Community Conversations

Twice each quarter, EMP hosts Community Conversations, which serve as an opportunity for the entire campus community to engage in dialogue around a particular topic of interest.  Community Conversations include a brief presentation followed by student-facilitated small group dialogues.

Past Community Conversations have featured WBEZ’s Natalie Moore on the topic “Race: Out Loud” and Dr. Mark Engberg, professor at Loyola University Chicago, on the topic of “The End of Affirmative Action?”


Not In My Backyard: How Islamophobia Is Shaping American Values

Monday, February 15, 2016
6:00-8:00pm
5710 South Woodlawn

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With the rise of Trump, Islamophobia is in the news again. Talk of banning Muslims fits into a continuous history of “Othering,” xenophobia, and oppression. Is Islamophobia today the same as the xenophobia of the past? What, if anything, is unique about language of Islamophobia? Join us for a panel on these and other questions, followed by small group dialogue and dinner.

Panelists:

Jamil Khoury, Founding Artistic Director, Silk Road Rising  

Roya Naderi, Product + Social Media Manager, Karam Foundation

This event is presented in collaboration with Spiritual Life, the Logan Arts Center, and the Institute of Politics.


Voices of a Movement (with the BreakBeat Poets)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015
6:00-8:00pm
5710 South Woodlawn

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 In The BreakBeat Poets, Kevin Coval writes, “Hip-hop culture reimagines the public sphere and claims agency in sites and systems of disenfranchisement.” Led by Quraysh Ali Lansana, this public workshop will explore how hip-hop aesthetics have expanded the idea of who a poet is and what a poem is for.

The workshop will be followed by dinner and small group dialogue on how hip-hop and spoken word have shaped social movements for change.

Start the conversation early on our Facebook event page!

This event is presented in collaboration with the Creative Writing department and the Muslim Student Association (MSA).


Pop Cultural Appropriation

Monday, October 26, 2015
6:00-8:00pm
5710 South Woodlawn

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Should Miley Cyrus wear dreadlocks? Was it okay for Katy Perry to dress as a "geisha" for the 2013 AMAs...or wear cornrows in her "This Is How We Do" music video? What about using native/tribal clothing as a fashion trend?

Join us for a panel discussion on these and other questions about cultural appropriation in pop culture. The panel will be followed by student-led small group dialogues on the topic and dinner will be provided.

Start the conversation early on our Facebook event page!

This event is presented in collaboration with the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture.


The Hunting Ground: Screening and Dialogue

Film Screening - Thursday, April 30, 2015
7:00-10:00pm
Social Science Research Building, Room 122

Community Conversation - Friday, May 1, 2015
12:00-1:00pm
Community Lounge - 5710 South Woodlawn

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From the team behind THE INVISIBLE WAR, comes a startling exposé of rape crimes on U.S. campuses, institutional cover-ups and the brutal social toll on victims and their families. Weaving together verité footage and first-person testimonies, the film follows survivors as they pursue their education while fighting for justice - despite harsh retaliation, harassment and pushback at every level.

Join us the following day for a Community Conversation on how we can be agents of change on campus.

This event is presented in collaboration with the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, Resources for Sexual Violence Prevention, and the Center for Interdiscplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health.


Passing: Crossing the Boundaries of Socially Constructed Identity

Monday, April 13, 2015
6:00-8:00pm
5710 South Woodlawn

Expanding beyond racial passing, panelists will discuss the notion of "passing" for a variety of social identities, engaging participants in dialogue around identity assumptions and challenges, both personal and social, associated with passing for another social group. Dinner will be provided.

Sarah Gaither, PhD brings a background in social psychology with an emphasis on mixed-race populations, racial identity flexibility, and racial categorization and perceptions.

Kristen Schilt, PhD researches new ways to make visible the taken-for-granted cultural assumptions about gender and sexuality that serve to naturalize and reproduce social inequality.

Chase Joynt, PhD Candidate is a Toronto-based moving-image artist and writer whose work utilizes strategies of first person engagement to interrogate representations of gender and violence.


Trans(forming) History

Monday, February 23, 2015
6:00-8:00pm
Community Lounge - 5710 South Woodlawn

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André Pérez, Founder of the Trans Oral History Project, will discuss his work documenting trans peoples' lives through digital media. The Trans Oral History Project is a community-driven effort to collect and share a diverse range of stories from within the transgender and gender variant communities across the country.

This event is presented in collaboration with the Office of LGBTQ Student Life.


Justice for All?: A Dialogue on Civil Rights and Police Accountability

Tuesday, January 27, 2015
6:00-8:00pm
Ida Noyes Hall - Cloister Club, 1212 East 59th Street

Craig Futterman, Clinical Professor at the University of Chicago Law School and founder of the Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project, will discuss his work in light of current events.

Prior to his 2000 appointment to the Law School faculty, Craig Futterman was the Director of Public Interest Programs and Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School. He graduated with the highest distinction from Northwestern University in 1988, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and economics. He then graduated from Stanford Law School in 1991. Following law school, he was a trial attorney in the Juvenile Division of the Cook County Public Defender's Office. In 1994, he joined Futterman & Howard, Chtd., a boutique Chicago law firm concentrating on complex federal litigation. There, Mr. Futterman specialized in civil rights lawsuits, focusing on matters involving police brutality and racial discrimination. He has litigated a number of noteworthy cases, including Jaffee v. Redmond, 116 S.Ct. 1923, a federal civil rights suit, where Mr. Futterman successfully represented the family of an African American father shot and killed by a suburban police officer. The case also created a federal evidentiary privilege for psychotherapists and their patients. He additionally litigated People Who Care v. Rockford Board of Education, 851 F.Supp. 905 (N.D.Ill. 1994); 90 F.3d 1307 (7th Cir. 1996), 171 F.3d 1083 (7th Cir. 1999), a class action Constitutional lawsuit that demonstrated a decades-long pattern of educational discrimination and segregation which permeated almost every aspect of Rockford's school system.

This event is presented in collaboration with the University of Chicago Law School, the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, the Pozen Center for Human Rights, and the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality.


Dear White People: Racial Authenticity at Predominantly White Institutions

Monday, October 20, 2014
6:00-8:00pm
Community Lounge - 5710 South Woodlawn

Join us for a conversation on experiences of students of color at predominantly white institutions, featuring Dr. Myles Durkee. Attendees will receive a free ticket to a screening of Dear White People at Harper Theatre.

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For information on additional events related to the film, please visit omsa.uchicago.edu/dwp

This event is presented in collaboration with Doc Films.


Is Solidarity Just for White Women?: A Community Conversation on the Role of Women of Color in the Feminist Movement

Monday, April 7, 2014
6:00-8:00pm
5710 South Woodlawn

Following recent hashtag trends, such as #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen and #FemFuture, join us for a panel discussion featuring:

Alisha Lola Jones - CSRPC Residential Fellow and PhD Candidate in Ethnomusicology.  Named “Top 30, under 30″ by DC’s 93.9 WKYS FM and “Living Legend” by the LadyDiva Corp., Chicagoan Alisha Lola Jones, is a voice charming the nation in message and music, as she re-teaches our communities their loveliness. A social entrepreneur, theological thought-leader, speaker, engaged ethnomusicologist and Highest & Best Life Strategist™, she innovatively enlarges your capacity to do all things well. With both head and heart, her multiple interests have coalesced into the establishment of InSight Initiative, Inc ™ to primarily answer inter-cultural questions through the InSights found in faith, art, social justice and direct action. 

Mikki Kendall - a writer, wife, mom and public speaker who can be seen performing occasional acts of feminism online and off. The native Chicagoan, creator of #solidarityisforwhitewomen and #fasttailedgirls, has written for a number of publications, including the Guardian, Salon, NPR's Code Switch, and RH Reality Check. She is Co-founder of HoodFeminism.com, a site dedicated to amplifying marginalized voices generally overlooked in the mainstream movement. A lover of speculative fiction, Kendall has several published short stories under her belt and speaks at various cons, including WisCon, the country's longest-running feminist sci-fi convention. She has also spoken at places like Stanford University, University of Chicago, and Young Democratic Socialists of America on a variety of social justice issues, from food instability to public education to race and representation in the media.


The Color of Faith: A Community Conversation on Race and Religion

Monday, November 4, 2013
6:00-8:00pm
5710 South Woodlawn

A panel discussion on the intersections of racial and religious identities featuring:

Rev. Wesley Sun - who currently serves as Director of Field Education and Community Engagement at the Divinity School. He is an ordained American Baptist minister.

Hind Makki - a social activist and writer whose work has been featured in the New York Times. Hind writes a blog, Hindtrospectives, which focuses on Islam, the West, and pop culture.


"No Such Thing as Closure": A Community Conversation on Youth Violence

Monday, October 14, 2013
6:00-8:00pm
5710 South Woodlawn

Following the tragic death of their 15-year-old daughter, Hadiya Pendleton's parents stated, "There is no such thing as closure".  This dialogue will focus on the systemic causes of youth violence and strategies for action, featuring journalist Natalie Moore.  Natalie Moore is an urban affairs reporter for Chicago Public Media.  She has been a reporter for the Detroit News, St. Paul Pioneer Press, and the Associated Press in Jerusalem.  She is coauthor of the books The Almighty Black P Stone Nation and Deconstructing Tyrone: A New Look at Black Masculinity in the Hip-Hop Generation.