Campus Resources and Multicultural Events

  • A placard image for media work Convocation: Javon Johnson
    Created 6 February 2015; Published 10 February 2015
    Convocation: Javon Johnson

    Merging race and gender theory with comedy, lyricism, and rhyme schemes, Javon Johnson is an enlightening spoken word poet and professor. Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at San Francisco State University, Johnson earned his Ph.D. in Performance Studies, with a cognate in African American Studies and a certificate in Gender Studies, from Northwestern University. He is a back-to-back national poetry slam champion (2003 & 2004), has appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, BET’s Lyric Café, TVOne’s Verses & Flow, and co-wrote a documentary titled Crossover, which aired on Showtime, in collaboration with the NBA and Nike. He has written for Our Weekly, Text & Performance Quarterly, The Root, and is currently working on his book about how Blackness operates in slam and spoken word poetry communities. The title of his presentation is "And, Your Kids Will Be Painted Black!"

  • A placard image for media work 2015_1_16_Convocation_Raadt.mp4
    Created 16 January 2015; Published 19 January 2015
    Convocation: Dawn Porter

    Dawn Porter is an attorney, civil justice crusader and an award-winning documentary filmmaker who understands the deficiencies of the United States criminal justice system and what it takes to maintain the passion and commitment to be a public defender. Twelve million people are arrested in the U.S. each year and millions of those cases will proceed through the criminal justice system. Most will be represented by public defenders—lawyers who represent low income people accused of crimes. Often these lawyers receive little or no training, resources or support. What does that mean for our system of justice?

    Lawyer turned filmmaker, Porter spent three and a half years following three public defenders working in the deep south. The result was Gideon's Army, a feature documentary about their work which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and aired on HBO Documentary Films in July of that year. The title of her presentation is “Defending America in the Age of Mass Incarceration.”

  • A placard image for media work Convocation: Waneek Horn-Miller
    Created 7 November 2014; Published 31 December 2014
    Convocation: Waneek Horn-Miller

    Waneek Horn-Miller has overcome discrimination, self-doubt, and an infamous incident of violence to emerge as one of North America’s most inspiring Native speakers. With purpose and poise, she traverses the intersection of two generations of Native people, working to mend the dysfunctional relationship between Native and non-Native communities through social and political change. A Mohawk from the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory near Montreal, Horn-Miller was behind the lines during the Oka crisis in 1990 when she was stabbed by a Canadian soldier’s bayonet. This near-death experience marked a turning point in her life. Instead of recoiling, she came back stronger than ever. In 2000, she appeared on the cover of TIME magazine, in her role as co-captain of Canada’s Olympic women’s water polo team. More recently, Horn-Miller has worked to attract Aboriginal youth to higher education by building self-esteem and emphasizing a balance between education and sports, and she has teamed up with the Aboriginal Peoples’ Television Network and health experts to launch a fitness and healthy-eating initiative called Working It Out Together. The title of her presentation is "First Nations Rights." (Sponsored by the Office of Intercultural and International Life)

  • A placard image for media work Convocation: Daisy Hernández
    Created 3 October 2014; Published 20 October 2014
    Convocation: Daisy Hernández

    Daisy Hernández grew up in New Jersey. That’s where she heard the best stories about Cuba and Colombia and this lady who knows how to eat an avocado so you won’t get pregnant. It’s also where she first learned about race, sex, money, and love.  These stories are captured in her new book, A Cup of Water Under My Bed: A Memoir.  Hernández is also co-editor of the anthology Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism, which is taught in women studies classes alongside the classic works of feminist theories.  At ColorLines, a newsmagazine on race and politics, Hernández worked with a virtual, multi-racial newsroom of reporters, activists, and bloggers.  Previously, Hernández was a columnist for Ms. Magazine and worked on the metro desk of The New York Times.  Her commentaries have appeared in several publications and her essays have been published in multiple anthologies.  The title of her presentation is "Feminism, Sofia Vergara, and Writing about Familia: A Talk on Media Representations."  (Sponsored by the Office of Intercultural and International Life)

  • A placard image for media work Convocation: Kao Kalia Yang ’03
    Created 2 May 2014; Published 11 December 2014
    Convocation: Kao Kalia Yang ’03

    Kao Kalia Yang ’03 is a Minnesota writer with a story that stretches across the globe. The daughter of Hmong immigrants to Minnesota, Yang was born in a Thai refugee camp, Ban Vinai, in 1980. Her family came to Minnesota when she was seven.

    In her book, The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir, Yang recounts her family's journey from Laos to Minnesota—from her parents' first encounter and unceremonious marriage in the jungles of Laos, to their harrowing escape into Thailand, and subsequent relocation to Minnesota. In The Latehomecomer, Yang struggles to feel a sense of home—new to Minnesota, and cultural heir to centuries of homelessness. Yang’s interest in writing arose from her struggle with speaking English.

    A graduate of Carleton College and Columbia University, Yang and her sister founded Words Wanted, a company dedicated to helping immigrants with writing, translating, and business services. The title of her presentation is "Returning To Our Stories."

  • A placard image for media work Convocation: Joan Morgan
    Created 21 February 2014; Published 27 March 2014
    Convocation: Joan Morgan

    An award-winning journalist and author, Joan Morgan is a provocative cultural critic. Her groundbreaking book, When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost, marked the literary debut of one of the most original, perceptive and engaging young social commentators in America today. In this fresh, funky, and ferociously honest book, Morgan bravely probed the complex issues facing African-American women in today's world: a world where feminists often have not-so-clandestine affairs with the most sexist of men; where women who treasure their independence often prefer men who pick up the tab; and where the deluge of babymothers and babyfathers reminds black women who long for marriage that traditional nuclear families are a reality for less than 40 percent of the African-American population.

    In light of the candidacy and election of President Barack Obama, Morgan now takes a look at the changing racial and ethnic composition of America since Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his "I Have A Dream" speech in 1963 and examines several insightful questions: What would Dr. King make of the changing makeup of America and its impact on America's black and white racial binary? Who are we talking about in 2013, when we use the term African American? How useful is it to still use the terms Black and African American interchangeably? And finally, what impact does this heterogeneous and multi-ethnic American Blackness have on the country from a political, social and economic perspective? The title of her presentation is "Is America 'Post-Racial'?"

  • A placard image for media work Convocation: Joy DeGruy
    Created 7 February 2014; Published 27 March 2014
    Convocation: Joy DeGruy

    Renowned educator, psychologist, and social worker Joy DeGruy is the author of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing. While African Americans managed to emerge from chattel slavery and the oppressive decades that followed with great strength and resiliency, they did not emerge unscathed. Slavery produced centuries of physical, psychological and spiritual injury. Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome lays the groundwork for understanding how the past has influenced the present, and opens up the discussion of how we can eliminate non-productive attitudes, beliefs and adaptive behaviors and, build upon the strengths we have gained from the past to heal injuries of today.

  • A placard image for media work Convocation: Zonnie Gorman
    Created 8 November 2013; Published 27 March 2014
    Convocation: Zonnie Gorman

    Recognized historian of the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II, Zonnie Gorman is an expert in her field and a dedicated teacher. The daughter of one of the original Code Talkers, she appeared in and been consultant to several documentaries including the History Channel documentary Navajo Code Talkers, the movie Windtalkers, and the documentary True Whispers.

    In addition to serving as consultant for museum exhibitions and books on the subject, Gorman has lectured extensively throughout the United States at colleges and universities, museums and other institutions, including the Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC.

    Gorman is currently the Project Coordinator for the Circle of Light Navajo Educational Project, a nonprofit organization that offers a variety of Navajo role models to youth and fosters cultural pride and self-worth, while educating them along with non-Navajos about the rich history, culture, language and contributions of the Navajo people. The title of her presentation is "Growing Up With Heroes: Navajo Code Talkers of World War II."

  • A placard image for media work Convocation: Leo Chavez
    Created 11 October 2013; Published 15 November 2013
    Convocation: Leo Chavez

    Leo Chavez presents an anthropological view of immigration, offering an analysis of myths vs. facts, as well as representations and misrepresentations of Latinos in the media. A professor of anthropology at the University of California Irvine, Chavez’s research examines various issues related to transnational migration, including immigrant families and households, labor market participation, motivations for migration, the use of medical services, and media constructions of "immigrant" and "nation."

    His books include Shadowed Lives: Undocumented Immigrants in American Society, which provides an ethnographic account of Mexican and Central American undocumented immigrants in San Diego County, California. Covering Immigration: Popular Images and the Politics of the Nation examines representations of immigrants in the media and popular discourse in the United States through the lens of magazine covers and their related articles. His newest book is The Latino Threat: Constructing Immigrants, Citizens and the Nation, which examines issues of anti-Latino discourse, struggles over the meaning of citizenship, and the role of media spectacles in society in relation to the politics of reproduction, organ transplants, the Minuteman Project, and immigrant marches and protests. The title of his presentation is "Latinos and Immigration Reform."

  • A placard image for media work Convocation: Ebony Utley
    Created 1 February 2013; Published 15 February 2013
    Convocation: Ebony Utley

    Ebony Utley, associate professor of communication studies at California State University Long Beach, is an expert in popular culture, race, and romantic relationships.  Her critically-acclaimed book, Rap and Religion: Understanding The Gangsta’s God, addresses all of the above by closely examining the juxtaposition – and seeming hypocrisy – of references to God within rap music.  Rap music has been condemned for inciting violence, promoting misogyny, perpetuating racial stereotypes, and encouraging religious blasphemy.  Despite these assessments, Utley asserts that religion has always been part of the urban environments that birthed rap music, and she shows exactly how a God-sanctioned gangsta identity can be empowering.  The title of her presentation is "The Rap on Rap and Religion."  This Black History Month Convocation is sponsored by the Office of Intercultural and International Life.

  • Pedro Noguera
    Created 7 October 2011; Published 14 October 2011
    Convocation: Pedro Noguera

    Pedro Noguera is one of America's most important voices for healthy public education. As a leading urban sociologist, he examines how schools are influenced by social and economic conditions in the urban environment. What are the challenges they face in providing safe, academically rewarding environments? What is the state of race relations, racial inequality? What is the role of diversity? What is the impact of violence, parents, and school vouchers? What factors promote student achievement? Which detract from it? What is the impact of immigration and migration?

    Noguera holds faculty appointments in the departments of Teaching and Learning and Humanities and Social Sciences at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Development, as well as in the Department of Sociology at New York University. He is also a part-time high school teacher, the author of several groundbreaking texts, and a regular guest on CNN and NPR. Recently, he helped launch A Broader, Bolder Approach to Education, a group of public policy experts in various fields (housing, education, civil rights), and from across the political spectrum, working to break a decades-long cycle of reform efforts that promised much and have achieved far too little. The group works in areas that research shows must be addressed if we are to keep our promises to all of America's children.

    A dynamic speaker who translates social theory into concise, hip language with emotional impact and intellectual rigor, Noguera examines the hurdles faced in providing equal education to all – and then unveils the solutions that are already working to overcome them – in his presentation titled "Creating the Schools We Need: A Broader and Bolder Approach to School Reform."

  • Arn Chorn-Pond
    Created 6 May 2011; Published 11 May 2011
    Convocation: Arn Chorn-Pond

    Arn Chorn-Pond was both a victim and survivor of the Cambodian genocide who grew to become an internationally recognized human rights leader. Subject of the Emmy-nominated documentary The Flute Player and a founder of Children of War, an international youth leadership organization for building community, activism and healing for teenagers, Chorn-Pond opens eyes and hearts as he helps to heal. The title of his presentation was "Child of War, Man of Peace."

  • Josh Aronson
    Created 29 April 2011; Published 2 May 2011
    Convocation: Joshua Aronson

    Associate Professor of Applied Psychology at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, Joshua Aronson has been studying stereotypes, self-esteem, motivation, and attitudes for the past 13 years. His work seeks to understand and remediate race and gender gaps in educational achievement and standardized test performance. Often, the low performance of blacks in particular, but other minorities as well, gets casually chalked up to genetic or cultural differences that supposedly block acquisition of skills or values necessary for academic achievement. In sharp contrast, Aronson has uncovered some exciting and encouraging answers to these old questions by looking at the psychology of stigma—the way human beings respond to negative stereotypes about their racial or gender group. What he has found suggests that being targeted by well-known cultural stereotypes ("blacks are unintelligent", "girls can't do math", and so on) can be very threatening, a predicament that has been termed "Stereotype Threat."

  • Sonia Shah
    Created 18 February 2011; Published 9 March 2011
    Convocation: Sonia Shah

    Investigating how science and politics collide in a lop-sided world, Sonia Shah is a critically acclaimed writer on science, human rights, and international politics. Shah was born in New York City to Indian immigrants. Growing up, she shuttled between the northeastern United States where her parents practiced medicine and Mumbai and Bangalore, India, where her extended working-class family lived, developing a life-long interest in inequality between and within societies. As an undergraduate at Oberlin College, she earned her BA in journalism, philosophy, and neuroscience. Her books have included Crude: The Story of Oil and her prize-winning drug industry exposé, The Body Hunters: Testing New Drugs on the World's Poorest Patients. In her latest book, The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years, Shah reveals the amazing story of malaria, a disease that infects one-half billion people every year, killing nearly 1 million – despite the fact that we’ve known how to prevent and cure the disease for over one hundred years.

  • R. L'Heureux Lewis
    Created 4 February 2011; Published 11 February 2011
    Convocation: R. L'Heureux Lewis

    R. L’Heureux Lewis is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Black Studies at the City College of New York – CUNY. His research concentrates on issues of educational inequality, the role of race in contemporary society, and mental health well-being. The changing national and international landscape necessitate deeper, more sustainable, and meaningful engagement conversations and research. Through his writing, speaking, and commentary his work analyzes some of the most pressing issues in the post-Civil Rights era. With specializations in race and ethnic relations, his research and activism grapple with the areas of education, youth culture, public policy, and mental health. As a scholar-activist, he is engaged in projects relating to the reformation of education, Hip-Hop culture activism, and race-conscious policies. His commentary has been featured in media outlets such as US World News Report, Diversity in Higher Education, National Public Radio, and the Detroit Free Press. The title of his presentation was "Stony the Road We Trod: The March Towards Educational Justice."

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