September 2009

Peace Studies Conference - September 2009

Have We Overcome?
Race and Racism in the Age of Obama

22nd Annual Peace Studies Conference
College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University

Monday, September 28, 2009
1:00pm – 9:00pm
Quad 264 (SJU)

1:00-2:10pm Opening talk "The Peculiar Thing About Post-Racialism" by Dr. Bill Green (Quad 264)

For further information, please contact the Conference Coordinator: Dr. Bill Green is the superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools. He is also an associate professor of history at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. He also serves as an adjunct professor at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn.

Superintendent Green holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Gustavus Adolphus College. He also holds a master’s degree in educational psychology, a doctorate in education, and a juris doctorate from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

2:40-3:50pm Concurrent Workshops

Session A: Hedy Tripp, Create CommUNITY, St. Cloud, MN (QUAD 264)

Since 2003, Create CommUNITY has been a driving force toward creating a more welcoming, non-discriminatory environment for everyone in the St. Cloud-area community. Today, the organization is focused on taking strategic, measurable steps to dismantling racism through systemic change. It has identified three focus areas, key objectives and metrics to measure progress.

Session B: Crossing the Peace Movement's Color Line: The Anti-Racism Organizing of the US Catholic Peace Group, Pax Christi/Peace of Christ . Johnny Zokovitch, Director of Communications, Pax Christi USA (Simons Hall G10)

How can a predominantly white US peace movement confront its own structural and institutional racism and establish strong, honest relationships across racial lines? How is the peace movement called to embrace a new identity, which does not simply count people of color but is accountable to people of color? Come and learn about the anti-racism efforts of one US national peace group. In 1999, the US Catholic peace group Pax Christi/Peace of Christ initiated Brothers and Sisters All, a 20-year program to transform it into an anti-racist, multicultural Catholic peace and justice movement. With the help of the nationally recognized anti-racism organization Crossroads, Pax Christi has been working to transform its structure, culture, policies and members' perceptions. Johnny Zokovitch, who has been following this effort from its beginning, will discuss and evaluate the program and what peace activists and the broader peace movement can learn from it. For more info on Brothers and Sisters All, click on the Programs/Campaigns link at www.paxchristiusa.org<http://www.paxchristiusa.org>

Session C: Jim Knutson-Kolodzne, American Indian Center at St. Cloud State University. (Quad 346-Little Theater)

The purpose of the St. Cloud State University American Indian Center is to respond to the self-defined educational needs and goals of the current American Indian students and communities alike. To this end, the American Indian Center, utilizing both internal and external resources, empowers indigenous people through quality educational programming. The center's outreach activities promote awareness, better understanding, and sensitivity to American Indian Cultures.

4:00-5:30pm Film Showing—"Trouble The Water" (Quad 264)

This astonishing powerful documentary takes you inside Hurricane Katrina in a way never seen on screen. Incorporating remarkable home footage shot by Kimberly Rivers Roberts—an aspiring rap artist trapped with her husband in the 9th ward—directors/producers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal weave this insider’s view of Katrina with a devastating portrait of the hurricane’s aftermath. "Trouble the Water" takes audiences on a journey that is by turns heart-stopping, infuriating, inspiring and empowering. It’s not only about the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, but about the underlying issues that remained when the flood waters receded-failing public schools, record high levels of incarceration, poverty, structural racism and lack of government accountability.

7:00pm Keynote Address

"Solidarity Spirit: Living Racial Justice in the Age of Obama" presented by Jeb Middlebrook (Quad 264)

Jeb Middlebrook, one of the most sought after anti-racist speakers and organizers today, is the Director of the Solidarity Institute - a national non-profit that uses research, events, and projects to connect diverse communities in a collective vision for social justice. Middlebrook holds a B.A. in Ethnic Studies from the University of Minnesota and a M.A. in American Studies & Ethnicity from the University of Southern California, where he is earning his PhD.

Drawing from historical and contemporary examples, his talks demonstrate the power of campus and community organizing in building a world free of racism. Middlebrook has spoken to thousands of people in over 10 states and over 25 high schools and college campuses including Yale, Berkeley and the Universities of Colorado, St. Louis, and Kansas, and has been a regular speaker at the annual White Privilege Conference.

All sessions are free and open to the public; no registration necessary.

Dr. Kelly Kraemer, CSB/SJU Peace Studies Department
(320) 363-5715
kkraemer@csbsju.edu