPOWERMENT AND EXCELLENCE PRESENT: LIFT AS WE CLIMB - AU BLACK MALE SUMMIT
Keynote Speaker: Umi Selah Co-founder of the Dream Defenders Featuring Panelists from areas of: Finance, Law, Public Policy, Entertainment and more!
Events From Fall 2015
CENTER FOR DIVERSITY & INCLUSION FALL 2015 WORKSHOP FOCUSED ON RACE, CULTURE & CLIMATE
Our Campus Experience: A Conversation for Students of Color at AU
TEACH-IN FOR JUSTICE: CIVIL RIGHTS AND THE 21ST CENTURY, PART 2
The first Teach-In for Justice on January 24 payed homage to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s by bringing back the "teach-in." Part 2 followed up with two more programs:
"Race and the Legal System" panel with:
Angela J. Davis, Professor, Washington College of Law
Cathy Schneider, Associate Professor, School of International Service
Bev-Freda Jackson, Professorial Lecturer, School of Public Affairs
This panel discussion focused on the prison pipeline, racial profiling, and other causes of racial disparities in the criminal justice system, as well as ideas for reform.
"White Privilege" with Celine-Marie Pascale, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, Department of Sociology
This workshop educated participants on White Privilege as well as the historical/ current paradigm of, and causes/ effect of White Privilege.
MLK Week provides attendees the opportunity to learn about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights movement through volunteer engagement in D.C. communities, lectures, panel discussions, performing arts, music, and workshops. This is a campuswide initiative with direct support from a variety of off-campus sources. Programs in January 2015 included:
MLK Day of Service
SIS Community Dialogue: How to Create Greater Understanding Across Race and Ethnicity
Martin Luther King and Religious Traditions of Justice