Full Slate of Events Planned for Metanoia

All hands together, united for racial equality. (Getty Image)
All hands together, united for racial equality. (Getty Image)

In keeping with the UConn tradition of Metanoia, the University has designated Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, as a day of reflection, learning, sharing, and transformation focused on confronting racism in our university, our state, and our nation.  Please join us as together, we confront racism.

While “Together: Confronting Racism” was initiated in response to the outbursts of violent white supremacy epitomized by the events in Charlottesville this past August, a review of the history of Metanoia at UConn reveals that the subject of race and racism is perennial. This signals that racism is not a “problem” to be “solved,” but a fundamental part of our history and contemporary society for which we must take responsibility. This semester, we will once again attend to this basic fact of American life and we seek innovative and effective ways of addressing issues such as white supremacy, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, nativism, and colonialism.

For more about the history of Metanoia at the University, read the UConn Today story Metanoia: A UConn Tradition.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS, Wednesday, Nov. 8 

The information on this list was updated after publication, and was current as of 10 a.m., Nov. 6. If you are planning to attend one of these events, check for any further updates at together.uconn.edu or contact together@uconn.edu.

What: The Diversity Bookshelf: The Story of Race in Books
Where: Homer Babbidge Library, Level 1
Organizers: Roger Brisson and Marisol Ramos, University Libraries
Description:  Visit this exhibit and slide presentation of the library’s interdisciplinary collection of significant recent books on the study of race and racism.

What: How Has Racism Affected Your Life?
Where: Storrs Campus
Organizers: United to End Racism
Description: Throughout the day, members of United Against Racism will engage members of the UConn community in one-on-one conversations about their experiences of racism, listening to people from all backgrounds and posing the question, “How has racism affected your life?”  Look for us in the UER T-shirts!

What: School of Nursing Clinical Placement Dialogue Sessions
Where: Nursing Field Placement Sites
Organizers: School of Nursing
Description: Throughout the day, faculty will lead Nursing students in critical dialogue sessions about the role of race and racism in their personal, educational, and professional experiences.

When: 9-10 a.m.
What: Line of Inequity
Where: Founder’s Green (near Austin Building); rain location: Hawley Armory
Organizers: Amberleigh Delgado
Description: This interactive activity will provide participants with the opportunity to think about power, class, education, race, and socioeconomic status and how each of these things impact our level of privilege in society.

When: 9 a.m.-noon
What: Initiative on Campus Dialogues ‘Office Hours’
Where: Humanities Institute Seminar Room, Babbidge Library, 4th Floor
Organizers: Initiative on Campus Dialogues
Description: Interested to offer a dialogue on confronting racism in your classroom, but wish to know a little more about process, possibilities and potential pitfalls? Drop in on the Initiative on Campus Dialogues “office hours” where participants in the Initiative on Campus Dialogues will be available to walk through different dialogic approaches, share their experiences discussing difficult questions, workshop strategies for running a structured conversation in the classroom, and generally do what they might to answer your questions.

When: 10-11 a.m.
What: Who Are the Trolls Really Trolling?
Where: Dodd Center, Room 162
Organizers: Cynthia DeRoma, CETL/English
Description: This session will offer reflections on a recent video that unintentionally went viral on social media and revealed, once again, how racial bias permeates so much of our lives. The goal is that, as participants engage in a discussion about unintended consequences, they can be more aware of the joys and vexations involved in promoting cross-racial interactions in education.

When: 10-11:15 a.m.
What: Breaking through the 4th Wall: Examining Racial Stereotypes through TV Sit-Coms
Where: Dodd Center, Konover Auditorium
Organizers: Rory McGloin and John Christensen, Department of Communication
Description: The goal of this discussion based seminar is to engage the topic of racial stereotyping in the media, specifically through the channel and context of popular situational comedies. The seminar will examine the definition of stereotyping through a Communication-centered lens, with emphasis on how the media use and rely on stereotyping to tell their stories.

When: 10 a.m.-noon.
What: Why We Teach: A Workshop on Using African American Literature to Challenge Racism
Where: Oak Hall, Room 408
Organizer: Martha Cutter, English and Africana Studies
Description: This workshop will focus on how texts of African American literature can be used to prepare students and instructors to challenge racism inside and outside the classroom. Participants include Dexter Gabriel, Assistant Professor of History and Africana Studies; Jacob Horn, Writing Center Coordinator, Assistant Professor-in-Residence, UConn Hartford; Martha Cutter, Professor of English and Africana Studies; Shawn Salvant, Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies; Anna Mae Duane, Associate Professor of English; Kathy Knapp, Associate Professor of English.
*Refreshments provided

When: 10:30-11:45 a.m.
What: Embracing Identities
Where: Gentry 142
Organizers: EDCI 5875 Students Emily Orkins, Caitlin Murphy, Laura Labato, Cindy Portillo, and Andrew Och
Description: Intended for high school students and teachers, as well as college students, this interactive workshop designed by students in EDCI 5875 Multicultural Education allows participants to engage in a series of exercises and activities to better understand our identities and how current tensions impact them.

When: 10:30-noon
What: Creation of an Inclusive Environment Conducive to Excellence
Where: Student Union, Food Court
Organizer: University Senate Diversity Committee
Description:  The Senate Diversity Committee will participate in an open dialogue with Faculty Staff and Students on issues related to Racism, Implicit Bias, Participation and Inclusion. Our plan is to have an open central space located in the Student Union. Our main purpose is to open a dialogue on these issues between the members of our committee and the UConn constituencies. We will bring information on the main issues and topics discussed by our committee to establish a basis for the open dialogue.

When: 10:30-noon
What: Antifascism and Everyday Life
Where: Austin Building, Stern Lounge
Organizer: Chris Vials, English and American Studies
Description:  Sponsored by the UConn Campus Antifascist Network, this panel seeks to illuminate what antifascism can contribute to a broader campaign against racism.  Panelists will include Chris Vials (Associate Professor, English), Jerry Phillips (Associate Professor, English), Bre Leake  (Graduate Employee, English), and Fred Lee (Assistant Professor, Political Science).

When: 11 a.m.-noon
What: #NotAll … T-Shirts
Where: Off Campus
Organizers: EDCI 5875 Students Amber Croft, Huda Aldosari, Jingyue (Ellie) Duan, Maryjocelyn Sedensky, Amanda MacDonald, Kara Patterson, Marisela Valencia, Dan Lee
Description: Designed by students in EDCI 5875 Multicultural Education, this activity was developed for elementary and middle school students, and their teachers. The activity will feature a skit dramatizing segregation and bias, and provide an opportunity for students to engage in a discussion about the effects of bullying and being a bystander.

When: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
What: Reflections on Implicit Bias
Where: Koons Hall, Room 228A
Organizer: Michael P. O’Neill, College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources
Description: This “Story-Corps”-style opportunity allows individuals who have completed the implicit bias assessment at the Project Implicit website (https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/) to voluntarily share (via audio file) what they learned from their assessment. Interviews are short (less than one minute), and will be used to help develop a follow-up workshop next semester.

When: 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
What: Book Presentation: Racismo y Lenguaje [Racism and Language] by Michele Back
Where: El Instituto (Ryan Building)
Organizer: El Instituto (Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies)
Description: Michele Back, Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, will present and discuss her co-edited, multi-authored book Racismo y lenguaje [Racism and Language] (V. Zavala & M. Back, Eds., 2017. Lima, Peru: Fondo Editorial PUCP). Drawing on frameworks from applied linguistics and critical discourse analysis, Racismo y lenguaje is the first full-length volume to use a discursive/linguistic approach to race and racism in Latin America.
*Lunch provided

When: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
What: Coffee with a Cop – Breaking Down Barriers
Where: Student Union, Room 108
Organizer: UConn Police Department
Description: Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the UConn Police Department and our work in the community. The program aims to advance the practice of community policing and breaking down barriers through improving relationships between the police officers and community members one cup of coffee at a time.

When: Noon-1:30 p.m.
What: Same-Sex Acts & Origins of a National Security State
Where: Rainbow Center, SU 403
Organizer: Rainbow Center
Description: As part of the Out to Lunch Gender, Sexuality, and Community series, the Rainbow Center will host Sherry Zane for a lecture titled: “Same-Sex Acts and the Origins of a National Security State in the Early 20th Century.” This lecture will explore how categories of gender, sexual identity, and race shaped U.S. national security interests on the World War I homefront from 1917 to 1921 in Newport, Rhode Island.
*Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunches

When: Noon-1:30 p.m.
What: Healing From Racism
Where: UConn Bookstore, Hillside Drive, Community Room
Organizer: Hedley Freake, United to End Racism
Description:  The aim of this workshop is to provide an introduction to some of the resources and processes that individuals can use to heal from the damage caused by racism. During this workshop there will be a moderated panel, including faculty, staff, and a student from the University, all of whom are dedicated to eliminating racism.
*Lunch provided

When: Noon-2 p.m.
What: You Should … Confront Racism in the Digital Realm: A Teach-In
Where: Humanities Institute Seminar Room, 4th Floor, Babbidge Library
Organizer: Alexis Boylan and Anke Finger, UCHI
Description: As part of the new “You Should …” initiative, this teach-in will feature Professors Anke Finger, Bhakti Shringarpure, Kelly Dennis, Anne Mae Duane, and Ph.D. Student Matthew Guariglia discussing topics such as social media activism/racism (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) dealing with online racism, online activism, and connections to civil responsibility, courage, and action  basically the potential and pitfalls of our life online.
*Lunch provided

When: Noon-2 p.m.
What: Leaf a Mark
Where: Fairfield Way
Organizer: USG Student Development Committee
Description:  Join the USG Student Development Committee on Fairfield way and add your voice in answer to the question: “What can you do to prevent racism here and everywhere?”

When: 12:45-2 p.m.
What: UConn Hartford: Combating Islamophobia, A Form of Racism
Where: UConn Hartford Times Building Courtyard
Organizer: Paul A. Young, Assistant Director of Student Services
Description: The Associated Student Government (ASG) and World Club will be passing out blue ribbons to wear as a symbol of unity in our fight against racism. Then join us in the Hartford Public Library Atrium from 12:45 – 2:00pm and stand in unity with UConn Hartford Muslim Student Association (MSA) as they conduct their midday prayers. After prayers, stay for a vibrant panel discussion on Islamophobia with special guests Imam Sami Aziz (Muslim Chaplain at Wesleyan University), Dr. Lisa Werkmeister Rozas (Associate Professor at UConn School of Social Work), and Samia Hussein (Muslim Coalition of Connecticut, President).
*Refreshments Provided

When: 1:30-3 p.m.
What: Dissolving Ignorance: Art Overcoming Adversity
Where: Wilbur Cross Building, North Reading Room
Organizers: Students of PHIL 2205: Caesar Valentin, Kafayat Mimiko, Tova Benson-Tilsen, Almeena Shaikh
Description: Our goal is, as a class, to break the barriers of racial ignorance through showcasing some arts and showing how art has the potential to unite people across differences. Our presentation is interactive, and is meant to be a multi-party discussion to get the audience thinking. We will connect our art to our feelings and experiences of race at UConn for those who will listen. Our piece will be a call to arms in a sense, because we find it important that we not only inspire our audience to listen, but inspire them do something.

When: 2-3 p.m.
What: Strategies for Addressing Discrimination and Promoting Human Rights
Where: Dodd Center, Room 162
Organizer: Sandra Sirota, Humanities Institute
Description:  Have you ever been in a situation in which you wanted to speak out against prejudice but did not know what to say? Do you want to take action to support a human right, but are not sure what to do? In this workshop, we will share and practice strategies to advocate for human rights to different audiences – such as our peers, colleagues, friends, family members, and government representatives.

When: 2-3 p.m.
What: Taking a Knee, Raising a Fist: Race, Sport, and Politics in Historical Perspective
Where: Dodd Center, Konover Auditorium
Organizers: Professors Joseph Cooper, sport management, Oskar Harmon, economics, and Jeffrey Ogbar, history
Description: The protest act of taking a knee during the pre-game ceremony of a football game was started in Sept 2016 by NFL player Colin Kaepernick. It became well known but not widely adopted in part because of player employment risk. President Trump’s Tweet: The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this! ignited a national referendum, and in the following weeks, taking a knee became a widespread event at professional football games.

When: 2-4 p.m.
What: Puerto Rican Citizenship Archives Project Launch Event & Presentation
Where: The Gathering Place at the Scholar’s Collaborative, Babbidge Library, Level 1
Organizers: Charles Venator-Santiago
Description: Join us for the launch of the Puerto Rican Citizenship Archives Project (PRCAP), a public repository designed to document the legal history of the extension of U.S. citizenship to Puerto Rico.
*Refreshments provided

When: 3:30-4:30 p.m.
What: Around the World in an Hour
Where: Student Union, Room 104 and South Lobby
Organizers: Oindri Sen, Pharmacy Student Government; Jennifer Reinhard, DSLC; and Bhavana Chalupadi
Description: School of Pharmacy students will host a diversity fair that works towards enhancing the culture of diversity at UConn. Students will be tabling in the lobby of the school or the Student Union (based on booking), to promote their different cultures and incorporate the health status of their countries in their presentations.

When: 4-5:30 p.m.
What: Teaching and Race in the Classroom
Where: Dodd Center Lounge
Organizer: Molly Land, Human Rights Institute; and Noga Shermer, Anthropology
Description: This workshop will provide an informal, small-group opportunity for participants to discuss, share experiences, and ask questions about addressing issues of race and racism in the classroom. We will read portions of Derald Wing Sue’s Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race in advance of the workshop. The discussion will focus on how participants incorporate issues of race and racism into their classes and how they introduce, facilitate, and respond to these issues in classroom settings. Participation will be limited to 15. Books are available in the Human Rights Institute for those who register. Please register here: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090944afac2fa5f58-nov.

When: 4-6:30 p.m.
What: Denial Film Screening and Discussion
Where: Video Theater 2, Babbidge Library
Organizers: Pamela Weathers, University Specialist, Center for Judaic Studies; Arnold Dashefsky, Professor of Sociology and Konover Chair of Judaic Studies Emeritus; and Sebastian Wogenstein, Professor of German and Comparative Literature and Interim Director, Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life
Description: In remembrance of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, when Nazis attacked German Jews and their property, UConn’s Center for Judaic Studies will present a film screening of the award-winning film “Denial.” Guest speaker and Holocaust survivor Hans Laufer will provide remarks and answer questions prior to the film screening. The film Denial is based on the acclaimed book, Denial: Holocaust History on Trial, which tells the true story of Emory University Professor Deborah Lipstadt’s fight against Holocaust denier David Irving over his falsification of history. Faced with a libel lawsuit in a British court, Lipstadt and her attorneys must prove that the Holocaust really happened.

When: 4-6 p.m.
What: Human Rights Film Series Screening and Discussion of A Thin Wall
Where: Dodd Center, Konover Auditorium
Organizers: Glenn Mitoma, Dodd Center; Kathy Libal, Human Rights Institute; Kathryn Myers, Art and Art History
Description: A Thin Wall, a documentary by Pakistani American filmmaker Mara Ahmed, is a personal take on the 1947 Partition of India, rooted in stories passed down from one generation to another. An interview with Ahmed and Professor Kathryn Myers will follow.

When: 4-6 p.m.
What: Transforming Racism Art Exhibition
Where: Next Gen Dorm Maker Space
Organizer: Stephanie Beron, Graduate Student, Department of Public Policy
Description: Participants will draw, sketch, paint or otherwise artistically express what racism looks like to them. After creating individual visual expressions of racism participants will form small groups (of four to six people) to discuss their representations under established ground rules of respectful dialogue. This dialogue should foster productive communication, awareness, and understanding of unique perceptions of, and experiences with, racism.

When: 5-6:30 p.m.
What: Reading the World Around Us: Racism in Media
Where: Gentry 144
Organizers: EDCI 5875 Students Owen Bologna, Emma Chassagnoux, Jun Cho, Sarah Gelb, Victoria Ioppolo, Michael Mallery, Robin Patrick, Stephany Santos, Rex Sturdevant, Angela Weng, Jamie Wisset, Brett Wojtkowski
Description: Intended for K-12 Educators, Educational Leaders, College Students Interested in Education, this workshop will explore the presence of racism across news media, television advertisements, and music, and will allow participants and presenters to develop a set of tools and approaches to reading the world around them in a critical way.
*Dinner provided

When: 5-6 p.m.
What: Pre-Talk Reception with Shireen Ahmed
Where: Asian American Cultural Center Main Room, SU 428
Organizers: Asian American Cultural Center
Description: Join us for this reception in honor of athlete, advocate, and community organizer, Shireen Ahmed, who will be speaking as part of the Beyond the Field series at 6:30 p.m.
*Refreshments provided

When: 5-6 p.m.
What: Confronting Citizenship’s Exclusions: Boricua and unDACAmented visions
Where: PR/LACC Common Room, SU
Organizers: PR/LACC and El Instituto
Description: The focus of this event will be the life testimonies and analyses offered by a panel of UCONN DREAMer and boricua students. Both the Americans who are DREAMers and the Americans who are boricuas have historically been relegated to second-tier belonging years before being scapegoated by white supremacist and nativist opinion leaders in our present political morass.
*Refreshments provided

When: 5-7 p.m.
What: BaFá BaFá Multicultural Simulation Event
Where: TBD
Organizers: Peter Diplock, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
Description: This workshop develops cross-cultural understanding through an interactive and engaging simulation that gives participants the opportunity to develop deeper insights into how we come to understand the ‘other’ who is different from us.

When: 5:30-7:30 p.m.
What: Racism at UConn and Beyond: Encounters, Reflections, and Responses
Where: Gentry 131
Organizers: Collective Uplift
Description:  This event will be an open forum for UConn students from diverse backgrounds to share their experiences encountering racism at UConn and beyond. Participants will be able to express their views in a myriad formats, including spoken word/poem, skits/role playing, interpretive dance, pictures, and any form of creative expression.
*Refreshments provided

When: 6-7 p.m.
What: As I Am Discussion Group Space
Where: Rainbow Center, SU 403
Organizers: Rainbow Center
Description: As I Am is an open discussion group space for people in the LGBTQIA+ community who have identities, such as religion, ethnicity, and other cultural identities, that do not allow them to freely express who they truly are in all aspects of their life.

When: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
What: 13th Documentary Screening
Where: SU 104
Organizers: USG Student Development Committee
Description: The Student Development Committee will be hosting a screening of the documentary “13th”. The documentary offers viewers “an in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality.”
*Refreshments provided

When: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
What: Beyond the Field Presents: Shireen Ahmed
Where: ITE C80
Organizers: Sofia Read and Charles Macaulay – Neag School of Education, Department of Sport Management, UConn Athletics
Description: The Beyond the Field: Social Issues in Sport series is hosting Shireen Ahmed. Ahmed is a writer, public speaker, and sports activist focusing on Muslim women in sports. She is an athlete, advocate, community organizer, and works with youth of color on empowerment projects and is an avid sports coach and mentor. She is a regular contributor to Muslimah Media Watch, a Global Sports Correspondent for Safe World For Women, and works on the Muslim Women in Sports website.

When: 7-8:30 p.m.
What: Confronting Racism Together: A Model Dialogue
Where: Dodd Center, Konover Auditorium
Organizers: Brendan Kane, Humanities Institute; Glenn Mitoma, Dodd Center
Description:  Join Associate Dean Sulin Ba, Curriculum and Instruction Ph.D. student Ian McGregor, Chief Diversity Officer Joelle Murchison, UConn Hartford Director Mark Overmyer-Velazquez, Provost Jeremy Teitelbaum, and USG President Irma Valverde, and take part in a public dialogue exploring their experiences with racism. Dialogue is one of the most powerful tools we have in confronting racism. But actual dialogue – as opposed to debate, deliberation, or conversation – rarely occurs. In part that is because it can be challenging: the bravery it takes to speak honestly and unscripted, and the discipline to listen with empathy and be present, can be difficult in a world so crowded with stimulus and distraction. Confronting racism, however, requires such bravery and discipline, such honesty and presence. It also needs models, people who through their public truth-telling can inspire others to truly dialogue over racism. Please join us, as members of our community take part in this important conversation, facilitated by Valeriano Ramos of “Everyday Democracy.”

When: 7-9 p.m.
What: Mark Twain and Fragile American Democracy
Where: The Mark Twain House & Museum
Organizers: The Mark Twain House & Museum and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Description: The Mark Twain House hosts distinguished scholars from the University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who will debate the legacy of Mark Twain’s gloomy warnings about both the necessity of democracy and its fragility. The panel chair is Davita Silfen Glasberg, Dean of CLAS and Professor of Sociology. Panelists include David Yalof, Professor and Department Head, Department of Political Science; Manisha Desai, Professor of Sociology and Asian and Asian American Studies and Department Head of Sociology; Michael Patrick Lynch, Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Humanities Institute; and Micki McElya, Associate Professor of History.

When: 7:30-9:30 p.m.
What: White Like Me Film Screening and Discussion
Where: Student Union Theatre
Organizer: Rebecca Kaufman, President of UConn Student Coalition for Social Justice
Description: Join us for a screening of Tim Wise’s film White Like Me. Following the film, we will hold a discussion, moderated by Political Science Professor Evelyn Simien. The objective of this event is to facilitate discussion about white privilege and how it is structurally maintained by our institutions and interpersonal interactions.

For more information visit together.uconn.edu or contact together@uconn.edu