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Creativity & Innovation for Social Healing & Restorative Justice

Saturday, November 2, 2019 | 2:00–9:30 p.m.
Katzen Arts Center
Daniel Abraham and Sybil Roberts-Williams, colloquium co-chairs

In Partnership with
Office of Campus Life
College of Arts and Sciences
President’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion
Black Faculty and Staff Affinity Group
Latino & Hispanic Faculty & Staff Affinity Group
LGBTQ+ Faculty & Staff Affinity Group
Supported by an AU Inclusive Excellence mini-grant

During times of division and acrimony, how do communities come together to repair the harm caused by hate, work through trauma, and strive for a just future? How can art, creativity, and innovation play a role in building relationships, catalyzing change, and empowering individuals and communities? How can our work as citizens, students, scholars, and leaders promote policy and ideas that deliver true healing and justice? How does the AU community engage these questions as we struggle with acts of hate on our own campus? This university-wide colloquium will explore the role of creativity and innovation for healing and restorative justice.

Call for Sessions

We invite all members of the AU community to submit proposals on all aspects of this broad topic. As creativity and innovation are central, proposal types can take any form: papers, workshops, participatory teaching, master classes, panel discussions, installations, performances, or other formats. Presentations should focus on the work and impact of creativity and innovation for social healing and restorative justice. All ideas and topics related to the theme will be considered. Areas of interest may include, though are not limited to, examinations of current efforts, ways to reduce and prevent repetitions of harm, how individuals and communities react to acts of hate, and actions being undertaken from the grassroot to legislative levels. To apply, use the session proposal form and submit the following information by September 16:

  • 250-word description, including names of presenter(s), goals and overall format of session
  • Biography or link to AU bio of main presenter or principal organizer of session
  • Ideal audience size, space and technology needs


Preliminary Schedule

Katzen Arts Center

  • 1:30-2:00 p.m. Registration
  • 2:00-3:00 p.m. Plenary 1: Arts for Healing (Recital Hall)
  • 3:00-3:15 p.m. Break and Reflective Conversation
  • 3:15-4:00 p.m. Workshops 1
  • 4:00-4:15 p.m. Break and Reflective Conversation
  • 4:15-5:00 p.m. Workshops 2
  • 5:00-5:15 p.m. Break and Reflective Conversation
  • 5:15-6:15 p.m. Plenary 2 (Recital Hall)
  • 6:15-7:15 p.m. Reception with light dinner and a day’s reflections (Rotunda)
  • 7:30-9:15 p.m. Concert by AU Chamber Singers: Considering Matthew Shepard*

*AU Chamber Singers: Considering Matthew Shepard
Friday, November 1 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, November 2 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, November 3 at 3:00 pm

Daniel Abraham, conductor
Seth Andrew Watring, visual realization
Abramson Family Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center
Tickets: $10/$5
Talk-back panels to follow each performance

Join us for the first complete hearing in the mid-Atlantic of this powerful work: an oratorio concerning the life and tragic death of Matthew Shepard, the openly gay University of Wyoming student who was murdered out of hate. The tragedy brought national and international attention to the need for LGBT state and federal hate-crime legislation. In October of 2018, twenty years after his death, Matthew was interred at the Washington National Cathedral.

The life and death of Matthew Shepard inspired this 2016 oratorio by award-winning composer-conductor Craig Hella Johnson. Incorporating a breadth of musical styles, the texts are drawn from passages of Shepard’s college journal, newspaper reports, testimony by his mother at the trial of her son’s murderers, and rich poetry by Rumi and others.

Owing to the nature of the subject matter, this performance may not be suitable for young audience members.


For colloquium questions or information:
Karyn Castro

Katzen Arts Center