Spring 2018 Events

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ECCE Speaker Series Community Event Schedule

All events are free and open to the public. Individuals with disabilities who anticipate the need for accommodations should contact the UIS Speaker Series Office at 217/206-8507 or speakerseries@uis.edu in advance. Students currently enrolled in UNI 301: ECCE Speaker Series should refer to the event schedule posted on their course Blackboard site.

Spring 2018 COMMUNITY Event Schedule (PDF printable version)

From Racial Hatred to Rational Love: Confessions of a Former White Supremacist

Joseph Pearce

Thursday, February 1 | 7:00 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

Co-Sponsored by the Catholic Student Organization, UIS Diversity Center, and NPR Illinois / 91.9 UIS

Joseph Pearce’s talk will take the audience through his journey from racist revolutionary to his rejection of that ideology. Before he became a well-known college professor of literature, Pearce was a leader of the National Front, a British-nationalist, white-supremacist group. Pearce will chronicle his life from disseminating literature extolling the virtues of the white race, to organizing pro-fascist concerts and brawling on the streets, to his imprisonment for inciting racial hatred, and finally to the role that important literary figures played in his conversion from from radical revolutionary to Catholic author.

Joseph Pearce is Tolkien & Lewis Chair in Literary Studies at Holy Apostles College & Seminary and Senior Editor at the Augustine Institute. He is editor of the St. Austin Review,series editor of the Ignatius Critical Editions, and executive director of Catholic Courses. Hisbooks include The Quest for Shakespeare, Tolkien: Man and Myth, The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde, C. S. Lewis and The Catholic Church, Literary Converts, Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G.K. Chesterton, Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile, and Old Thunder: A Life of Hilaire Belloc.

Protest: As American As Apple Pie


Tuesday, February 6 | 6:00 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

Co-Sponsored by UIS Diversity Center

Protest is as American as apple pie, baseball, rock and roll, and Broadway. From the Boston Tea Party to the national anthem kneel, protest has been a part of America since its founding. Protest has been used in various ways throughout history and has served different functions. This interdisciplinary panel of UIS faculty will explore American protest from historical, legal, and social perspectives. These lenses will serve to contextualize modern protest movements, including the benefit they provide for all citizens.

UIS Panelists:

  • Devin Hunter, Assistant Professor of History
  • Tiffani Saunders, Lecturer of Sociology/Anthropology and African American Studies
  • Yona Stamatis, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology
  • Ann Strahle, Associate Professor of Communications

The HealthSouth Fraud: A Case of Ethical Malpractice

Weston Smith

Wednesday, February 21 | 6:00 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

Weston Smith will tell the behind the scenes story of HealthSouth Corporation and the corporate culture motivating its financial statement fraud. The fraud went undetected for over fifteen years. Eventually Mr. Smith voluntarily exposed the fraud and accepted the consequences of his own actions. At the end of the day, the fraud occurred because of a lack of commitment to ethics. The unethical behavior didn’t just effect shareholders, but had negative implications on everyday people throughout our society. Weston illustrates that business ethics is solely a label. Rather, we must be committed to ethics in everything we do throughout our lives and hold those we surround ourselves with to the same standards.

Weston Smith began his career as a CPA with Ernst & Young, specializing in audit and healthcare consulting. He was hired by HealthSouth during it’s infancy, and ultimately became CFO of the company with over 2,000 locations in all 50 states and five countries. However, underneath the persona of success, Mr. Smith was a participant in a financial statement fraud that ran for over 15 years, with an earnings overstatement of over Three Billion dollars. Weston eventually voluntarily exposed the fraud, accepted the consequences of his former actions, and testified against the former CEO of HealthSouth, Richard Scrushy, in his criminal trial. Today, in addition to working as an accountant for small businesses, Mr. Smith is a guest lecturer with an emphasis on fraud prevention and ethical conduct. He has been published in Issues in Accounting Education, and has spoken at universities and numerous professional groups across the country and internationally. He has also appeared on CNBC, Fox Business Network, and other media outlets.

Welcome to America: Immigration Simulation

Anette Sikka

Thursday, March 1 | 5:30 p.m. | PAC C/D

Co-Sponsored by Department of Residence Life, Organization of Latin American Students, Gamma Phi Omega International Sorority, Inc., Pre-Law program, and H.E.L.P Taskforce

Would you like to immigrate into the United States of America? Step into the shoes of an individual seeking to immigrate to the U.S. Explore how U.S. immigration works, its complications. This simulation gives you a chance to “get in line” to come to the U.S. to work, as a student, or just to visit and see the world’s biggest cheeseburger with your friends.

Think you have what it takes to become American? Did You Know…

  • The Diversity Visa (Green Card Lottery) program was started to help undocumented Irish people living in the United States become “legal”?
  • The U.S. issued green cards to nearly 1 million applicants last year. (More than 6 million applications were submitted).
  • More than half of the people living in the U.S. who are “undocumented” entered the United States legally and overstayed their visas, rather than illegally crossing the border? And that percentage is increasing each year?

Dr. Anette Sikka teaches primarily in the fields of International and Immigration Law. She completed her J.D. at Dalhousie University in Canada in 2001 and her Ph.D. from the University of Ottawa in 2014 on human trafficking programming. She is licensed to practice in Ontario, Canada and in Alabama where she continues to consult on immigration cases. Her research focuses on immigration reform and criminal justice, race/class/gender approaches to security, and international rule of law programming. Dr. Sikka worked for the United Nations in Bosnia and Kosovo from 2001 until 2006 training police and prosecutors on gender and operational policy and since 2007 has worked as a consultant providing research and training on security sector reform and refugee issues in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Black Children in Hollywood Cinema

Debbie Olson

Tuesday, March 6 | 4:00 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

This lecture examines the relationship between how African American children are depicted in popular media and how black children in the United States are often considered prone to violence and criminality. It discusses the notion of the child, its universal construction, and the erasure of the black child from Hollywood cinema. Discussions about children of color among scholars often take place within contexts such as crime, drugs, urbanization, poverty, or lack of education that tend to reinforce historical stereotypes about African Americans. This study addresses the significance of the image of the black child to the current cultural construction of childhood. How does the image of the black child affirm or subvert popular notions of childhood in contemporary American society? Do prevalent black “gangsta” images help inform cultural perceptions of black children? Does the historical image of the African child inform those of the African American child?

Debbie Olson, PhD, is assistant professor of English at Missouri Valley College. Her research interests include images of African/African American children in films and television, critical race theory, cultural studies, and children in New Hollywood film. Her books include: (with Andrew Scahill) Lost and Othered Children in Contemporary Cinema (Lexington 2012) and (with Vibiana Bowman Cvetkovic) Portrayals of Children in Popular Culture: Fleeting Images (Lexington 2013), The Child in the Films of Alfred Hitchcock (Palgrave 2014), The Child in Post-Apocalyptic Cinema (Lexington 2015). Her first monograph, The Black Child in Hollywood Cinema: Cast in Shadow (forthcoming Palgrave 2017) examines the black child in popular Hollywood cinema.

Clinica de Migrantes: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Steve Larson

Wednesday, March 21 | 4:00 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

Co-Sponsored by UIS Diversity Center, Department of Public Health, and Legal Studies

Clinica de Migrantes is a documentary about a year in the life of Puentes de Salud, one of the only health clinics in the U.S. involved in the politically controversial practice of providing healthcare to undocumented immigrants. By law, illegal immigrants cannot obtain health insurance, and receive no regular medical treatment. At the clinic, a team of volunteers led by Dr. Steve Larson attend to an ever-growing population of housekeepers, prep cooks, and construction workers. Many come to Puentes after being turned away at other hospitals. The short film Clinica de Migrantes tells the story of America’s true untouchable class and of the heroic few who reach out to help them. The film won the Norman Vaughan Indomitable Spirit Award at the Telluride Mountain Film Festival in 2016 and the Jury Award for Best Short at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in 2016. After the film, Dr. Larson will lead a discussion and answer questions.

Dr. Steve Larson is an Associated Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Assistant Dean for Community Outreach at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He founded the Puentes de Salud medical clinic for undocumented and uninsured individuals that is featured in Clinica de Migrantes.

Weapons of Math Destruction

Cathy O’Neil 

Tuesday, March 27 | 7:00 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

Cathy O’Neil, former Wall Street quant and math whiz, in Weapons of Math Destruction will discuss how big data, while utilized in so many valuable ways, can threaten our democratic principles. In this National Book Award nominee, she tackles getting a job, credit ratings, college rankings, home loans, the justice system, and even the effects of social media on our elections. Published before the 2016 elections, she’s had more to say on the last topic in interviews and on her own social media platforms, as she continues to speak on the probabilities and perils of big data. According to the New York Times, “Her knowledge of the power and risks of mathematical models, coupled with a gift for analogy, makes her one of the most valuable observers of the continuing weaponization of big data… does a masterly job explaining the pervasiveness and risks of the algorithms that regulate our lives.”

Cathy O’Neil (UC Berkeley, Harvard Ph.D. ’99) held positions in the mathematics departments at MIT and Barnard College. After leaving academia in 2007 she worked for a hedge fund, but became involved with the Occupy Wall Street movement and its Alternative Banking Group. Author or co-author of a number of books on data science, her book Weapons of Math Destruction was published in 2016 and was nominated for the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction. O’Neil blogs at mathbabe.org and can be followed on twitter @mathbabedotorg.

Being Color Brave Rather than Colorblind: Forming a Racially-inclusive Sociological


Rashawn Ray

Friday, April 6 | 1:00 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

2018 STARS Symposium Keynote Speaker

Co-Sponsored by Criminology/Criminal Justice Department, Psychology Department, and UIS Diversity Center

From mass shootings to police killings to hate crimes to a rise in sexual harassment and assault allegations, the United States is witnessing what seems like an unprecedented number of violent and divisive incidents. During this #BlackLivesMatter movement, political polarization from Capitol Hill to the NFL is at one of the highest levels in our country’s history and social media seem to simply be another mechanism to segregate and isolate rather than unify. Simply put, America is grappling with its social and cultural norms, and subsequently social policies that support these changing norms. So, how do we create civility and tolerance in an uncivil and intolerant society? Dr. Ray lays out five steps—1) Developing a holistic life perspective; 2) Identifying trust points; 3) Reducing implicit bias; 4) Creating brave spaces; 5) Engaging in racial uplift activism—for forming a racially-inclusive sociological imagination. These steps help to change our everyday social interactions as well as the policies that seem to augment hate speech. The presentation will conclude by discussing how to form solidarity and build coalitions across racial/ethnic and gender identities. Participants will leave with strategies to combat race and gender inequality in a socially-conscious manner.

Dr. Rashawn Ray is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the author of Race and Ethnic Relations in the 21st Century: History, Theory, Institutions, and Policy. His work has appeared in journals including the Annual Review of Public Health, Journal of Urban Health, American Education Research Journal, Ethnic and Racial Studies, and the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. Ray has a forthcoming book, Bordering Chaos: Family and Work in a Racially-Diverse America, with Dr. Pam Jackson. Previously, Ray served on the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington Planning Committee. Ray is a frequent contributor to the New York Times and has also written for Huffington Post.

Helping Children and Families Recover from Trauma

Julian Ford

Wednesday, April 11 | 5:30 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

Co-Sponsored by CAST Advisory Board

A decade of work by a multidisciplinary team of state and local officials, attorneys, judges, program administrators and staff, behavioral health professionals, and youth and families who have joined together to form the Center for Trauma Recovery and Juvenile Justice in the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) is described in this presentation. Measurable results are summarized showing that these efforts from within and from outside the justice, judicial, and law enforcement systems, and associated child- and family-servicing systems such as schools and child welfare, have resulted in sustained a paradigm shift toward trauma-informed services which can be replicated nationally.

Dr. Julian Ford is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Director of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network Center for Trauma Recovery and Juvenile Justice. Dr. Ford developed the evidence-based TARGET CT recovery model that has been implemented in all sectors of the workforce in juvenile justice, child welfare, and residential treatment settings. He has authored or edited 10 books and more than 200 articles and chapters in the traumatic stress field, and co-developed the Traumatic Events Screening Inventory for Children (TESI). Dr. Ford co-leads the NCTSN DTD initiative.

Climate Change as a Civil and Human Rights Issue

Jaqueline Patterson

Monday, April 16 | 7:30 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

Earth Week Keynote Address

Co-Sponsored by World Affairs Council of Central Illinois, UIS Campus Senate Committee on Sustainability, and NPR Illinois / 91.9 UIS

As the Director of the NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program, Jacqueline Patterson works with community leaders in the United States and around the world to address climate change as a human and civil rights issue. Research demonstrates that climate change does not and will not affect all communities equally. People of color, low income communities, and women are more vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change. Patterson will discuss why climate change is an important human and civil rights issue, and she will explain how the NAACP is working to empower community leaders to address the causes of climate change, rectify its impacts, and advance a global society that fosters sustainable, cooperative, regenerative communities.

Jacqueline Patterson is the Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program. Since 2007 Patterson has served as coordinator & co-founder of Women of Color United. Jacqui Patterson has worked as a researcher, program manager, coordinator, advocate and activist working on women‘s rights, violence against women, HIV&AIDS, racial justice, economic justice, and environmental and climate justice. Patterson holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University. She currently serves on the International Committee of the US Social Forum, the Steering Committee for Interfaith Moral Action on Climate, Advisory Board for Center for Earth Ethics as well as on the Boards of Directors for the Institute of the Black World, Center for Story Based Strategy and the US Climate Action Network. She also served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica, West Indies.

Long Distance: Poetry, Empathy, and Social Justice

Aloisa Amezcua

Thursday, April 19 | 7:00 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium

Co-Sponsored by College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Brookens Library

Eloisa Amezcua will read poetry examining issues of identity, culture, the feminine body, and migration/immigration. Her presentation will investigate how we can engage with each other in an empathetic, socially responsible way when separated by language, geography, and generational difference.

Eloisa Amezcua’s debut collection, From the Inside Quietly, is the inaugural winner of the Shelterbelt Poetry Prize selected by Ada Limón. She is the author of three chapbooks, including Mexicameriana and On Not Screaming, and is the founder and editor of The Shallow Ends: A Journal of Poetry. She holds an MFA from Emerson College in Boston and has received fellowships and scholarships from the MacDowell Colony, the Fine Arts Work Center, and the Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference, among others.