MLK Jr. Day Concurrent Workshops

Session One, 2-3 p.m.

1. Attack on the U.S.: Thinking Ethically, Doing Justice
Led by the Rev. Joan Martin

Martin, the William Rankin Professor or Ethics, Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Mass., leads this discussion on the ethical challenges and appropriate responses to the events of September 11.
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2. September 11:  Effects on Our Workplace
Facilitated by Sarah Potter, director, Bates Bookstore

This session will discuss a range of responses people have felt and in our work place of Bates from the events of September 11.  A work counselor will comment on reactions of  individuals, groups and whole departments to discuss  the meaning of the variety of reactions many have experienced since that important date.  Questions and thoughts from the audience are welcomed.
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3.  Auburn Middle School Civil Rights Team Presentation

This team of 7th and 8th graders will do a session on the various projects and programs they have developed to address acceptance and tolerance in grades K to 8.  This presentation was scheduled to have been part of the Annual Conference of the National Association of Middle School Educators in Washington, D.C this past October.  The school withdrew due to the uncertainty of travel at that time.  Jen Blum ’04 and Melissa MacKay ’01 have been an integral part of their work and will join the presentation.
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4. Martin Luther King: Peace Activist and Opponent of War in Vietnam
Convener, Chris Beam, lecturer, Department of History, and archivist, Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library.

While Martin Luther King Jr. is best remembered as a civil rights leader, what is less known is that in the last year of his life, he became a prominent opponent of the Vietnam War.  This session will focus on King’s legacy as a peace advocate, one who sought non-violent alternatives to resolving disputes both among nations and within them.
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5. Racism in Brazil-Before and After United Nations World  Conference on Racism in Durban
Led by Antonio Olimpio de Sant’Ana, executive director CENACORA (National Ecumenical Commission to Combat Racism). Convener: Czerny Brasuell, Multicultural Affairs/Multicultural Center

Usually touted as a successful multicultural, multiracial society, Brazil has been struggling to respond to its reality: a society that is very much compromised by its colonial legacy of slavery and the genocide of its indigenous citizens. Today myriad alliances exist which are forcing these issues into the public forum, not only within the country but globally, such as at the UN World Conference Against Racism this past
August, where Brazil was represented by more than 500 delegates.  Sant’Ana was both a member of the National Committee of the BrazilianzGovernment for the Preparation of Brazil for Participation in the World Conference; he also is a consultant to the World Council of Churches Program to Combat Racism
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Session Two, 3:10-4:10 p.m.

6. Racism, Sexism, Homophobia:  Getting the Connections
Convener:  Program in Women and Gender Studies
Erica Rand, associate professor of art, and Kevin Kumashiro, assistant professor of education

An opposition between chaos and community might seem to imply that good communities are unmessy or unitary, but are they?  How can we build communities without hiding messes and margins?  How can we deal productively with differences and oppression, which, of course, also construct each other?  This workshop takes on a fragment of this political task by looking at challenging intersections of racism, sexism, and homophobia in the work of building connections and communities.
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7. On Orientalism: Images of Islam in American Media
Convener: Loring Danforth, the Department of Anthropology

Viewing and discussion of a video that presents Edward Said’s  work on Orientalism.  Said argues that the American view of the Middle East as a land inhabited by fundamentalists and terrorists
dehumanizes the diverse peoples of the area. The video includes interviews with Prof. Said and a variety of film clips from news  programs and films depicting the Arab and Moslem worlds.
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8. Tolerance in Secondary Schools

The Lewiston High School Civil Rights Team, a committee of students, discusses their role as LHS has become increasingly diverse.  They will focus on several activities including school wide Diversity Day and a survey done by Bates students.  They also will discuss the challenges of taking a leadership role against intolerance and the criteria for a team to be successful. Bates students who worked on the survey will participate also.
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9. The Conquest of Violence: King’s Passion for Peace
John Mendez, clergyman and civil/human rights activist, founder of Citizens United for Justice. Convener: Czerny Brasuell, Multicultural Affairs/Multicultural Center

Coming of age in the 60s, Dr. Mendez was part of the student movement which galvanized the civil rights movement; he understands his faith to be inextricably linked to his social justice mission, a belief also espoused by King.  What does September 11 mean in the context of King’s philosophy?  Have we forever moved beyond the possibility of resolving society’s problems without resorting to violence? Mendez was a leader in the struggle to organize K-Mart workers in North Carolina, an effort which spread to several other southern states; he is also a principal ally of the San Carlos Apaches in their fight to gain recognition for their sacred sites. Both of these campaigns have been undertaken successfully without violence.
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