Media Contact: Elizabeth Rau, 401-874-2116KINGSTON, R.I., Jan 18, 2013 – When Harvard law professor Charles J. Ogletree comes to the University of Rhode Island next month, he’ll do more than talk about race relations in America today.
Gerard J. Holder, URI’s deputy Title IX coordinator and assistant director of Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity and Diversity, will talk about “Hidden Bias: An Impact on Social Justice, Values, and Leadership,’’ from noon to 1 p.m. Jan. 31 in the Multicultural Center, Hardge Forum, Room 101. “Whether we are measuring in terms of dollars or other resources, the most expensive diversity crises tend to arise because of an insidious phenomenon called hidden bias,’’ says Holder. “This kind of bias in the subconscious mind allows well-meaning people to make catastrophic errors that adversely affect their organizations, and their own careers, for years or decades.’’
A video and discussion about Dr. King from noon to 1 p.m. Feb. 4 at the Multicultural Center, Room 005. This is a chance to learn more about Dr. King’s life. The video is adapted from a book about the civil rights activist by Robert Jakoubek.
“Leadership and You: How to Make the Most of Your Inner Dr. King!’’ from 5 to 6 p.m. Feb. 4 in the Multicultural Center, Hardge Forum, Room 101. This workshop will allow participants to examine their own leadership strengths.
“Unity Luncheon’’ from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 6 in the Memorial Union Ballroom. Participants will share food and music, as they reflect on Dr. King’s life. URI’s Office of the Chaplains will present the 10th annual Peacemaker Award honoring a student, student organization, or member of the University’s academic community with a commitment to peace and nonviolence. To attend the luncheon, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Seating is limited. The luncheon is free.
Hunger Banquet, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 6, Multicultural Center, Hardge Forum, Room 101. Students will participate in an Oxfam Hunger Banquet, which allows guests to experience how policy decisions affect others in the world.
“Using Comedy to Create Cross Cultural Dialogue’’ from 5 to 6 p.m. Feb. 7 in the Multicultural Center, Hardge Forum, Room 101. Jewish-American comic Scott Blakeman and Palestinian-American comic Dean Obeidallah will talk about how they use comedy to create dialogue and foster understanding among people of different backgrounds and ethnicities. The event is co-sponsored by URI Hillel.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 9 starting at the Multicultural Center, Hardge Forum, Room 101. The event honors Dr. King’s commitment to public service. Students will have the opportunity to volunteer on projects, on and off campus. The event is co-sponsored by the School of Education, Kappa Delta Pi, and URI fraternities and sororities.
Gitahi Gititi will read his poems at 4 p.m. Feb. 11 in Lippitt Hall, 4th floor auditorium. A native of Kenya, Gititi is a professor of English, Film and Media Studies, African, and African American Studies in the Africana Studies Program. He is a poet, short fiction writer, and multilingual translator. His scholarly and creative work has appeared in numerous literary journals and publications.
Naomi R. Thompson, J.D., the University’s chief diversity officer and associate vice president of Community, Equity and Diversity, will talk about campus efforts to promote fair treatment, diversify the campus demographic composition, broaden and deepen its curricular offerings, and cultivate a welcoming and inclusive campus culture and community where members are respected and valued. The “brown bag’’ discussion, called “A Voice for the Students: Understanding Community, Equity, and Diversity,’’ is from noon to 1 p.m. Feb. 14 in the Multicultural Center, Hardge Forum, Room 101.
Guitarist and songwriter David E. Allen will perform black American spirituals at 6 p.m. Feb. 24 in the Multicultural Center, Hardge Forum, Room 101. Allen, a graduate of Brown University and Washington University in St. Louis, has performed throughout New England and the West Coast, opening for Earth, Wind & Fire, Boney James, Tower of Power, Kirk Franklin, and Stephen Curtis Chapman. Allen recently released his debut solo album, “Life Along The Way,’’ which features his well-honed gifts as a guitarist and composer. Allen has also written songs with his sister, jazz recording artist Aimee Allen, on her latest CD releases, Winter & Mays and l’inexplicable.
Desne Crossley, associate director of major gifts at Harvard Law School, will talk about racial identity and education at 4 p.m. Feb. 25 in Lippitt Hall, 4th floor auditorium. The talk is called "Race, History and Education: Stand Up, Take a Seat, and Own Your Spot." Crossley is a development officer with more than 25 years experience in major gifts and corporate and foundation relations work. Her poem “Gone Creativity,’’ is published in Becoming Fire: Spiritual Writing from Rising Generations, edited by Alexander Levering Kern. She often speaks to students about navigating higher education while remaining true to oneself and family. Participation from the audience is encouraged.
Judah-Micah Lamar, a doctoral fellow in the English department, will present a reading of the antagonist in Alice Walker’s novel, The Color Purple from noon to 1 p.m. Feb. 28 in the Multicultural Center, Hardge Forum, Room 101. "This discussion will seek to open dialogue about the ways in which black men are portrayed by black women authors in literature, and how society at large misreads black men through fragmented lenses as 'damaged goods,'" says Lamar.
Film Series: An African American film will be shown at 3 p.m. every Wednesday during February at Lippitt Hall, Room 102. The films include Africa, Straight Up, Traces of the Trade, and Eyes on the Prize.