The Greeley Peace Scholar Speaker Series on Race & Social Justice is a year-long series of events focusing on race and social justice, culminating with the (virtual) residency by Fania Davis, the 2021 Greeley Scholar for Peace Studies, in April 2021.
Sparked by the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020 have led to a global reckoning on race. As we work together towards greater justice and peace, the Greeley Peace Scholar Speaker Series seeks to educate and engage all members of the university and local communities on the histories of and struggles for racial justice, with a focus on Black lives and voices. Topics will include the difficult legacy of monuments to white supremacy, voting rights and voter suppression, racial disparities in the criminal justice system, social movements for change, and restorative justice.
Read more about the Greeley Peace Scholar.
All events are virtual, free, and open to the public.
Nov. 17, 2020, 4-5p.m. - “Civil Rights: Then and Now,” - Bob Forrant, University of Massachusetts Lowell (hosted by UML Office of Alumni Relations)
On April 12, 1963, Good Friday, Dr. Martin Luther King was arrested in Birmingham, Alabama, he subsequently wrote ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail’. In part it read, “For years now I have heard the word, ‘Wait!’. It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘Wait!’ has almost always meant, ‘Never’.” This justice delayed and denied boiled over in the 1960s. With much fanfare, the Supreme Court ruled on Brown v. the Board of Education, and then the Civil Rights (1964) and the Voting Rights Act (1965) got passed. What kinds of organization and demonstrations took place that placed the civil rights agenda before the American people? What got done? What has happened in the recent past to call what progress there was into serious question.
Bob Forrant is a professor in the History department at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, teaching courses on global labor issues and international development. He supervises numerous graduate students, master’s degree theses and doctoral dissertations.
“Civil Rights: Then and Now,” - Bob Forrant Online Registration
TBD - Discussion on 2020 Election
Oct. 22, 2020, 1-1:50 p.m. - “The Socio-Historical Foundations of Hip-Hop Pedagogies: The Why, When, Where, Who and How,” - Jarritt Ahmed Sheel, Berklee College of Music (hosted by the Music Department)
Jarritt Ahmed Sheel, Ed.M., is an assistant professor of music education at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass. As a professional musician, he has toured internationally, worked with hundreds of students in high school band programs throughout the great states of Illinois, Florida and New York. He is a co-founder of the music resource website www.hiphopmusiced.com, and leader of a social media dialogue around #hiphopmusiced.
October 22, 2020, 11 a.m. - “Voter Suppression Then and Now: How Did We Get Here and What Can be Done?” Fredrick Cornelius Harris, Ph.D., Columbia University (cosponsored with the History Department, Political Science Department, Peace & Conflict Studies Program, & the Center for Public Opinion)
Please note: This event will NOT be recorded.
Fredrick Cornelius Harris, Ph.D. will discuss the history of voter suppression and the movements for voting rights. Harris is Dean of Faculty in the Social Sciences and Professor of Political Science at Columbia University, where he also serves as Director of the Center on African American Politics and Society. His area of research is broadly in American Politics with a focus on race and politics, political participation, social movements, religion and politics, and political history. His multiple award-winning books include Price of the Ticket: Barack Obama and the Rise and Decline of Black Politics (Oxford UP, 2012), Beyond Discrimination: Racial Inequality in a Post-Racist Era (co-editor, 2013), Countervailing Forces in African-American Civic Activism, 1973-1994 (co-author, Cambridge UP, 2006), Something Within: Religion in African-American Political Activism (Oxford UP, 1999), and Black Churches and Local Politics: Clergy Influence, Organizational Partnerships, and Civic Empowerment (co-editor, 2005). Dean Harris is also co-editor with Cathy Cohen of the the Oxford University book series “Transgressing Boundaries: Studies in Black Politics and Black Communities.” Dean Harris has written essays for the New York Times, The Washington Post, Dissent, Foreign Affairs, Transition, Souls, Society, and the London Review of Books. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. and a Visiting Professor at the Pantheon-Sorbonne University in Paris. He currently serves as a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.
Oct. 15, 2020, 12:30-1:45 p.m. - “Speaking Out of Turn: Lorraine O'Grady and the Art of Language” - Stephanie Sparling Williams, Ph.D., Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (cosponsored with Art History and Race & Ethnic Studies)
Stephanie Sparling Williams’s talk, “Speaking Out of Turn: Lorraine O’Grady and the Art of Language,” will engage the significant performances and conceptual works of Lorraine O’Grady. O’Grady was a subversive figure within the New York art world in the 1980s whose critiques highlighted the whiteness of gallery and museum institutions that claimed progressive values. Williams will discuss a series of works related to the artist’s “extravagant and rogue” performances of an invented character, Mademoiselle Bourgeoise Noire (Miss Black Middle Class). Mlle. Bourgeoise Noire’s alienating effects, produced through a mélange of props and out of turn speech acts, and utilizing strategies of direct address, make apparent how black women’s bodies disrupt historic and systemic erasure across spaces of visibility and value.
Stephanie Sparling Williams, Ph.D., is a black feminist theorist and an Associate Curator at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum. Previously, she was Assistant Curator at the Addison Gallery of American Art. Her scholarly work is invested in modern and contemporary art histories, with a particular focus on the direct address, performance, conceptual, and feminist art making practices of women-identified artists of color. Her book, Speaking Out of Turn: Lorraine O’Grady and the Art of Language, will be published by University of California Press in 2021.
Watch a video of “Speaking Out of Turn: Lorraine O'Grady and the Art of Language” - Stephanie Sparling Williams
Oct. 14, 2020, 11 a.m.- Noon - "Climate Change, Epidemics and Human Capital Outcomes: Who Bears the Cost of Climate Change?" - Belinda Archibong, Ph.D., Barnard College, Columbia University (hosted by the Economics Department & the Climate Change Initiative)
Belinda Archibong, Ph.D., will discuss her current work on the intersection between climate change, epidemics and social inequality. Her research sheds light on both the impact of past epidemics internationally and the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic in the US. Dr. Archibong specializes in the role of historical institutions and environment in creating unequal access to public services and human capital development opportunities.
Archibong is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Barnard College, Columbia University, and a faculty affiliate at Columbia University's Center for Development Economics and Policy (CDEP), The Earth Institute at Columbia University, the Institute of African Studies, the Institute for Research in African-American Studies, the Columbia Population Research Center (CPRC), and the Center for Environmental Economics and Policy (CEEP). Her research has been published in multiple journals, and she has been extensively consulted by various news sources, commenting particularly on social injustice in the US during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Watch a video of "Climate Change, Epidemics and Human Capital Outcomes: Who Bears the Cost of Climate Change?" - Belinda Archibong
Oct. 8, 2020, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. - “Memory and the Built Form” - Steve Locke (cosponsored with History, Art & Design, & Art History)
Artist Steve Locke’s work is engaged with forms of public memory, directing viewers to look deeply at American history and the persistence of systemic violence against Black people. His practice spans painting, drawing, and the design of public memorials, the latter including a proposed Auction Block Memorial for Faneuil Hall, a Memorial to Freddie Gray at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and a recent proposal for a Slavery Memorial at the Tuileries, Paris. As historical sites in New England and around the world have become focal points of protest, how should our public spaces and monuments memorialize the history of slavery and racial violence? Locke's talk will be followed by a discussion moderated by Prof. Michael Pierson (History).
Watch a video of “Memory and the Built Form” - Steve Locke
Details coming soon.
These events are supported by The Rev. Dana McLean Greeley Fellowship for Peace Studies and the College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. You can make a donation today to support important programming like this.