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Center for Civic Engagement


Wednesday, February 28, 10 am-9pm
& Thursday March 1, 6:30 pm
Who Said It Was Simple: Intersectionality and Civil Rights

The Center for Civic Engagement invites you to our annual Civil Rights Day events, scheduled over two days - February 28 and March 1. This year's theme, "Who Said It Was Simple: Intersectionality and Civil Rights," is inspired by Audre Lorde's poem of the same name, which declares in its opening lines: "There are so many roots to the tree of anger that sometimes the branches shatter before they bear."

Intersectionality – the way in which marginality, oppression, or discrimination may be experienced across multiple, overlapping identities – has increasingly come to define how rights-based movements are viewing themselves. Queer people of color, multi-racial youth, and religious minorities within nation-states are reshaping LGBT advocacy, civil rights movements, and nationalist movements respectively, calling for new strategies of engagement.

CCE, along with students, campus partner organizations, and faculty from various departments, has organized panels, performances, and research presentations that are designed to provoke thinking on how overlapping identities can help us understand the complexities of social justice and civil rights.

Wednesday, February 28

10:10-11:05 am, Guthart Cultural Center Theater
The Urgency of Intersectionality: A Student Roundtable
Panelists: Maria Zaldivar
(journalism and women's studies major; president of Campus Feminist Collective); Jacinta Wadhwani (psychology and religion major); Ja'Loni Owens, public policy/public service major; fellow, Center for "Race," Culture & Social Justice), Rosario Navalta (history major), Tess Griffin (women's studies major)

12:50 – 2:15 pm, Guthart Cultural Center Theater
Telling a New Story: A Guide for Shaping New Cultural Narratives for Today's Advocates
Speaker: Brandon Johnson, graduate student, Rhetorical Studies, Hofstra University

The topics surrounding this talk will help foster new rhetorical strategies on how to discuss and interact with race. By framing racial activists as storytellers, we will unveil how they used storytelling as a societal communication tool. The talk will explore how the communication strategies of these storytellers effectively advance the conversation on racial issues.

2:55 – 4:20 pm, Guthart Cultural Center Theater
Disability Rights Advocacy

Over the past year or so, there has been a shift to introduce people with different abilities into mainstream entertainment including movies (such as Wonder) and television shows (The Good Doctor). Although there are people who support those with disabilities, there are still others who don't understand what it means to have a disability and therefore pre-judge someone who is different from them. This panel brings together individuals with various disabilities in an effort to raise awareness and promote change across all areas.
Facilitator: Emily Sauchelli, CCE fellow and journalism major
Panelists: Rachel Gross, public relations major; others TBD

4:30 – 5:55 pm, Guthart Cultural Center Theater
Center for "Race," Culture and Social Justice Summer Research Grant Recipient's Public Lecture:
Who Are You? Mixed Emotions: The Multiracial Student Experience
Speaker: Prof. Kristal Brent Zook, Professor of Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations, Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, Hofstra University

The multiracial population in America is increasing at a rate three times as fast as the rest of the country. Some mixed-race students proudly claim this identity and have even coined new terms like "Blasian" to describe their realities. Others aren't sure where they fit in. Still others define themselves primarily as one race out of loyalty and a sense of racial allegiance. Kristal Brent Zook, PhD, explores the complicated emotions surrounding mixed-race identity, recalling her own university experience as a biracial student.

4:30 – 6 pm, Emily Lowe Art Gallery
Perceptions and Reality - Romare Bearden: Storyteller

The ongoing exhibit at Hofstra University Museum of Bearden's work serves as a catalyst for a roundtable conversation exploring perceptions related to time, place, and our collective/personal stories and images. This program considers how unexamined assumptions shape our cultural and personal understanding of the world; expanding our awareness can transform our thinking.
Facilitator: Katrina Sims, PhD, Assistant Professor of History, Hofstra University
Panelists: Lisa Merrill, PhD, Professor of Writing Studies and Rhetoric, Hofstra University and SM Rodriguez, PhD, Assistant Professor of Criminology, Department of Sociology, Hofstra University

7—9 pm, Breslin Room 211
Screening: CSA: The Confederate States of America (mockumentary/satire)
Featuring filmmaker Kevin Willmott

In commemoration of Black History Month, independent African-American filmmaker Kevin Willmott presents the "mockumentary," CSA: The Confederate States of America, a satire on racial inequality, imagining an America in which the Confederacy won the Civil War. A discussion led by Willmott will follow the film screening.
Facilitator: Rodney Hill, PhD, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Radio, Television, Film, Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, Hofstra University
A Hofstra Cultural Center Presentation

Thursday, March 1

6:30 pm, The Helene Fortunoff Theater, Monroe Lecture Center, California Avenue
Just an Ordinary Lawyer - A Play, With Songs
Written and performed by Tayo Aluko, with live piano accompaniment.

Just an Ordinary Lawyer tells the story of Nigerian Tunji Sowande as he quietly broke through multiple barriers to become Britain's first black judge in 1978. Sowande arrived in London from Nigeria in 1945 to study law and pursue his interest in music. He rose to become a well-respected barrister, the first black head of chambers, and finally the first (part-time) black judge. An active solo concert performer, he was also a great lover of cricket and became a member of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the home of cricket.

Co-sponsored by the Hofstra Cultural Center; Hofstra University Honors College; Departments of Drama and Dance, History, Sociology; and Center for "Race," Culture and Social Justice.

All events are free and open to the public.

For more details, contact the Center for Civic Engagement Graduate Assistant Kristen Misak at kmisak1@pride.hofstra.edu