The Center for Civic Engagement celebrates Civil Rights Day with a lineup of events on Feb. 28 and March 1 exploring intersectionality, or the ways in which people experience marginality, oppression, and discrimination from overlapping identities of class, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
“Who Said It Was Simple: Intersectionality and Civil Rights” features panel discussions, research presentations, a film screening and a play, organized by CCE students and staff, campus partner organizations, and faculty from various departments.
“This year’s events are designed to provoke thinking on how overlapping identities help us understand the complexities of social justice and rights-based struggles,” said Aashish Kumar, CCE’s director of civic literacy and on-campus events and an associate professor in the Department of Radio, Television, Film. “Audre Lorde, the black lesbian feminist whose poem is the inspiration of this year’s theme, spoke of living and working across multiple elements, and Kimberlé Crenshaw, an academic who coined the term ‘intersectionality’ argues against the mindset that treats ‘race’ problems as separate from ‘gender’ problems. The Center for Civic Engagement hopes to generate dialogue around how civil rights movements take account of these kind of overlapping disadvantages among citizens.”
The CCE celebrates Civil Rights Day as part of Black History Month. “It is a recognition of a turning point in modern American history, and an affirmation that the project of achieving social and political freedom and equality must continue,” Prof. Kumar said.
Sessions in this year’s Civil Rights Day schedule include:
Wednesday, February 28:
- The Urgency of Intersectionality: A Student Roundtable
- Telling a New Story: A Guide for Shaping New Cultural Narratives for Today’s Advocates
- Disability Rights Advocacy
- Who Are You? Mixed Emotions: The Multiracial Student Experience
- Perceptions and Reality – Romare Bearden: Storyteller
- Film Screening & Discussion: CSA: The Confederate States of America (mockumentary/satire) featuring filmmaker Kevin Willmott; sponsored by the Hofstra Cultural Center.
A full listing of event descriptions, times and locations is available at Hofstra.edu/crd.
Thursday, March 1:
Hofstra will host two performances of Just An Ordinary Lawyer – A Play, With Songs, written and performed by Tayo Aluko, with live piano accompaniment by Dennis Nelson, 11:10 am and 6:30 pm, The Helene Fortunoff Theater, Monroe Lecture Center, California Avenue. The play tells the story of Nigerian Tunji Sowande as he broke through multiple barriers to become Britain’s first black judge in 1978. Co-sponsored by the Hofstra Cultural Center; Hofstra University Honors College; Departments of Drama and Dance, History, Sociology; and the Center for “Race,” Culture and Social Justice.
All events are free and open to the public.
The Center for Civic Engagement plays a major role in Hofstra University’s fulfillment of its core objectives. The CCE educates students in democratic values by actively engaging them as knowledgeable citizens in collaborative partnerships with their campus, local, state, national and global communities. Since its inception in 2007, the CCE has organized dozens of on-campus events, including forums, conferences, debates, workshops, exhibitions, cultural gatherings, and performances around several important themes including nonviolence, social justice and sustainability, the democratic process, and globalization.