MSD Past Presentations
26th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration (Spring 2010)
Nikki Giovanni is a world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator. One of the most widely-read American poets, she prides herself on being “a Black American, a daughter, a mother, a professor of English.” Giovanni remains as determined and committed as ever to the fight for civil rights and equality with a focus on the individual, specifically, on the power one has to make a difference in oneself, and thus, in the lives of others. Giovanni is a Distinguished Professor of English at Virginia Tech.
Available as an E-Resource Here
27th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration (Spring 2011)
Rev. C. T. Vivian is a living legend of the Civil Rights Movement and he continues his activism today, tirelessly working for the progress of African Americans and the civil and political rights of all peoples. A Baptist minister, his first use of non-violent direct action was in 1947, to end Peoria's segregated lunch counters. Later he founded the Nashville Christian Leadership Conference, organizing the first sit-ins there in 1960 and the first civil rights march in 1961. Rev. Vivian was a rider on the first "Freedom Bus" into Jackson, Mississippi, and went on to work along-side Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his Executive Staff in Birmingham, Selma, Chicago, Nashville, the March on Washington; Danville, Virginia; and St. Augustine, Florida. During the summer following the Selma Movement, Rev. Vivian conceived and directed an educational program, Vision, and put 702 Alabama students in college with scholarships. The program later became Upward Bound.
Available as an E-Resource Here
28th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration: An Evening with Angela Davis (Spring 2012)
Angela Davis is the author of eight books and has lectured throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America. In recent years a persistent theme of her work has been the range of social problems associated with incarceration and the generalized criminalization of those communities that are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination. Through her activism and her scholarship over the last decades, Angela Davis has been deeply involved in our nations quest for social justice. Her work as an educator both at the university level and in the larger public sphere has always emphasized the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial, and gender equality.
Available as an E-Resource Here
29th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration: An Evening with Maya Angelou (Spring 2013)
During the 1950s and 60s, Civil Rights Movement leaders like Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. inspired millions to stand up against social injustice. The Movement’s message of non-violence and civil disobedience would inspire pivotal events like the lunch counter sit-in in Greensboro NC, the bus boycott in Montgomery AL, the integration of Central High School in Little Rock AR, the freedom rides throughout the South, the march to Montgomery, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Dr. Maya Angelou is hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary black literature and as a remarkable Renaissance woman. A mesmerizing vision of grace, swaying and stirring when she moves; Dr. Angelou captivates her audiences lyrically with vigor, fire and perception. She has the unique ability to shatter the opaque prisms of race and class between reader and subject throughout her books of poetry and her autobiographies.
Dr. Angelou, born Marguerite Johnson on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis was raised in segregated rural Arkansas. She is a poet, historian, author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director. She lectures throughout the U.S. and abroad and is a lifetime Reynolds professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in North Carolina since 1981. She has authored twelve best-selling books and numerous magazine articles earning her Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award nominations. In 1993, Angelou became the second poet in US History to have the honor of writing and reciting original work at the Presidential Inauguration. On the Pulse of Morning, at Bill Clinton's presidential inauguration, was an occasion that gave her wide recognition for which she was awarded a Grammy award (best spoken word).
Co-sponsored by the Department of Sustainable Development, Office of Equity Diversity and Compliance, and the Performing Arts Series
A Tuskegee Airman: Beyond Red Tails (Spring 2012)
The members of the 332d Fighter Group and the 99th, 100th, 301st, and 302d Fighter Squadrons during World War II are remembered in part because they were the only African-American pilots who served in combat with the Army Air Forces during World War II. Because they trained at Tuskegee Army Air Field before and during the war, they are sometimes called the Tuskegee Airmen. In challenging many of the oppressive legal and social practices of the time, the Tuskegee Airmen proved that they were equal to the other fighter pilots with whom they served heroically during World War II. Their exemplary performance opened the door for the racial integration of the military services, beginning with the Air Force, and contributed ultimately to the end of some of the institutionalized racial segregation in the United States.
Retired Captain Harvey R. Alexander was a pilot in the 617th Squadron, 477th Bombardment Group Medium and was commissioned and trained at Tuskegee, as were 966 other African Americans. After his discharge, he earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of Commerce at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and a master’s degree from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. He became a professor, teaching accounting at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., and at NC A&T. For 21 years, he served as the chief business and financial officer at several institutions, including NC A&T.
Co-sponsored by the Department of History and the Department of Military Science and Leadership
Athletes Proactively Standing Up for Women (Spring 2011)
Members of the athletic community share a commitment to promoting competition, good health, respect, and collaboration. Tony Porter will discuss well-meaning men and how they inadvertently contribute to normalizing violence against women. He will also detail ways athletes can become actively involved in the movement to end violence against women.
Beyond the Overcoming Narrative: The Culture and Politics of Disability (Spring 2010)
What does it mean to be disabled? What does it mean to be abled? This talk explores the meaning of disability in contemporary society and ways of thinking about disability that go beyond the “super-crip” or overcoming narrative. Bart Floyd of the Western Alliance Center for Independent Living will raise issues concerning the social construction of disability, including the important disability civil rights movement, and consider how the definition of disability varies cross-culturally. He will also consider how disability affects the lives of men and women differently, as well as the role of the Americans with Disabilities Act in changing the lives of people with disabilities.
The history of independent living is closely tied to the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s among African Americans. The struggle to overcome disgraceful treatment based on bigotry and erroneous stereotypes in housing, education, transportation, and employment are very similar. This history and its driving philosophy also have much in common with other political and social movements of the country in the late 1960s and early 1970s. There were at least five movements that influenced the disability rights movement.
Cosmic Race, Rainbow People and other Myths (Fall 2009)
How do Latinos see themselves? As white? As indigenous? As black? As mixed? As Latinos grow into the largest population of people of color in the United States, there is increased scrutiny over how this group of ethnic communities defines itself, and thus, how it is seen by other communities. Join Jorge Zeballos through a multimedia journey that explores and examines the historical and contemporary forces that continue to shape the Latino Identity. Zeballos is an experienced diversity consultant who has presented at various national conferences such as the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity, the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, the White Privilege Conference, the Southeastern Conference on Cross-Cultural Issues in Counseling and Education.
Gone With the Wind? Never: Scarlett O'Hara and Southern Womanhood (Spring 2010)
This presentation will explore the historical stereotypes of Southern women that went into the creation of the character Scarlett OHara, especially as portrayed in the 1939 film of Margaret Mitchells novel Gone With the Wind. Then we will look at the stereotypes that resulted from this creation, the way in which Scarlett was both a composite of older ideals of womanhood and a very new type of woman who reflected the changing world of the South in the 1920s and 30s. Does Scarlett OHara still figure into the ways in which Southern women are viewed today? We will also address the Mammy image and the Prissy figure from the film to address stereotypes of black women and how they have been perpetuated or have changed since the film.
Dr. Lucinda MacKethan is Emerita Professor of English at NC State University, where she taught courses in American, Southern, and African American literature and culture. She is now working on a book-length work on the intertwined lives of slaves and masters in the Old South.
Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women of the SNCC (Spring 2012)
Much has been written about the courage and tenacity of the male ministers and activists of the Civil Rights movement: Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Julian Bond, Stokely Carmichael, and others. About the role of women we know less. In Hands on the Freedom Plow, the personal stories of fifty-two womennorthern and southern, young and old, urban and rural, black, white, and Latina are shared. Two of the books six editors, Faith Holsaert and Martha Noonan, will present a sweeping personal history of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Since the women spent time in the Deep South, many of the testimonials describe how they risked their lives through beatings and arrests and witnessed unspeakable violence. These intense stories depict women, many very young, dealing with extreme fear and finding the remarkable strength to survive.
The women in SNCC acquired new skills, experienced personal growth, sustained one another, and even had fun in the midst of serious struggle. Readers are privy to their analyses of the Movement, its tactics, strategies, and underlying philosophies. The contributors revisit central debates of the struggle including the role of nonviolence and self-defense, the role of white people in a black-led movement, and the role of women within the Movement and the society at large. Each story reveals how the struggle for social change was formed, supported, and maintained by the women who kept their hands on the freedom plow. Faith S. Holsaert lives in Durham, North Carolina, is a teacher and fiction writer and has remained active in lesbian and womens, antiwar, and justice struggles. Martha Prescod Norman Noonan, community organizer, activist, homemaker, and teacher of history including the Civil Rights Movement, lives near Baltimore, Maryland.
Co-sponsored by the Department of Government and Justice Studies, Womens Studies Program
Heather's Mommies Got Married: Homophobia, Censorship, and Family Values (Spring 2012)
Author Lesla Newman discusses her classic children's book, Heather Has Two Mommies: why she wrote the book, how difficult it was to get it published, the controversies that arose as it became one of the most controversial books ever published. She then discusses the rights of gay and lesbian families and delves into the history of the LGBT marriage movement. This presentation includes a slide show (with photos from Lesla's own wedding!) and video. Leslea Newman wrote Heather Has Two Mommies, the first children's book to portray lesbian families in a positive way, and has followed up this pioneering work with several more children's books on lesbian and gay families. Ms. Newman is also the author of many books for adults that deal with lesbian identity, Jewish identity and the intersection and collision between the two.
Other topics Ms. Newman explores include AIDS, eating disorders, butch/femme relationships and sexual abuse. She has received many literary awards including Poetry Fellowships from the Massachusetts Artists Fellowship Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Highlights for Children Fiction Writing Award, the James Baldwin Award for Cultural Achievement, and three Pushcart Prize Nominations. Nine of her books have been Lambda Literary Award finalists.
Co-sponsored by the Department of Government and Justice Studies, Womens Studies Program
Hidden Voices: The Lives of Queer Muslims (Spring 2013)
Participants will learn about sexual and gender minorities within the Muslim world and examine the complex intersection of Islam, sexuality and gender. With more than 1.5 billion followers, Islam is considered to be the fastest growing religion in the world today. While aiming to dispel common stereotypes and myths about Islam, this presentation will also explore the history of the queer Muslim movement in the United States and the suppression of LGBT rights around the world. Using his own life experience and by exploring the complex history of the Islamic world, Faisal Alam strives to bring new light onto the lives of an often invisible and silent community: Muslims who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning.
Faisal Alam is a queer-identified Muslim activist of Pakistani descent. At age 19, while trying to reconcile his sexuality with his faith, Faisal organized the first-ever gathering of LGBT Muslims, which led to the founding of Al-Fatiha, an organization dedicated to supporting and empowering lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex & questioning (LGBTIQ) Muslims, and their allies. Today, Al-Fatiha has sister organizations around the world including Canada, South Africa, Spain, United Kingdom, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine & Indonesia. Faisal is a member of the national advisory committee of the LGBT Program at Human Rights Watch and was invited in 2011 to the White House to attend an Iftaar dinner with President Barack Obama.
History, Africa, and Islam in the Making of the Modern World: A Postmodern Philosophical Exploration (Fall 2012)
Africa and Islam play fundamental roles in the making of the modern world, politically, economically, and culturally. How this is the case is the subject of the lecture, which, through a combination of historical, ethnographic, and postmodern philosophical analysis, seeks to challenge the dominant ways in which we have come to understand the social origins and ongoing development of the world we live in.
Dr. Omar H. Ali is an Associate Professor of African Diaspora History & Politics at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Dr. Ali is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science and received his Ph.D. in history from Columbia University. He is the author of two books on the history of independent black politics and served as an editor for Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society. Of Peruvian and East Indian descent, Dr. Ali has been a Fulbright professor of history and anthropology at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogot, a visiting professor of African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University, and a Library Scholar at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University.
It's Real! Racism, Discrimination and Colorblindness in Obamerica (Fall 2011)
Many Americans believe racism has all but disappeared, and that we live in a truly colorblind society. Yet people of color lag behind in almost all social indicators. They are poorer, less educated, and have less access to health care. If race has become largely irrelevant--and racists are few and far between--how can these conditions persist? This presentation will challenge our racial common sense, showing that new, more subtle forms of discrimination have emerged that help preserve the status quo.
Eduardo Bonilla-Silva earned his B.A. in Sociology from the University of Puerto Rico-Ro Piedras and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Professor Bonilla-Silva held posts at the University of Michigan and at Texas A&M University before joining the faculty of Duke's Department of Sociology in 2006. His research areas include racial stratification, social theory, critical race methods, political sociology, and Latin American and the Caribbean, and Epistemology.
Nobody's Enemy: The Youth Culture of Iran (Fall 2010)
In the eyes of the west, Iran is a land of Islamist extremists, support for terrorism, and dangerous nuclear ambitions. But as one of the largest and youngest populations in the Middle East (nearly 50 million out of 70 million of Iran's population is under the age of 30), the youth of Iran are experiencing a social and cultural growth process that is different from what many people outside of Iran perceive. With an enthusiasm for self expression and entertainment, young Iranians look and live a lot like us, while proudly maintaining their own culture and identity -- and many outside of Iran don't even know it. This presentation offers a small step towards humanizing a culture that is so often dehumanized in the media today.
North Carolina's Long Civil Rights Movement (Fall 2010)
Though the Civil Rights Movement is often framed by events of the 1950s and 1960s, the struggle for political and social rights for African Americans actually stretches back nearly 150 years. North Carolinians were involved in the movement at the local, state, and national level from the end of the Civil War into the 1970s. This illustrated lecture, including many rarely seen historical images, gives an overview of civil rights efforts during Reconstruction, the White Supremacy campaign of the 1890s, African American political organization in the 1910s and labor movements of the 1930s, as well as the better-known sit-ins, protests, and struggles to integrate the states public schools from the 1950s into the 1970s.
One Better World: Privilege, Identity and Social Justice (Fall 2009)
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere Martin Luther King, Jr. Imagine a society that is equitable and where all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure. As a process and as a goal, social justice means full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs. In this presentation, Vernon Wall helps audience members learn how their identities influence all they do and how this knowledge can help them become more aware and advocate for inclusion. Wall has written extensively on issues of inclusion on todays college campuses. His award-winning programs and presentations have been seen by thousands of students, faculty, and staff on campuses across the country and have been described as being a learning experience - with a touch of wildness.
Speaker: Vernon Wall
Available as an E-Resource Here
Our Problems with Race: Addressing Biological Versus Social Definitions (Fall 2009)
What does evolution tell us about race and what are we taught to believe about race? What are the implications for how we view, group, and value others? Using his research background in evolutionary biology, Dr. Joseph L. Graves, Jr. explains how most Americans still believe that there is some biological legitimacy to our socially constructed racial categories despite the modern scientific evidence that discredits all of our social stereotypes. Dr. Graves has written two books that address the myths and theories of race in American society. He has published over 50 papers and book chapters and has appeared in six documentary films and numerous television interviews on these general topics. Dr. Graves is Dean of University Studies and Professor of Biological Sciences at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
Redefining Manhood in Fraternity Life (Spring 2011)
Fraternities were founded on the premise of promoting a sense of brotherhood as well as encouraging responsibility and leadership. In this presentation, Ted Bunch will examine current definitions of masculinity, particularly as they relate to fraternity men. He will also discuss how fraternity members can alter these definitions to promote equality in the fraternity and sorority community.
Religion and Women: Don't Leave Your Faith at the Door (Spring 2011)
Faith communities of all types have a long standing commitment to helping those in need. In this presentation, Wayne Barnes will address ways members of faith communities can assist victims of violence as well as encourage change to prevent violence. He will detail approaches these groups can implement to make positive changes to end violence against women.
Religious Intolerance in America and the Challenge of Pluralism (Fall 2011)
Can't we all just get along? America is a "sweet land of liberty," isn't it? American narratives often celebrate the nation's rich heritage of religious freedom. There is, however, a less told and often ignored part of the story: the ways that intolerance and cultures of hate have manifested themselves within American religious history and culture. Examining religious intolerance in America's past, reminds us that this story has not disappeared as people continue to grapple with religious diversity and theological differences. Looking at this past can offer us some important insights into the challenge of pluralism.
Lynn S. Neal earned her Ph.D. in Religious Studies from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She teaches courses in American religious history, religion and popular culture, and religious intolerance. She is the author of Romancing God: Evangelical Women and Inspirational Fiction (2006), and Evangelical Love Stories: The Triumphs and Temptations of Romantic Fiction. She is also the co-editor, with John Corrigan, of Religious Intolerance in America: A Documentary History (2010), and has published other works on this topic, including Intolerance and American Religious History, and Theyre Freaks!: The Cults Stereotype in Fictional TV Shows, 1958-2008. Her current research examines the intersection of religious intolerance and popular culture.
Rolling Through Adversity (Fall 2011)
What images appear in our minds when we think of foster care, drug addiction, and motorized wheelchairs? What about college graduate, athlete and public speaker? While our stereotypes for each are very different, Shawn will tell a story will remind us that any assumptions based on misinformation or lack of experience keep us from learning, understanding and from maximizing our personal and collective potential.
Shawn Hessee was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a result of being born premature to a mother addicted to drugs. Shortly after birth, he was taken to foster care and eventually adopted into a loving family. Doctors insisted Shawn would never talk or live a normal life. He proved them all wrong and has faced numerous challenges head on, earning such accomplishments as North Carolina Athlete of the Year and North Carolina’s Most Outstanding Person.
Southern Appalachian Women's Music: Stories of Song and Strength (Fall 2010)
Traditional song is intimately connected to the past and present lives of singers today in Southern Appalachia. In an ever-changing society and landscape, song offers traditional singers an avenue for artist expression as well as the remembrance and honoring of their cultural legacy. Susan Pepper will present traditional Appalachian ballads and folk songs and discuss their historic context and significance in the lives of several Southern Appalachian women. Her multimedia and musical program will draw from her recent CD publication On the Threshold of a Dream: Unaccompanied Singing from the Blue Ridge Mountains featuring Hazel Rhymer, Zora Walker, Pearl Hicks, and Rosa Hicks and her M.A. thesis, A Whistlin' Girl and a Crowin' Hen Always Come to Some Bad EndThe Singing Traditions of Three Western North Carolina Women.
The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement (Fall 2012)
Prominent activist Bob Zellner was at the scene 51 years ago for most of the key milestones of the civil rights movement, putting his life on the line and taking notes. Dr. Zellner will share some of the untold stories of the civil rights movement from the perspective of a white southerner.
Raised in southern Alabama, with a father and grandfather active in the Ku Klux Klan, Bob Zellner became an unlikely civil rights activist. Yet today, he is well known as one of the most influential white southerners of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, in part for organizing "The Freedom Rides" of 1961.
A field secretary for SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Zellner was arrested 18 times in seven states, charged with everything from criminal anarchy to "inciting the black population to acts of war and violence," all in the attempt to register voters and bring about change and equality. In 1967, Zellner joined SCFF, the Southern Conference Educational Fund, and continued organizing for anti-racism efforts.
Dr. Zellner was featured as a Civil Rights Luminary in the 2005 award-winning documentary Come Walk in My Shoes. His 2008 memoir, The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement, with Constance Curry and foreword by Julian Bond, was given a Red Star Review by the Library Journal. “He tells a story that is sometimes horrific, always interesting and ultimately inspirational.”
The bookstore will have The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement available, as well as a signing.
Co-sponsored by the University Forum Series and the Department of Sustainable Development