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October 29, 2007

Halloween and race

According to an Associated Press poll, parents of color are les likely than Whites to allow their children to go trick-or-treating on Halloween.

October 26, 2007

African American class differences

The Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder has posted an interesting article about socio-economic class differences within the Twin Cities African American community.

October 24, 2007

UMore Park campus forums

The university community is invited to upcoming campus forums on November 8 and 9 to discuss a University of Minnesota vision for a vibrant, culturally rich, sustainable community of 20,000 to 30,000 people that leverages the University's academic mission strengths. Consider ways that research, teaching and learning, and public engagement -- especially as they relate to education, energy, the environment, transportation, health and interdisciplinary opportunities, such as arts and culture, housing and other issues -- can improve quality of life for citizens, the new community and the broader region.

The University has initiated a concept master planning process to guide the development of a new community on 5,000 acres of University-owned property in Dakota County. Currently called the University of Minnesota Outreach, Research and Education (UMore) Park, the new community is being developed through a charge by the University's Board of Regents. Development will occur over 25 to 30 years. See the UMore Park website for information on the vision and planning process.

Campus forum dates/places:

  • Thursday, Nov. 8, 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., North Star Ballroom, 2nd Floor, St. Paul Campus Student Center, St. Paul campus.
  • Friday, Nov. 9, 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., The Theater, 1st Floor, Coffman Memorial Union, Minneapolis campus.

Please confirm your attendance by registering on the website at the campus forums website. Forum agendas, drafts of the six task force reports, and related information can also be viewed at this site.

October 21, 2007

Ellen Ndeshi Namhila lecture

On Tuesday, October 23 Ellen Ndeshi Namhila will present "Memories of the Struggle Against Apartheid" at 3:15 in the Ford Room (710 Social Sciences Tower).

Ellen Ndeshi Namhila is the author of The Price of Freedom, her autobiography which was published in 1997. This autobiography is based on Ellen's experiences during Namibia's struggle for freedom and independence from the South African apartheid regime. She left Namibia in 1976 at the age of 12 to join the liberation struggle in exile.

In her talk, Ellen will relate to us part of her story as a refugee, living in exile, and what it meant to her. She will share with the audience some of her reasons for writing the Price of Freedom, the questions the book is asking, and whether she would ask the same questions if she were to write this book today, 10 years later. She will also discuss what writing this book has meant for her, the impact of the book, and how she dealt with public response. Lastly, Ellen will talk about her work in progress about the role of women in the liberation struggle of Namibia, based on oral history research.

For more information contact the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change at 612-624-0832 or icgc@umn.edu.

October 19, 2007

10/24 film event: The Devil Came on Horseback

Film Event: The Devil Came on Horseback
With author Brian Steidle

Date: October 24, 2007
Place: Room 25, University of Minnesota Law School
Time: 6:30PM (reception), 7:00PM (film)

Marine Captain Brian Steidle is an unlikely hero. Not because he isn't brave; he has shown courage under fire. But Steidle's accomplishment is entirely unexpected; he is a soldier who is learning to change the world through peaceful means.

The subject is Darfur. The journey takes places over the course of 18 months. Steidle went to Sudan as an unarmed military observer working for the African Union. He left as a witness to what many believe is genocide in the western Darfur region, a conflict that has claimed 400,000 lives and displaced 2.5 million people. In the transformation from soldier to observer to witness and activist, we see a man at first confounded by his naivete and the confronted by the urgency of a humanitarian catastrophe that he sees unfolding firsthand.

An everyman figure, Steidle is initially unequipped to absorb the horror around him. Like many, he would rather not engage with something so incomprehensible and terrible. But he does, and Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern's (co-directors of the award winning documentary The Trials of Darryl Hunt) astonishing film journeys from Darfur to the United States, then to Chad, Rwanda, and finally the United States again. His odyssey becomes ours as the more than 1,000 photographs he took become evidence of a crisis that cannot be denied.

The Law School is located at 229 19th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55455. This event is sponsored by the Human Rights Center, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the Minnesota International Center. For more information please contact the Human Rights Center at humanrts@umn.edu or 612-626-0041.

October 18, 2007

A history of rope

Leonard Pitts' Miami Herald op-ed piece on "A history of rope" is being widely posted to the Net, such as on TheState.com. Pitts argues, "you might say the country has changed since [the early 1900s], and it has. The problem is, it's changing again." Indeed.

AA&AS Outreach Coordinator

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities seeks outstanding candidates for a community outreach coordinator. The community outreach coordinator will enhance the department and college's role and profile as a partner with communities of color in Minnesota, particularly with African American and immigrant African communities, and serve as a liaison connecting the community to the department and college's teaching, service, and research resources. The coordinator will also create and nurture a network of relationships that link the department and college to the community by providing internship and service learning opportunities for CLA students as well as research and service opportunities to our faculty. The coordinator will establish relationships with schools, workplaces, after-school programs, service agencies, and local community colleges to increase awareness of the University's commitment to diversity. Other roles and duties may also be assigned.

Required qualifications: a bachelor's degree; three years relevant experience in program or project coordination; demonstrated written and oral communication skills; demonstrated success working in a team setting; experience with African and/or African American communities; and proficient computer skills (word processing, email, and web searching). Must be able to travel using own transportation.

Desired qualifications: master's degree; knowledge of K-12 school demographics and issues impacting Minnesota communities of color; demonstrated ability to prioritize and balance multiple tasks and responsibilities; ability to work well and communicate effectively (both verbally and in writing) with diverse populations, including students, members of the faculty, and community members; knowledge and experience with higher education structures, policies, and procedures; demonstrated ability to learn and disseminate detailed information using a high level of interpersonal skills; demonstrated ability to work independently, collaboratively, and under supervision; familiarity with liberal arts programs and with university-wide student support services; and strong writing skills to include editing and presentation layout.

Applications (resume, cover letter, and 3 references) will be accepted online.

October 15, 2007

October 17 "Coffee Hour" presentation

On Wednesday, October 17, Keith Mayes will present "'To Put Down Crazy Cracker Celebrations': Toward a Theory of Black Holidays and the Logic of Holiday Placement and Calendar Protest" from 2-3:30 in the Geneva H. Southall Library (Social Sciences Tower 815). [Presentation Abstract]

Mayes will examine the black attempt to de-center white holidays from the American calendar and create a distinctly African American one. His talk will explore the politics of calendar space and how African-Americans attempted to perennialize their struggle. Holidays and the calendar that annually present them to the public are not solely times of leisure and celebration, of gaiety and frivolity. Holidays are political, and the calendar represents a site of struggle, of contestation and defeat, sometimes victory and triumph. Hence, the American calendar is worth exploring. Deconstructing the calendar allows us to enlarge our understanding of the spatial arrangements of social movements, to take our eye off of the street, the legislature, and the judiciary for a moment and to discover other "spaces" of political activity. If we understand the calendar not as a series of days but as spaces to be filled up and occupied by groups in society, then the calendar takes on new meaning. Days on the calendar are manifestations of power; they represent a form of cultural and community property. Claimants to the calendar have been both dominant and subordinate groups who have "filled up," or to use a more apt term, "politicized" the calendar through the creation of their holidays. Though the holidays of subordinate groups have been initiated, developed, and in many cases, sustained throughout the years, the acceptance of some holidays and the rejection of others speak to who really owns and controls calendar space in American life and culture.

October 10, 2007

Jena 6 protest planning meeting

On Saturday, October 13, a statewide protest planning meeting about Jena 6 injustices will be held from 1:00-4:00 PM at the Minneapolis Urban League, 2100 Plymouth Ave. N.

guest speaker in SWAH 3225/4225

On Thursday, October 11, a guest speaker will visit the department's Intermediate Swahili class (SWAH 3225/4225). The speaker will present a general talk on poverty in Kenya and Uganda, as noted below. All are welcome to attend.

Speaker: Mary Whelan
Topic: Issues of poverty in Kenya and Uganda
Date: Thursday, October 11, 2007
Place: Bell Museum Auditorium
Time: 2:10 p.m.

October 8, 2007

a distraction from real issues

A cross-burning hoax has fueled misconceptions that there are no significant race problems in Minnesota, which may cause people enduring legitimate racial discrimination to become more reluctant to report it to the police.

October 3, 2007

"The World Is My Home-The Life Of Paul Robeson"

On October 3, 2007 the Black Student Union is hosting a play. Here is an announcement:

Theatre enthusiasts, history buffs, faculty, staff, students and community members, The University of Minnesota Black Student Union would like to remind you and cordially invite you to Stogie Kenyatta's Acclaimed One Man Show, "The World Is My Home-The Life Of Paul Robeson." The play is (Today) Wednesday October 3rd at 7:00PM in Coffman Theatre and it is totally free.

Paul Robeson was a multi-lingual American actor, athlete, Socialist, bass-baritone concert singer, writer, civil rights activist, Fellow traveler, Spingarn Medal winner, a Brother of Alpha Phi Alpha, and a Stalin Peace Prize laureate. Kenyatta travels all across the country doing this show about the life of the great Paul Robeson. This event is completely FREE and you will leave amazed. Don't pass up this FREE grade A performance!!!

Please let your students, colleagues, and friends know about tonight's performance as it is a chance to learn about American History and enjoy fine theatre.

October 2, 2007

Swahil Teaching Specialist/Lecturer

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities seeks outstanding candidates for a Teaching Specialist/Lecturer position in Swahili for the Spring Semester 2008 and thereafter in the Department of African American & African Studies. The candidate selected will teach up to six courses annually: Beginning Swahili (I and II), Intermediate Swahili (I and II), and possibly two courses that focus on African Studies in those regions where Swahili is spoken. In addition, the candidate selected will advise students and hold office hours. Other Responsibilities might include providing service to the department, College, and University. This is a 9 month annual renewable position.

Required Qualifications: Masters Degree in relevant field or equivalent, two years of foreign language teaching experience, native or near-native fluency in Swahili and English, and a background in foreign language pedagogy.

Preferred Qualifications: Ph.D. candidates (or equivalent) in Swahili, Linguistics, Foreign Language Education or another relevant field; expertise teaching multiple sections of Swahili in a large public American University; background in second language acquisition, proficiency-based teaching, or computer-assisted language learning (CALL) and other technological applications; and a record of research publication. Any further questions please call African American & African Studies, College of Liberal Arts, 612-624-9847. To apply visit the U of M employment website and search for requisition # 151276, or send resume, cover letter, and list of 3 references to African American & African Studies, 267 19th Avenue South, 808 Social Sciences Bldg., Minneapolis, MN 55455. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.