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Shockwaves from Stonewall: Gay Liberation in Michigan

Mon, 07/29/2019 - 12:42pm

In the first few years following the Stonewall Uprising in New York, Michigan experienced a surge in gay liberation activism, what today might fall under the umbrella of the LGBT movement.  Historian Tim Retzloff explores the multiple queer organizations that sprang up in Metro Detroit and elsewhere in the early 1970s and key events from that time that sent political and social shockwaves through the state still felt today.

Tim Retzloff teaches history and LGBTQ studies at Michigan State University.  He earned a B.A. in history from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. in history in from Yale University.  His scholarship has appeared in the anthology Creating a Place for Ourselves, the journal GLQ, and the collection Making Suburbia.  He is finishing his first book, Metro Gay, about gay and lesbian life and politics in Metro Detroit from 1945 to 1985.

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Sustainable Ann Arbor Forum | Race and Class Equity in Washtenaw County

Thu, 07/18/2019 - 11:48am

Ann Arbor is the eighth most socioeconomically segregated metro area in the U.S.; the second most segregated city in the nation in service class segregation; and the fifth in working class segregation. In 2010, Census data shows white residents accounted for 73% of Ann Arbor's population, just under Michigan's average of 79%, while African American residents accounted for just 8% of residents—nearly half of the state average of 14%. Ypsilanti, on the other hand, is made up of 62% white residents and 29% African American residents: a dramatic imbalance for two closely tied cities. Housing is a social determinant of health so where you live matters. Join local experts as we delve into the issues and opportunities surrounding race and class equity throughout Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County.

Panelists include:

  • Dr. Tony Reames (Assistant Professor, School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan), 

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Author Event | Cecile Richards Discusses Her Book "Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead"

Sun, 06/23/2019 - 11:48am

Cecile Richards has been an activist since she was taken to the principal’s office in seventh grade for wearing an armband in protest of the Vietnam War. Richards had an extraordinary childhood in ultra-conservative Texas, where her civil rights attorney father and activist mother taught their kids to be troublemakers. She had a front-row seat to observe the rise of women in American politics and watched her mother, Ann, transform from a housewife to an electrifying force in the Democratic party.

As a young woman, Richards worked as a labor organizer alongside women earning minimum wage, and learned that those in power don’t give it up without a fight. She experienced first-hand the misogyny, sexism, fake news, and the ever-looming threat of violence that constantly confront women who challenge authority.

Now, after years of advocacy, resistance, and progressive leadership, she shares her “truly inspiring” (Redbook) story for the first time—from the joy and heartbreak of activism to the challenges of raising kids, having a life, and making change, all the while garnering a reputation as “the most badass feminist EVER” (Teen Vogue).

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MLK Day Event | A Conversation with Veterans for Peace

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 2:57pm

Should we have a military mainly for defense, or should we use it aggressively to defend or promote national interests? Before Dr. King’s tragic death, he spoke out more and more against government use of military over diplomacy and the use of armed forces in the routine policy of the state. For such actions, Dr. King was criticized heavily and to this day his thoughts on war still make people uncomfortable.

Veterans For Peace will discuss Dr. King's speeches relating to defense versus militarism, showing that they are as relevant today as they were 50 years ago.

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Sustainable Ann Arbor Forum | Adapting to a Changing Climate

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 10:32am

The City of Ann Arbor is already experiencing impacts from climate change. More severe storms, increased precipitation, rising temperatures and extended heat waves all pose challenges to how we live, work, and play in our community. Join a conversation on how the Ann Arbor community is taking steps to address climate impacts and what more we could be doing at the city, neighborhood and individual level. Climate adaptation experts will share the soup to nuts on climate change for Ann Arbor and what we can do to thrive in a changing future. 

Beth Gibbons - Beth Gibbons is the Executive Director of the American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP). In this role, she is responsible for strengthening ASAP as an emerging nonprofit organization, managing relationships with its members, board and donors, and bringing adaptation best practices into the broader conversation. Previously, Beth was Director of the University of Michigan Climate Center and managed NOAA’s Great Lakes Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments Center. She also worked for the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute as a research specialist, helping develop and implement the Great Lakes Adaptation Assessment for Cities. Previously, Beth worked for the International Forestry and Research Institute and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs supporting organization operations and communications. She served in the Peace Corps in Agodopke, Togo. Beth earned her undergraduate degree in Comparative Politics from the Catholic University of America and holds a Master of Urban Planning and a Masters Certificate in African Studies from the University of Michigan. Beth is based in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Jennifer Lawson, Water Quality Manager, City of Ann Arbor - Jennifer Lawson started her career as a Civil Engineer’s daughter and at the age of 7, started working at her Dad’s office, running bluelines, holding a survey rod and coloring mylars. Jen is currently the Water Quality Manager for the City of Ann Arbor. She has a Bachelor of Science in Resource Development from MSU and a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from U of M focusing on Landscape as Infrastructure (How the ecology of the landscape can provide a service). With 18 years of experience in both private consulting and municipal engineering, she has a unique balance and understanding of water infrastructure regulations and management needs.

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In Our Own Words

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 12:20pm

Courageous survivors of Larry Nassar and the leaders of organizations fighting sexual assault unite for a panel discussion on the landmark case against the former Michigan State University physician convicted of abusing hundreds of girls and women.

Wayne County SAFE’s Trinea Gonczar and three other Nassar victims Larissa Boyce, Jessica Smith and Christina Baker Barba will conduct a panel discussion on the impact of these historic cases at a launch event for inourownwords.us. They will joined by Brigitte Gurden from Lansing’s Eve Inc., Natalie Rogers of Reclaim MSU, Michigan Public Radio Reporter Kate Wells and Alexa St. John, editor of the Michigan Daily.

On November 8th, the Heartland Independent Film Forum with the support of its media sponsor, the Michigan Daily, will launch a new website with a searchable database presenting more than 1,400 pages of unabridged victim impact statements at inourownwords.usThis resource is designed to help students, their professors, families, journalists and attorneys understand this decades-long pattern of abuse so that it never happens again. Created by web designer James Sparling, the site also honors the brave women who, with the help of the Indianapolis Star, broke this story.

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Author Event | Herb Boyd discusses Black Detroit: A People's History of Self-Determination

Thu, 10/18/2018 - 12:36pm

Author Herb Boyd visits the Library to discuss his award-winning book, Black Detroit: A People's History of Self-Determination, a 2018 Michigan Notable Book.

Black Detroit looks at the evolving culture, politics, economics, and spiritual life of Detroit–a blend of memoir, love letter, history, and clear-eyed reportage that explores the city’s past, present, and future and its significance to the African-American legacy and the nation’s fabric. It brings into focus the major figures who have defined and shaped Detroit, including William Lambert, the great abolitionist; Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown Records; Coleman Young, the city’s first black mayor; diva songstress Aretha Franklin; Malcolm X; and Ralph Bunche, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Herb Boyd is an award-winning author and journalist who has taught African American History since 1969 when he was a founding member of the Black Studies Department at Detroit’s Wayne State University. He currently teaches African American History and Culture at the City College of New York in Harlem where he lives.

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Nerd Nite #56 - American Race Riots: Our National Sport?

Thu, 10/18/2018 - 12:15pm

The United States has been the site of hundreds of race-based disorderly confrontations that can be described as race riots. By now, most everyone has seen images from riots on TV whether it’s a riot from the 1960s, or from the more recent unrest in Ferguson, Missouri or Baltimore, Maryland.

But what is a riot? Why do they happen?  What are the trends? Common themes?  While one can learn quite a bit from the study of any of these individual events, taking on the topic broadly has different lessons for us.

This talk discusses the overall trajectory of race riots in the United States, exploring the greater context for mass race-based conflict.