Fall 2016 Events Schedule

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Download the Fall 2016 ECCE Speaker Series Events Schedule as pdf

You may access our event recordings on our Video on Demand page

Students currently enrolled in UNI 301 should refer to the event schedule posted on their course’s Blackboard site.

Truth Telling: Promoting Healing, Change, and Joy for the Movement!

Dr. David Ragland, Dr. Cris Toffolo, and Musical Artist Steff Reed

Friday, September 9 | 3:00 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

The Truth Telling Project aims to use truth telling as a tool for racial justice. This multi-media event brings together musical artists and peace and justice professors to promote healing, change, and joy for the current civil rights movement. Ragland will discuss the Truth Telling Project’s work and share documentary footage of truth telling panels held in Ferguson. Toffolo will address the role this work can play in community engagement workshops beyond Ferguson and report on her first-hand experience of how facilitated discussions around the truth telling panel hearings can shift opinions and inspire civic engagement. Reed will bring truths directly to the audience through the power of art.

David Ragland is a founding member and Co-Director of the Truth Telling Project and a board member of the Peace and Justice Studies Association. As a professor, he regularly teaches in the areas of peace and conflict studies and educational leadership — recent appointments include Junianta College, Bucknell University, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.  http://thetruthtellingproject.org/

Cris E. Toffolo, Professor and Chair of the Justice Studies Department at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, is a founding member of The Truth Telling Project.

Steff Reed is a musical artist (singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist), a Grammy award nominee as music educator, a music and film producer, and an anti-violence Black Lives Matter Activist.


Hispanic Americans: Civil Rights, Social Justice and the Legal System – Where Policy Meets Practice

Attorney Reggie Koch

Thursday, September 15 | 7:00 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

Constitution Day Event & Hispanic Heritage Month Event

Co-Sponsored by UIS Departments of Legal Studies and Public Administration

This talk will highlight societal and legal institutional challenges that are faced today by Hispanic Americans.  By illustrating their plight and the successful litigation outcomes that can occur, this event hopes to build awareness to the struggles faced by at-risk populations in general, and Hispanic populations specifically.

Reggie Koch is the managing partner of the Koch Law Firm which is the leading firm in Central Arkansas protecting the rights and representing the interests of Hispanic persons.  A large part of his practice deals with employment discrimination, issues of social justice and civil rights.  Reggie and his staff also network with attorneys abroad, especially in Mexico, to ensure that their clients’ interests and rights are protected internationally as well as domestically. Attorney Reggie Koch studied Spanish and International Studies prior to studying law at the William H. Bowen School of Law in Little Rock, Arkansas.  He has also studied at the University of Arizona at Tucson and the University of Guadalajara in Jalisco, Mexico.  He was presented with the Marco Polo Award for Excellence in International Studies.  His work experience includes a fourteen-year career in law enforcement, and a position with the Secretary of Public Security in Jalisco, Mexico, where he studied Mexican culture and trained Mexican police officers.

14: Dred Scott, Wong Kim Ark & Vanessa Lopez

Film Director Anne Galisky

Monday, September 19 | 4:00 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

Hispanic Heritage Month Event

Co-Sponsored by UIS Diversity Center, Gamma Phi Omega Sorority, Inc., Organization of Latin American Students, and Brookens Library

The documentary film, “14: Dred Scott, Wong Kim Ark & Vanessa Lopez” explores the recurring question about who has the right to be an American citizen and examines the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment. The story is told through the lives of three ordinary and extraordinary American families who courageously challenged the powerful status quo. Descendants of Dred and Harriet Scott and Wong Kim Ark tell the stories of how their ancestors fought all the way to the Supreme Court and changed American History. Rosario Lopez and her daughter Vanessa are both activists in the immigrants’ rights youth movement. It is the citizenship of millions of children like Vanessa Lopez, born in the United States to undocumented parents that is at stake now. http://14themovie.com/

Anne Galisky is the director of “14: Dred Scott, Wong Kim Ark & Vanessa Lopez” and co-founder of Graham Street Productions which produced the documentary. Ms. Galisky also directed the feature-length documentary film, “Papers: Stories of Undocumented Youth.” She founded and operated Small World Builders, a building construction company, for fifteen years before directing films. She earned a M.A. in History with her research on the Japanese Internment included in the Internment Memorial at the Expo Center in Portland, Oregon.

How to Loiter

Artist Paul Shortt 

Thursday, September 22 | 5:30 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

Loitering is defined as standing or waiting around idly without apparent purpose, but this project attempts to give a purpose to loitering. In this talk and workshop, participants will explore alternative ways of loitering and discuss the issues surrounding loitering and how it affects public space and individuality. In collaboration with the artist, participants will create pro-loitering signs that articulate new ways to loiter that will then be distributed around the campus.

Paul Shortt received his MFA in New Media Art from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his BFA in Painting from the Kansas City Art Institute. He has been in numerous group shows in DC, Chicago, Kansas City, and New York City. His works engage the public in physical interactions and conversation that examine everyday experiences and cultural norms often in humorous ways through video, sculpture, books and public art. Shortt has spoken about his work at the Ullens Center For Contemporary Art In Beijing, China and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri. He has been written about in Hyperallergic, The Washington Post, Bmore Art and Review Magazine. In 2015 he launched a project called “Reserved For Loitering,” which examines and reimagines loitering across the US. Shortt is currently based in Washington, DC, and is the New Media Curator for Arlington Cultural Affairs. http://paulshortt.com

Public/Private Subversions: Kyle Magee

Moderated by Dr. Richard Gilman-Opalsky

Monday, October 3 | 6:00 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

Australian art activist, Kyle Magee, papers over advertising in broad daylight in populated urban spaces. That he does not attempt “to get away with it” means he is arrested almost weekly, and yet, has done this every week for 10 years as a protest against privatizing public space. Public/Private Subversions presents documentary footage of Magee’s activism and includes conversations with commuters, shoppers, children, policemen, and other officials.

Kyle Magee was a university art student in Australia before becoming a peculiar kind of art-activist. His civil disobedience is done openly and in broad daylight, and he fully intends to be caught and arrested each time. He even records the police interrogations and posts them on his website, along with a message for the judiciary. Magee has been doing the same kind of protest for 10 years, and is committed to repeating his protest indefinitely into the future. He views his actions as practical interventions against outdoor advertising, against unsolicited for-profit advertising. https://democraticmediaplease.net/

Dr. Richard Gilman-Opalsky hosts a series of events called Political Art and the Public Sphere (PAPS).  The idea behind PAPS is to consider how “political art” raises provocative social and political questions, and to engage in discussion with students, faculty, and members of the general public.

The Legacy Wall: LGBT History Exhibit

Victor Salvo, Dr. Holly Kent, and Dr. Jason Pierceson

Wednesday, October 5 | 7:00 p.m. | Public Affairs Center Concourse

Queertober Kickoff Event with reception to follow

Co-Sponsored by LGBTQA Resource Office, Diversity Center, College of Public Affairs and Administration, and UIS Departments of Women & Gender Studies, History, and Political Science

The Legacy Wall is a one-of-a-kind traveling exhibit filled with photographs and biographies of 125 LGBT people well-known in the realms of politics, the arts, religion, sports, and social activism. This project pays tribute to the contributions of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender individuals throughout history. The wall is designed to share the often-hidden LGBT lives to foster a culture of respect and appreciation for diversity.  http://go.uis.edu/LegacyWall

Victor Salvo, Founder and Executive Director of The Legacy Project, is an alumni of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he earned a combined degree in Architectural Design and Community Development in 1980. He was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 1998. He walked away from a successful career as a General Contractor and Designer to begin this incredible journey of creating a high-profile outdoor exhibit to honor LGBT contributions to history.

Dr. Holly Kent is an Assistant Professor in the History department at UIS. Her teaching concentration includes U.S. women’s history; nineteenth-century U.S. history; fashion history; the history of slavery and abolitionism in U.S.; women’s activism in the U.S.; the family in the U.S.; oral history. Her research interests are women’s abolitionist fiction in the antebellum United States, women’s participation in the fashion media, and fashion studies and feminist pedagogies. She is an LGBTQIA+ Safe Zone workshop facilitator.

Dr. Jason Pierceson is Professor of Political Science at UIS. His teaching and research focuses on public law, the legal and political issues relating to sexuality and gender, and political theory. He is the author or co-author of several books on same-sex marriage and sexuality and politics, including Same-Sex Marriage in the Americas: Policy Innovation for Same-Sex Relationships; Courts, Liberalism and Rights: Gay Law and Politics in the United States and Canada; Same-Sex Marriage in the United States: The Road to the Supreme Court; and Sexual Minorities in Politics: An Introduction. In 2011, he was the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in American Studies at the University of Alberta. His commentary and writing has appeared in such media outlets as Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota Public Radio, Reuters, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.

Tres Vidas

The Core Ensemble

Tuesday, October 11 | 7:00 p.m. | Polly Roesch Music Room – Visual & Performing Arts Building

Hispanic Heritage Month Event

Tres Vidas (Three Lives) is a live music theatre performance with a singing actress and pianist highlighting the lives of three legendary Latin American Women: Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, Salvadoran peasant activist Rufina Amaya and Argentine poet Alfonsina Storni. The music ranges from traditional Mexican folk and Argentine tango songs sung in Spanish to instrumental works by composers such as Astor Piazzolla and Osvaldo Golijov.

Since its founding in 1993, The Core Ensemble has been acclaimed for the development of a new genre of chamber music theatre works, as well as a long history of commissioning and performing contemporary chamber music. The Core Ensemble maintains a deep commitment to reaching the widest possible range of audiences demographically and geographically, in formats ranging from formal performance to informal lecture and educational residency programs.

 14th Annual Lincoln Legacy Lectures – Lincoln & Reconstruction: America’s Struggle for Equality

Dr. Michael Burlingame, Dr. Allen C. Guelzo, and Dr. Brooks D. Simpson

Thursday, October 20 | 7:00 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium (Overflow Seating in PAC C/D) | Arrive early for best seating.

Co-sponsored by Abraham Lincoln Association, Brookens Library Holtz Memorial Lecture, Gobberdiel Endowment, Illinois State Historical Society, Illinois State Library, Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition, NPR Illinois 91.9, Springfield Branch of the NAACP, UIS Colleges of Education and Human Services, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Public Affairs and Administration, and UIS Office of Advancement

The 2016 Lincoln Legacy Lectures will examine 1) Abraham Lincoln’s plans for Reconstruction of the nation following the end of the Civil War, including voting rights for blacks; 2) the haunting historical “what-if” question: What if Lincoln had not been assassinated? Would he have succeeded in reuniting the nation and protecting black freedom and equality? and 3) Reconstruction as a “bourgeois revolution,” an attempt to plant a Northern, capitalist society in the Confederacy, and its defeat by Southerners who re-established a feudal economy on the backs of both poor white and black labor. http://go.uis.edu/LincolnLegacyLecture

“Lincoln’s Changing Thoughts on Reconstruction”

Dr. Michael Burlingame is the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at UIS, where he has been a member of the History Department since 2009.  His two-volume biography, Abraham Lincoln: A Life won the Lincoln Prize for 2010.

“Reconstruction as a Bourgeois Revolution”

Dr. Allen C. Guelzo is the Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era, and Director of Civil War Era Studies at Gettysburg College.  He is the author of Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President (1999), Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America (2004), Gettysburg: The Last Invasion (2013), and Redeeming the Great Emancipator (2016).

“Abraham Lincoln and Reconstruction: Did Booth’s Bullet Change History?”

Dr. Brooks D. Simpson is Foundation Professor of History at Arizona State University. He is the author of The Reconstruction Presidents (1998, 2009), Union and Emancipation: Essays on Race and Politics in the Civil War Era, with David Blight (1997, 2009), and Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph over Adversity, 1822-1865 (2000).

The Townshend Moment: How Two Brothers Started an Age of Revolution

Dr. Patrick Griffin

Thursday, October 27 | 7:00 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

Co-sponsored by University of Notre Dame Hesburgh Lecture Series & Notre Dame Club of Central Illinois

This talk will explore the relationship between imperial reform and revolution in the eighteenth-century British Atlantic world by looking at the lives and experiences of two brothers: George and Charles Townshend.  The brothers tried in 1767 to transform relations between Ireland, America, and Britain, leading to political upheaval in both Ireland and the American colonies.  This talk will examine their colorful background, their vision for empire, and how their ideas led people in provinces far away to imagine new political futures.

Dr. Patrick Griffin is Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. He was named the Madden-Hennebry Professor in 2008 and chair of the History department in 2011. His work explores the intersection of colonial American and early modern Irish and British history. As such, it focuses on Atlantic-wide themes and dynamics. He has published work on the movement of peoples and cultures across the Atlantic Ocean, as well as the process of adaptation. He also examines the ways in which Ireland, Britain, and America were linked—and differed—during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He has looked at revolution and rebellion, movement and migration, and colonization and violence in each society in comparative perspective.

Social Justice Activism

Lara Trubowitz, Ph.D., Heather Dalmage, Ph.D., Larry Golden, Ph.D., Teresa Haley, Executive Director NAACP, and Pauline Kayes, Feminist Social Activist

Friday, October 28 | 1:00 p.m. | Public Affairs Center, Conference Room G

Social justice activism has played a significant role in helping our nation realize its democratic ideas.  Yet, social justice has never “rolled in on the wings of inevitability” (Martin Luther King). Throughout history, creating greater social justice in society and in its institutions has required the commitment of dedicated leaders. But who will be the leaders of tomorrow to answer this call?

In this 21st century movement for justice, suits have been traded in for hoodies, organizing pamphlets have been traded in for tweets and Facebook groups, and the single-leader mentality has been traded in for decentralized leadership strategy. In the wake of the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, protests sprung up across the world, from Ferguson to NYC, Miami to Oakland and London to Paris, and many other municipalities and towns in between.  All led by young people who felt like they could no longer sit on the sidelines. Through the sectors of activism, media, music, the arts, and politics, new leaders are emerging in this new movement translating social awareness into substantive change.

The Forum will explore social justice activism as a leadership paradigm and a pillar of knowledge and practice that has played and continues to play a significant role helping our nation realize and achieve its democratic ideas, by promoting active engagement in the civic and democratic life of our nation and communities. The Forum will be divided into two parts:

Part 1 – Panel Discussion:

The first part of the Forum will be a panel discussion lead by prominent scholars and activists in the field of social justice activism.  The panel will examine social justice activism and it’s historical, political, economic and social impact on American life through the following movements:

  • Lara Trubowitz, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Northwestern University
  • Heather Dalmage, Ph.D., Professor, Sociology and Director, Mansfield Institute for Social Justice and Transformation, Roosevelt University IL
  • Larry Golden, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Political Studies and Legal Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield and Founding Director of the Illinois Innocence Project.
  • Teresa Haley, Executive Director NAACP
  • Magic Wade, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Political Science UIS
  • Pauline Kayes, Feminist Social Activist, Professor Emeritus, Women’s Studies, Parkland College, IL

Part 2 – Workshop: Social Justice Activism – Tools for Change

Sometimes, the best way to inspire change is to confront decision makers in a concerted action. This is called social activism, and can range from organizing a letter-writing campaign to assembling tens of thousands of people in the state or national capital to protest government actions. However, creating change requires more than informing and educating those in power. It also takes a strategy to build power within one’s own community. In other words, it’s important to understand what it means to be a community organizer and activist. This workshop looks at how to organize to engage in social action – why and how to do it, when it’s appropriate, and what it might accomplish.

Facilitator: Lara Trubowitz, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Northwestern University

Social Welfare, Young Mothers, and the Failure of the System: Engaging and Changing Urban Bureaucracies

Dr. Lauren J. Silver

Tuesday, November 1 | 7:00 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

Co-sponsored by Department of Women and Gender Studies, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and College of Education and Human Services

The social welfare system can be a difficult bureaucracy to negotiate for both those people who are dependent on it and their caseworkers. The system can be especially problematic for adolescent mothers. Often labeled dependent and delinquent, these women, mostly African Americans, become wards of the state and must negotiate the silos of the welfare system to get help for themselves and their children. Using her experience as a human services program manager and researcher, Lauren Silver explores the frustrations and ingenuity of these young women in supervised independent living programs, illuminating the way restrictive public policies and confusing bureaucracies help perpetuate poverty, violence, and racial segregation. Dr. Silver will help her audience resist “media and scholarly representations that decontextualize and stereotype marginalized young people as flat, culturally deficient characters who act in violent and deceitful ways that white, middle-class citizens cannot understand.” Her commitment to social justice leads Dr. Silver to suggest ways her audience can participate in changing the system.

Dr. Lauren J. Silver is Associate Professor of Childhood Studies and an Affiliated Scholar of the Center for Urban Research and Education at Rutgers University-Camden. She holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Education, Culture, and Society from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. The topic for her lecture derives from her book, System Kids: Adolescent Mothers and the Politics of Regulation, published in 2015 by University of North Carolina Press. She is a recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Academic Civic Engagement, a Digital Teaching Fellowship, and a Dean’s Recognition for Mentoring Undergraduate Research, all at Rutgers-Camden. She also received the Rutgers University Presidential Fellowship for Teaching Excellence April 2015.

Book sales and signing will take place after the event!

Radical Presence: Black Faces, White Spaces, and Other Stories of Possibility

Dr. Carolyn Finney

Thursday, November 3 | 6:00 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

Sustainability Week Guest Lecture

This lecture will explore environmental narratives and their relation to race, identity, and decision making.  Dr. Finney argues that the legacies of slavery, Jim Crow, and racial violence have shaped cultural understandings of the “great outdoors” and determined who should and can have access to natural spaces. In her first book, Dr. Finney explored the role of memory and identity in influencing African American environmental participation, and the general disconnect between African American environmental professionals and their white counterparts regarding the perception of exclusion and racism within an environmental context. To envision a path forward, she highlights the work of African American environmentalists while exploring issues of identity, visibility, and the concept of home.

Dr. Carolyn Finney is Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at University of Kentucky. Her research explores how issues of difference impact participation in decision-making processes designed to address environmental issues. She first conducted research in Nepal, speaking with women about their experiences collecting fuel wood, fodder, and water, and the challenges of balancing traditional gender roles with immediate economic needs. In her first book, she explores the role of memory and identity in influencing African American environmental participation, and the general disconnect between African American environmental professionals and their white counterparts regarding the perception of exclusion and racism within an environmental context. Black Faces, White Spaces was published in May 2014 by UNC Press. https://geography.as.uky.edu/users/cmfi234

Shakespeare Behind Bars

Curt L. Tofteland

Monday, November 7 | 7:00 p.m. | Studio Theatre

Take Shakespeare’s final play, The Tempest, with its violent seas, windswept island, crucial connection to nature, and underlying theme of forgiveness, and bring it into a prison, the ultimate venue of confinement. The result is an extraordinary story about the creative process and the power of art to heal and redeem–in a place where the very act of participation in theatre is a human triumph and a means of personal liberation. In Hank Rogerson’s revelatory trip into and around this prison production, we embark on a year-long journey with the Shakespeare Behind Bars theatre troupe. Curt Tofteland’s innovative work with Luther Luckett inmates began in the mid-1990s, where the prisoners cast themselves in roles reflecting their personal history and fate. Their individual stories, including information about their heinous crimes, are interwoven with the plot of The Tempest as the inmates delve deeply into the characters they portray while confronting their personal demons.

Curt L. Tofteland brings thirty-eight years of professional theatre experience to his current role as a freelance theatre artist – director, actor, producer, playwright, writer, teacher, program developer, and prison arts practitioner.  He is the Founder of the internationally acclaimed Shakespeare Behind Bars (SBB) program, now in its 21st year of continuous operation.  From 1995-2008, Curt facilitated the SBB/KY program at the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex in LaGrange, Kentucky.  During his thirteen year tenure, Curt produced and directed fourteen Shakespeare productions.  Several participants in the SBB/KY program have garnered multiple Pen Literary Prison Writing Awards. http://www.shakespearebehindbars.org/about/staff/#Curt

Black Power: The Cry of Jazz

Moderated by Dr. Richard Gilman-Opalsky and Dr. Kamau Kemayo

Monday, November 14 | 6:00 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

The Cry of Jazz is a 1959 documentary film by Ed Bland that connects jazz to African American history. It has been credited with predicting the urban riots of the 1960s and 70s. In 2010, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant”. The Library of Congress had this to say of the film and its significance: “Cry of Jazz is a historic and fascinating film that comments on racism and the appropriation of jazz by those who fail to understand its artistic and cultural origins.”  Discussion will focus on how culture and artistic history have depended upon the racist appropriation of the creative work of impoverished and marginalized peoples.

Dr. Richard Gilman-Opalsky is the founder of Political Art and the Public Sphere (PAPS) series which considers how “political art” raises provocative social and political questions, and to engage in discussion with students, faculty, and members of the general public.

Dr. Kamau Kemayo is an Associate Professor of African-American Studies at UIS.