Eastern Michigan University

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MLK 2015 Academic Programs, Monday January 19

Social Justice and Survival: New Research by EMU McNair Scholars
Student Center, Room 320 (2:00 - 2:50 pm)
Participants:  Mikki Smith, Brialle Ringer, Timothy Harrison

Three McNair Scholars will share their current research on issues of social justice:  (1) Mikki Smith: "A Generation at Risk: The Ties Between Zero Tolerance and the Prison Pipeline"; (2) Brialle Ringer: "Innovative Sexually Transmitted Infection Prevention-Intervention for African-American Adolescent Girls," and (3) Timothy Harrison: "The Role of Non-Cognitive Abilities in the Success of African-American College Students."


Building Bridges Between Israelis and Palestinians
Student Center, Room 330 (2:00 - 2:50 pm)

Participants: Kate Mehuron (Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences); Adnan Salhi (Professor of Communications, Henry Ford Community College); Manal Yazbak (Lecturer in Education, Sakhnin Academic College and David Yellin College) and Mark Whitters (Lecturer in History, EMU)

The Israeli-Palestinian differences seem like an intractable problem with interminable conflict.  In this session, we will ask if there is a way for both sides to understand each other and begin to live together.  What lessons can we learn from these differences in a faraway land about our differences here in the U.S.?  What lessons can we offer to a faraway land about how to work out differences among peoples?


Someone Please Call 911: Police Brutality and the Black Community
Student Center, Room 360 (2:00 - 2:50 pm)

Participants: Satasade Roberts, Sydnee Dunson, Christina Payton-Rice, Tria Casterlow

This session is designed to educate and bring awareness to the issue of police brutality and how it is affecting the black community, the effect it is having on the nation, what needs to be done and how to rebuild the broken relationships between the Black community and law enforcement.


Water is a Human Right! The Struggle for Affordable Water in Detroit and Your Community
Student Center, Room 350 (2:00 -2:50 pm)
Participants: Dr. Ann Rall, Assistant Professor, EMU School of Social Work

In the past decade, residents of southeast Michigan have faced increasingly unaffordable water bills. Thousands have suffered the pain and humiliation of having their water shut off. This session will discuss the movement that has arisen to demand access to water as a human right.


The African/African-American Divide
Student Center, Room 352 (2:00 - 2:50 pm)
Participants: Dina Nasari, Darius Simpson, Michael Wood, Durrell Jamerson-Barnes, Krystal Bush and Dr. Victor Okafor (Africology and African-American Studies, EMU)

This session allows interested individuals to join in a group discussion focusing on perceived differences between Africans and African-Americans. Panelists will encourage dialogue and help direct the audience toward solutions to address the issues of disunity.


Enhancing Institutional Capacity: Transforming EMU into a Thought Leading Center
Student Center, Room 310B (2:00 - 2:50 pm)
Participants: Dr. Jerlando Jackson, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Dr. Raul Leon, Eastern Michigan University and Dr. Lavar Charleston, University of Wisconsin-Madison

This session focuses on the work of the College of Education's Michael Morris Endowed Chair, a project designed to help EMU retain and graduate more Black male students. Components of the project include:

1. Enhancing the institutional understanding of the status of males of color at EMU;
2. Enhancing the institutional understanding of the campus climate experience for Black males at EMU; and
3. Discussing successful engagement and retention strategies for Black males within the context of EMU.


Devising Change: Developing Youth Voice through Interactive Theatre
Student Center, Room 310A (2:00 - 2:50 pm and 3:00 - 3:50 pm)
Participants: Katie'B Jarvis, Mark Isler, Xavier Kimbrorgh, Matthew Neuvirth, Britney Winn

Youth who participate in CrossTown Theatre come from high schools in southeast Michigan and have the opportunity to learn improvisational skills, interactive theatre and gain an understanding of theatre for social change within their communities. Students will showcase self-created performances and CrossTown Teaching Artists and students will lead attendees through a hands-on workshop aimed at developing theatre for social change.


Who are We in America? 
Student Center, Room 301 (2:00 - 2:50 pm and 3:00 - 3:50 pm)
Participants: Candace Nash, Javon Greer, Ahmad A. Rahman, Ph.D. (Assoc. Professor of History, University of Michigan-Dearborn and former Black Panther)

The aim of this session is to highlight the identity crisis plaguing minorities, specifically African-Americans, in this country. The panel will pose several questions, which will allow the audience to consider various aspects of what it means to be a minority living in America. Each question will be followed by a discussion and action ideas from the audience.


Working with Black Males on Campus: Learning from the Experiences of Faculty and Staff 
Student Center, Room 310 B (3:00 - 3:50 pm)
Participants: Dr. Jerlando Jackson, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Dr. Raul Leon, Eastern Michigan University and Dr. Lavar Charleston, University of Wisconsin-Madison

This session seeks to plant the seed for thoughtful work, discussing the impact that faculty and staff can have on the experiences of Black males on campus. The speakers will facilitate the conversation sharing research and expertise about developing sustainable strategies with regard to equity and diversity at institutions of higher education. This session is targeted toward faculty and staff only.


Ypsi Lives: Stories of Struggles for Social Justice 
Student Center, Room 320 (3:00 - 3:50 pm)
Participants: Amanda Edmonds, Mayor of Ypsilanti; Derrick Jackson, Director of Community Engagement, Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office; Jimmy F. Moore, Retired Ypsilanti Police Chief and Lecturer, Criminology; and Yvonne Willis Dulin, civil rights and community activist and former Lecturer, Social Work

This presentation is a joint venture between the EMU School of Social Work and the Community Engagement Group that has formed with the mission of building stronger bonds between Ypsilanti and Eastern Michigan University. An intergenerational panel of community activists will tell personal stories of the struggle for social justice in Ypsilanti. Student leaders will then respond to the panel stories. The audience will also learn more about the Community Engagement Group.


Ferguson, Public Perceptions of Justice and the Dreams of Martin Luther King, Jr. 
Student Center, Room 352 (3:00 - 3:50 pm)
Participants: Dr. Victor Okafor (Africology and African-American Studies, EMU)

This session will reflect on the Ferguson, Missouri controversy and examine how U.S. communities reacted to the November 2014 grand jury decision not to prosecute the police officer who killed unarmed Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teen. It will also analyze what Ferguson and subsequent protests symbolize about the extent to which related dreams of the Civil Rights Movement have or have not been fully achieved with the goal of charting the way forward.


Addressing the Illusion: Privatization of Prisons, Felonies as the New Jim Crow, and the Media as a Catalyst for Change
Student Center, Room 350 (3:00 - 3:50 pm)
Participants: Claudia Young, Public Action Committee for Justice; Honorable Deborah Thomas (Judge, 3rd Circuit Court, Wayne County, Michigan); Bankole Thompson (Editor of the Michigan Chronicle)

This session will educate the audience on a number of issues including private prisons, how felonies are now the New Jim Crow and the use of the media as a change agent.


Stand Your Ground 
Student Center, Room 330 (3:00 - 3:50 pm)
Participants: Patricia Jackson, BSW (Moderator); Lefiest H. Galimore, MSW/MA and Statewide Coordinator of MC; State Senator Rebekah Warren (18th District, Washtenaw County); Rev. Jerry Hatter (Pastor, Brown Chapel AME Church, Ypsilanti, MI); Sydney Dunson (EMU Student); Ella Moton-Greene, Black Social Workers/ NAACP Flint, MI

This session focuses on educating citizens of Michigan about the detrimental impact of PA 309, Michigan's version of the Stand Your Ground Law, continuing to develop a support system for State Senator Rebekah Warren as she introduces a senate bill to repeal it, and creating collaborations among organizations, law makers and educators in an effort to develop strategies that will facilitate the repeal of this draconian law.


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