International Education Week

Thanks to many of you that supported last weeks Leader in Residence program. MacArthur Award winner Lateefah Simon was on campus all week. She visited many classes and led three workshops with students. She also had multiple one-on-one opportunities with student leaders, faculty and staff.

Lateefah Simon, CDGE's Leader in Residence with Wooster students, staff and faculty

The workshops addressed a wide variety of topics, from what is happening on campus regarding diversity, our Beall Avenue challanges and also what is happening nationally at other schools and the Occupy movement. The Leader in Residence program was one way in which we wanted to continue our conversation on inclusion and social justice. We hope to use the momentum from her visit to move our campus forward. Stay tuned.

This week, Wooster is celebrating International Education Week. Please find some time to come to atleast one of the programs put together by OISA working in collaboration with students, faculty, staff and our community. See our calendar here.

On Thursday the Center is working with English, Africana Studies and WGSS is sponsoring “Macnolia, A Poetry reading by A. Van Jordan” in Severence 009 at 7pm. If you can find a way to be in two places at once, the entrepreneurship club, along with the WGSS program is putting together a panel on Women and entrepreneurship on Thursday at 7pm in Babcock formal lounge. There are many opportunities to be engaged at Wooster!

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Democratization in Africa: The end of the Military Era?

To what extent did the winds of democratization sweeping across North Africa and the Middle East affect the long standing efforts to end, at last, the era of military involvement in African politics? Prof. Pita Agbese, an expert of civil-military relations and democratization, who teaches at the University of Northern Iowa, examines this and related questions on Thursday (7:30, Lowry Rm 119) at a public lecture.

Pita Ogaba Agbese is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for International Security and Conflict Studies at the University of Northern Iowa. Previously, he served as Acting Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Northern Iowa. He has published extensively on issues such as civil-military relations in Africa, democratization in Africa, civil society in Africa, the environment in Africa, and civil conflicts in Africa. His most recent publication is a co-edited volume with George Klay Kieh, Jr., The Military and Politics in Africa: From Engagement to Democratic and Constitutional Control (2004).

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Justice For All: CDGE’s Leader in Residence

MacArthur Fellowship Award winner, Lateefah Simon, will visit campus for a series of lectures, workshops and classroom visits from November 7 – 11, 2011. Ms. Simon is the Executive Director of the Rosenberg Foundation, and former Executive Director of the Center for Young Women’s Development in San Francisco, where she became one of the youngest leaders of a social service agency in the country.

Ms. Simon’s visit inaugrates the CDGE Leader in Residence program. Our focus in this program is to bring a young leader to campus that embodies the Center’s mission and have this leader spend considerable time with our students and community. This years program is co-sponsored by the Office of Multi-ethnic Student Affairs, and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies program. The opening public lecture is on November 7th at 7:15pm in Kitteredge Hall preceded by a dessert reception at 6:45pm.

Please note that there will be “lunch and learn” sessions associated with her visit on Tuesday, November 8 and Thursday, November 10, from 11:30 – 12:45 in Babcock Dining Room.  You must register to attend by contacting diversity@wooster.edu.

ALSO, FOR STUDENT LEADERS AND MEMBERS OF STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS:

Please join Ms. Simon for dinner on Wednesday, November 9 from 5:30 – 6:45 in Lowry.  Afterward, she will be conducting a student leadership/social justice activism workshop in Lean Lecture Room of Wishart Hall.

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Remembering a Giant as we Celebrate

Tuesday, October 11th marked National Coming Out Day, which “is an internationally observed civil awareness day celebrating gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, etc. people and communities. (Wikipedia)”  What National Coming Out Day represents is a day where the GLBT community can rejoice in the freedom that the process of coming out provides and can resolve to remain truthful to their identities, while GLBT Allies can reaffirm their support for friends, family and coworkers to live openly and honestly with all around them.  Like many awareness days, we should really be striving to achieve the goals and dreams of National Coming Out Day all year and every day, but it is important to recognize the importance and the significant change that coming out to others brings.

Harvey Milk may have said it best when he stated, “Burst down those closet doors once and for all, and stand up and start to fight.”

National Coming Out Day is a yearly reminder that we are still in a fight for equal rights for the GLBT community in the United States, and that that fight is far from over, and it is just as important every year, every day, every person we meet, that we are fighting and that we are truthful and that we are out.

However, just as important, if not more important, as we celebrate our own freedom to live out, we must remember those that came before us in the fight, when the fight was much harder and the odds were stacked much higher.  For our struggle today is a piece of cake compared to those that came before us, compared to those queens who fought back at Stonewall, compared to Frank Kameny, a pioneer for everything we take for granted today, who, sadly, on National Coming Out Day 2011, passed away.

Frank Kameny - May 21, 1925 - October 11, 2011

A co-founder of the Mattachine Society of Washington in 1961, one of the earliest gay and lesbian rights organizations in the US, Kameny has been instrumental in influencing major aspects of the gay rights fight since then.  Fighting through periods like the Lavender Scare all during a time in which homosexuality was still criminalized in this country and years before Stonewall would occur in 1969, Kameny was a true pioneer and giant for the GLBT equality struggle.

Some of his greatest achievements include: bringing the first gay civil rights case to the Supreme Court (it was not heard) after being discharged from the military for being gay, significantly influencing the American Psychiatric Association’s 1973 declassification of homosexuality as a mental disorder, influencing President Clinton in allowing gays to obtain government security clearances in 1995, and being one of the first people to picket and protest outside of the White House on behalf of gay rights, with his signature slogan, “Gay is Good.”

His efforts have not gone unheralded by our community’s allies, with legal suits challenging California’s Proposition 8 (which removed the rights of gay couples to get legally married in the state) referencing his early work with the Mattachine Society, the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian investing in and protecting many of his original documents and his original picket signs from the 60’s, and having a street named after him (Kameny Way) in Washington D.C. as well as his house named a D.C. Historic Landmark.

Kameny’s death is a loss of one of the GLBT community’s great leaders and figures, one of our original fighters, and his story should not be lost amidst what now compels the GLBT community forward.

I think the lesson for all of us, GLBT or not, is that we must, as we celebrate our own progress and freedom and steel ourselves for the continued fight for equality, we must remember the great leaders who preceded us in our struggles, who made our work today that much easier for us to continue on today.

We must never lose our history, or we risk not moving forward.

 

 

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A multidimensional dialogue on Columbus

In response to the Forum lecture series, a panel of faculty members will hold a dialogue on “Columbus: Legacy of Discovery or Cruelty?” at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, October 10th in Lowry Main Lounge. The multi-dimensional conversation will explore the contact and consequences attributed to Christopher Columbus and his voyages to the New World.  

The program will begin with a looped film screening of “The Couple in the Cage,” directed and produced by Coco Fusco and Paula Heyedia that explores Guillermo-Pena and Fusco’s performance art piece “Undiscovered Amerindians.” The film screening will be in Lowry Pit from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 pm.

The dialogue will begin at 7:00 p.m. and feature faculty panelists: Heath Anderson (Archaeology and Anthropology),  Kabria Baumgartner (History), Pamela Frese (Anthropology), Jimmy Noriega (Theater and Dance), and Patricia Tovar (Hispanic Studies – Oberlin College).

 

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