Tag Archive for social justice

Student, Experts Speak on the Social Justice Movement

Three experts and a Wesleyan student led a panel discussion on “After Charleston: Next Steps for the Movement for Social Justice” Sept. 17 in Memorial Chapel. The event was sponsored by the Allbritton Center for Public Life’s Right Now! series. The talk featured Clemmie Harris, visiting assistant professor of African American studies; Tedra James ’18; activist and filmmaker Bree Newsome and Connecticut Bishop John Selders.

Bree Newsome is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where she received a BFA in film and television. While still in high school, Newsome created an animated short, THE THREE PRINCES OF IDEA which earned her a $40,000 scholarship from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. In August 2012, Newsome wrote and recorded a rap song, “SHAKE IT LIKE AN ETCH-A-SKETCH!”, skewering presidential candidate Mitt Romney and criticizing the Republican Party for policies that promote classism and bigotry. A staunch advocate for human rights and social justice, Newsome was arrested last year during a sit-in at the North Carolina State Capitol where she spoke out against the state’s recent attack on voting rights. She continues to work as an activist and youth organizer in North Carolina, serving in the capacity of Western Field Organizer for the youth-led organization Ignite NC.

Bree Newsome is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where she received a BFA in film and television. While still in high school, Newsome created an animated short, THE THREE PRINCES OF IDEA, which earned her a $40,000 scholarship from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. In August 2012, Newsome wrote and recorded a rap song, “SHAKE IT LIKE AN ETCH-A-SKETCH!”, skewering presidential candidate Mitt Romney and criticizing the Republican Party for policies that promote classism and bigotry. A staunch advocate for human rights and social justice, Newsome was arrested last year during a sit-in at the North Carolina State Capitol where she spoke out against the state’s recent attack on voting rights. She continues to work as an activist and youth organizer in North Carolina, serving in the capacity of Western Field Organizer for the youth-led organization Ignite NC.

“After Charleston: Next Steps for the Movement for Social Justice” Topic of Sept. 17 Panel

Pictured, from top, left to right: Bree Newsome, Clemmie Harris, Bishop John Selders and Tedra James '18 will lead a panel at 8 p.m. Sept. 17.  (Click to enlarge poster)

Pictured, from top, left to right: Bree Newsome, Clemmie Harris, Bishop John Selders and Tedra James ’18. (Click to enlarge poster)

Three experts and a Wesleyan student will lead a panel discussion on “After Charleston: Next Steps for the Movement for Social Justice” at 8 p.m. Sept. 17 in Memorial Chapel. The event is sponsored by the Allbritton Center for Public Life.

The talk will feature Clemmie Harris, visiting assistant professor of African American studies; Tedra James ’18; activist and filmmaker Bree Newsome and Connecticut Bishop John Selders.

“The idea is to spur conversation with the audience about the killings in Charleston, reactions to killings, debate over the Confederate flag, and protests in Ferguson,” said Rob Rosenthal, director of the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology. “The question that each speaker will address is, ‘What now? Where are we in this long, long, long struggle for social justice—that is, equal rights, equal opportunities for everyone in the country—and what needs to happen next?’ Each panelist will speak for about 10 minutes, and can respond to anything the other speakers said. Then it will be up to the audience to state their own opinion, and ask questions of the audience.”

Clemmie Harris earned a PhD in history from the University of Pennsylvania. He holds graduate certificates in urban studies and Africana studies and has received fellowships for research in areas such as democracy, citizenship, and constitutionalism and Africana studies. His research interests include the long African American freedom struggle with an emphasis on electoral and protest politics, race and social inequality in the 20th century industrialized urban north; African American political leadership, and black urban political economy.

He is currently working on two book projects: We Will Be Heard: The Struggle For Political Recognition and Civil Rights in Philadelphia, which examines the African American quest for electoral power and community control from 1911 to 1984.

Filmmaker Shakti Butler Speaks on Racial Inequity at MLK Celebration

Filmmaker, lecturer and social justice activist Shakti Butler delivered they keynote address at Wesleyan's Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration on Feb. 1. “Diversity University: From Theory to Practice,” was the theme of this year’s daylong commemoration. (Photo by Gabe Rosenberg '16)

Filmmaker, lecturer and social justice activist Shakti Butler delivered the keynote address at Wesleyan’s Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration on Feb. 1. “Diversity University: From Theory to Practice,” was the theme of this year’s daylong commemoration. Butler is the founder of World Trust Services, a nonprofit organization that produces programs and seminars to create new understandings. (Photo by Gabe Rosenberg ’16)

Butler is a multiracial African-American woman with African, Arawak Indian and Russian-Jewish heritage.  She is the producer and director of four groundbreaking documentaries, including "Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity," which uses story, theater and music to illuminate the larger frame of structural/systemic racial inequity. Butler showed "Cracking the Codes" during her visit at Wesleyan.

Butler is a multiracial African-American woman with African, Arawak Indian and Russian-Jewish heritage. She is the producer and director of four groundbreaking documentaries, including “Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity,” which uses story, theater and music to illuminate the larger frame of structural/systemic racial inequity. Butler showed “Cracking the Codes” during her visit at Wesleyan.

During a workshop led by Shakti Butler, Evan Weber '13 and Ibironke Otusile '15 spoke to each other about ways history and culture help identify who they are as individuals.

During a workshop led by Shakti Butler, Evan Weber ’13 and Ibironke Otusile ’15 spoke to each other about ways history and culture help identify who they are as individuals.

"You're born into a system that you didn't create. To you, you're living in a world that's normal," Butler said. "We need to understand that oppression is a system and it's our role to create a system in which everyone can survive."

“You’re born into a system that you didn’t create. To you, you’re living in a world that’s normal,” Butler said. “We need to understand that oppression is a system and it’s our role to create a system in which everyone can survive.” (Photos by Olivia Drake)

For more than a decade Wesleyan has celebrated the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. The celebration has taken various forms including prominent keynote speakers such as Johnetta Cole and Sonia Sanchez to a campus-based program where members of the faculty, staff and students read portions of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Learn more about Shakti Butler and Wesleyan’s annual celebration online here.

Social Justice Leadership Conference April 21

The SJLC conference provides a space for students, student groups, community members, alumni, faculty and staff to discuss social justice and to learn and refine leadership skills.

Education reform, conflict resolution and confronting racial segregation are among the topics to be discussed at the fourth annual Social Justice Leadership Conference (SJLC) on April 21.

SJLC is a collaborative effort which provides a space for students, student groups, community members, alumni, faculty, and staff to discuss social justice and to learn and refine leadership skills. SJLC seeks to empower its participants to create change by applying the skills and knowledge acquired during the conference.

Students, student groups, alumni, community members, faculty and staff facilitate sessions in their area of interest or expertise. Sessions focus on leadership skills that may be applied to any social movement and on the many manifestations of injustice and how participants can be involved in creating change. SJLC provides participants with resources and opportunities for engagement on campus, in Middletown, in Connecticut and across the globe.

The conference begins at 11 a.m. with a keynote address from Mark Masselli P ’15, P’16. Masselli was honored with a Doctorate of Humane Letters by Wesleyan in 2009 for his work in the health care field.  Along with a small group of Wesleyan students and community activists,  Masselli founded the Community Health Center in Middletown, Conn. as a Free Clinic in 1972 and worked with the National Free Clinic Council based in San Francisco in promoting the development of free clinics across America. He’s a founding member of many health and human services initiatives in Middletown, including New Horizons Battered Women’s Shelter, Nehemiah Housing Corporation and Oddfellows Youth Playhouse.

The following SJLC sessions and presenters are:

12:15 p.m. “Radical Accessibility” presented by Ariel Schwartz ’12 and Catherine MacLean ’14 from Wesleyan Students for Disability Rights; 12:15 p.m. “Teacher and Training Accountability,” presented by Andrew Ribner ’14; 12:15 p.m. “How to be a Good Trans* Ally,” presented by Nico Vitto ’12;

1:15 p.m. “Educational Markets, Testing and Accountability in Comparative Perspective,” presented by Catherine Doren ’13 and Daniel Long, assistant professor of sociology; 1:15 p.m. “WesDEF Presnets: Conflict Resolution within Activism,” presented by Mariana Eversley ’14 and Janika Oza ’15; 1:15 p.m. “Religious Impact on 2012 Election,” presented by Halbert Weidner and Erin Chase ’15;

2:15 p.m. “Connecticut Education Reform,” presented by Andrew Ribner ’14 and Patrick Riccards from CONNCAN; 2:15 p.m. “Failing Schools and Violent Neighborhoods: Intersecting Problems and Solutions,” presented by Alyssa Bonneau ’14 and Sam Mcallister ’14; 2:15 p.m. “Considering Opportunity – Confronting Racial Segregation in 2012,” presented by Erin Boggs ’93; 2:15 p.m. “Self-Care as a Radical Technique in Queer Community Organizing,” presented by Sarah Lamming ’13;

3 p.m. Reflection and wrap-up with Wesleyan staff members Elisa Del Valle and Gretchen Streiff.

The vent is sponsored by the Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development. To register, fill out this form online here. For more information send an email here.

 

SJLC Sessions Focus on Building Leadership Skills



Youth Coalition for Community Action members Cory Meara-Bainbridge '13 and Meggie McGuire '12, speak on “The Art of Making Things Easier: Facilitation in Social Justice Work” during the Social Justice Leadership Conference, held Jan. 21-22 on campus. The conference provides a space for students, student groups, community members, alumni, faculty and staff to discuss social justice and to learn and refine leadership skills.



Social Justice Leadership Conference Jan. 21-22


The Wesleyan community participated in the 2011 Social Justice Leadership Conference (SJLC) Jan. 21-22 on campus.

The SJLC provides an opportunity for students, student groups, faculty, staff, alumni and community members to learn about creating change through the application of a variety of skills.

Sessions focused on the many manifestations of injustice, leadership skills that may be applied to social movements, and how participants can be involved in creating change.

The conference’s keynote speaker was Geoffrey Canada from the Harlem Children’s Zone. Photos of the event will appear in a future issue of The Wesleyan Connection.