2005 Martin Luther King Day Workshops

The following workshops will be held in Pettengill Hall, Monday, Jan. 17:

Session One, 1:15 to 2:15 p.m.

1. Dr. Martin Luther King’s Last Stand and Continuing Legacy: Workplace Civil Rights in the ‘right-to-work’ South
Pettengill G52

This presentation and discussion will explore the social/political/historical roots of the “right-to-work” anti-union laws in the South, and the Rev. King and the civil rights movement’s shift to challenging economic power relationships in the workplace. There will be a brief overview of the Charleston, S.C., hospital workers and the Memphis, Tenn., city sanitation workers struggle to organize. The presentation will use historical videos, lectures and live interviews with members of the North Carolina Public Service Workers Union-U.E. Local 150 to illustrate how labor and civil rights activists are continuing King’s legacy of struggle for civil rights in the workplace.

Presented by: Angaza Laughinghouse, a member of Hear Our Public Employees Coalition, the North Carolina Public Service Workers Union-U.E. Local 150, Black Workers for Justice and the Fruit of Labor Singing Ensemble. He is a 36-year veteran of various labor/civil rights/community organizing campaigns.
Sponsored by: Multicultural Affairs/Multicultural Center

2. What Are You Buying When You Buy a Bouquet?
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This session explores environmental perspectives on flowers and workers and includes a screening and discussion of Love, Women and Flowers, a film about pesticides and public health in the Colombian flower industry.

Presented by: Jane Costlow, Professor of Russian and Christian A. Johnson Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies
Sponsored by: Program in Environmental Studies

3. The Life of Stella James Sims, Bates Class of 1897
Pettengill G54

Stella James (Sims) was the first African American woman to graduate from Bates. After a distinguished undergraduate career, she proceeded to teach at three historically black colleges. One was Storer College, the first African American college in West Virginia, established in 1867 with the help of Oren B. Cheney, the first Bates president. This presentation will review what is known of her time at Bates and her subsequent career as a science educator. It will also look at efforts of organizations such as the American Physical Society and the National Society of Black Physicists to increase opportunities for African Americans in physics and the sciences.

Presented by: John Smedley, professor of physics
Sponsored by: The Department of Physics

4. Why Unions Matter: Lewiston and Beyond
Pettengill G21

Presented by: William Corlett, Professor of Political Science
Sponsored by: The Department of Political Science

5. Literary Readings
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Members of the community are invited to share and read a piece of poetry or prose from their cultural tradition – written by themselves or a favorite author. The readings explore themes of “Labor, Justice and Dignity” that have impacted our own family members or ancestors. Students from other countries are encouraged to read selections in their first language, and then read an English translation.

Facilitated by:  Susan Pelletier, learning associate
Sponsored by:  Writing Workshop

Session Two,  2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

6. Intersection Between Labor and Martin Luther King’s Social Activism
Pettengill G21 (Please note this is a two-hour session)

This workshop considers the documentary film and book At the River I Stand, both of which review MLK’s efforts in Memphis, Tenn., just prior to his death. A screening of the documentary will be followed by a roundtable discussion by participants in a college-wide reading group.

Facilitated by: Cecilia Zapata, director, Office of Affirmative Action
Sponsored by: Office of Affirmative Action

7. Working in Lewiston: Somali Women and the Local Job Market
Pettengill G54

This session features a panel of speakers representing a variety of perspectives on Somali women’s relationship to the local job market. Panelists include a career services representative in Lewiston; Somali women who have sought jobs in the local economy; a representative from a local center for adult education; and a Bates student who has researched shifting modes of production in Lewiston and its impact upon immigrant populations. Brief statements by panelists will be followed by an interactive discussion of ways various constituents of the Lewiston community might address challenges surrounding employment and Somali women.

Facilitated by: Patricia Buck, assistant professor of education
Sponsored by: Program in Women and Gender Studies

8. Labor’s New Frontier: Immigrant Workers, Race and Gender in Southern Spain
Pettengill G52 (Please note this is a two-hour session)

This presentation includes a screening of the film Poniente, a film by Chus Gutierrez. A discussion follows the film. A young teacher who lives in Madrid returns to the town of her childhood after the death of her father. She rediscovers “La Isla” — a multicultural world where people return to find their roots after years of exile. She decides to stay in “La Isla” to continue her father’s business and to completely change her life.

Presented by: Baltasar Fra-Molinero and Francisca López, associate professors of Spanish
Sponsored by: Department of Classical and Romance Languages and Literatures

9. Disabilitiy Issues in the Workplace and the Student Body
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This session will explore options available today that permit everyone essentially to live freely and contribute.

Facilitated by: Gene Clough, lecturer in geology and physics
Sponsored by: Department of Geology and Department of Physics

10. Hard Work
Pettengill G63 (Please note this is a two-hour session)

The film Hard Work centers on the lives of mill workers in Maine with interviews featuring 19th-century  women working in Maine’s shops and factories. In 1888, Flora Haines of Bangor was commissioned to travel throughout Maine to interview wage-earning women. The responses provide a rare glimpse into their lives describing their hard work, long hours, low pay and their own explanations for these difficult conditions. Jim Sharkey’s hour-long film combines the “voices” of these women with period music, photographs, and interviews with Maine historian Carol Toner. Sharkey and Toner will be here to lead the discussion.

Facilitated by: Elizabeth Eames, associate professor of anthropology
Sponsored by: Department of Anthropology

11. Lewiston Labor History and the New Marsden Hartley Cultural Center
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This session provides an overview of Lewiston-Auburn’s rich labor history and the new center at the Lewiston Public Library that will examine the histories of the L-A community and Bates College.

Presented by: Bates senior Matt Heffernan
Sponsored by: the Bates College Center for Service-Learning

Session Three, 3:35 to 4:35 p.m.

12. Who Goes, Who Doesn’t: The Draft Then and Now
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This discussion centers on military conscription, particularly the way the draft and military recruitment intersect with social class. “Then” refers to the Vietnam war and other American conflicts. “Now” is the current struggle in Iraq and the way the draft would operate if it were reactivated.

Facilitated by: Chris Beam, archivist, information and library services, and lecturer in history; and Doug Rawlings, poet, UMaine-Farmington administrator and president of the Maine chapter of  Veterans for Peace, Inc.
Sponsored by: Department of History

13. Work Song
Pettengill G54

In the mid-to-late 20th century, as consciousness of their musical and social “roots” became more acute, some jazz composers explored the legacies of slavery and forced labor on African Americans. “Work Song” refers to folk history as contemplated through the raised awareness of civil rights. This presentation will include recordings of jazz tunes called Work Song by Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Nat Adderley and Wynton Marsalis, and discuss the context from which each rendition arose.

Presented by: Tom Hayward, reference librarian, Ladd Library, and lecturer in classical and medieval studies
Sponsored by: Program in Classical and Medieval Studies and Ladd Library

14. Music, Voices and Social Change
Pettengill G50

This workshop will explore the emphasis on social change and issues as communicated by current artists and voices from hip-hop, spoken word and other contemporary styles.

Facilitated by: Amandla!, a Bates College organization addressing issues of people of black heritage,
Sponsored by: Amandla!

15. Bates and Downtown
Pettengill 171

Brief presentations will be made about aspects of Bates’ and Bates students’ interactions with downtown Lewiston, followed by a roundtable discussion of participants’ experiences of Bates-downtown relationships. The potential for future community building and work together will also be considered.

Facilitated by: the student-led Bates Hunger and Homelessness Committee
Sponsored by: Office of the Chaplain

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