Activist to speak and present William Stringfellow Awards

A Jesuit priest and professor of history, John Staudenmaier will give a lecture and present the annual William Stringfellow Lecture in Justice and Peace at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, in Chase Hall Lounge, Chase Hall, 56 Campus Ave., Bates College. Sponsored by the Office of the Chaplain, the talk and a potluck dinner that begins at 6 p.m. is open to the public free of charge. Call 207-786-8272 for more information.

Long engaged with issues of peace and justice and their connection with the life and spirit of the mind, Staudenmaier will give a lecture titled, “A Place in the World: Social Action Depends on Location.” Internal and external choices about where and how we locate ourselves “give us starting points for committed action in the world,” Staudenmaier says. “At the same time, and just as important, these locations help to shape our moral imagination. Place matters.”

The lecture honors the legacy of William Stringfellow, Bates class of 1949, a lawyer and lay theologian prominent in the American peace movement, and coincides with the 2005 William Stringfellow Awards for Justice and Peace, to be presented this year to Bates senior Ryan Conrad of Middletown, R.I., and Auburn resident Mark Schlotterbeck, city missionary at Calvary United Methodist Church.

Acting dean of the College of Liberal Arts and professor of history at the University of Detroit Mercy, Staudenmaier is visiting scholar at the Center for Science, Technology and Society at Santa Clara University in California. He edits Technology and Culture, an acclaimed international quarterly dedicated to the historical study of technology and its relations with politics, economics, labor, business, the environment, public policy, science and the arts.

Schlotterbeck grew up in the village of Lewisburg, Ohio, nurtured, he says, “by family, friends and a good church that had a place for kids and encouraged young people to try their wings.” Schlotterbeck has spent his adult life in U.S. cities working with churches, prisoners and their families, laid-off workers, immigrants and downtown residents.

In 2002-03, Schlotterbeck was prominently involved in creating the Many & One Coalition to assert that all people should be welcome and safe in our communities. Schlotterbeck has served as an African Methodist Episcopal Zion associate minister and as a Mennonite jail chaplain, pastor and church planter.

He holds a master of divinity degree from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary and was trained at the Inner City Clinical Pastoral Education program in Cincinnati and the Urban Theology Unit in Sheffield, England. He was ordained in the Mennonite Church but has adopted a “No queer, no me” position regarding religious bodies that refuse ordination on the basis of sexual orientation.

In various settings, Schlotterbeck has used music to help children and grown-ups celebrate, reach across lines of faith and culture and commemorate experiences from the joy of birth to the ravages of AIDS.

Involved in service and social justice work for many years, Bates senior Conrad will graduate this May with a degree in interdisciplinary studies that focuses on political science and performance art. An organizer at Bates of the New World Coalition, the Maine Fair Trade Campaign and the Maine People’s Alliance, Conrad is one of four 2004-05 Bates College Student Volunteers, matching fellow students with volunteer opportunities in Lewiston, Auburn and nearby communities. Conrad works with the Greene-based JED collective, a group of organizers, activists, farmers and artists working for social, ecological and economic justice.

A member of Bates theater professor and artist William Pope.L’s “Black Factory Tour 2005,” Conrad staffs the traveling performance art installation that focuses on racial difference and art in a playful way as it pushes for significant social change. Conrad participates in the Recycle-a-Bike program at the Lewiston Area Time Dollars Center, on Howe Street, where he and fellow bike enthusiasts teach young children about bike repair and maintenance, along with green energy and the ecological impact of using automobiles.

Comments are closed.