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Fall 2013

Solidarity of Social Justice: Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall


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We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are create equal – is the star that guides us still, just as it guided our forebearers through Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall, just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone, to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.



Inaugural Address by President Barack Obama January 21, 2013


Seneca Falls (1848) – the upstate New York site of the first women’srights convention – Selma (1965) – the Alabama city where police brutally attached peaceful civil rights marchers – and Stonewall (1969) – the Greenwich Village bar where riotous resistance to a police raid spawned the modern gay-rights movement – will be remembered as turning points as three of the most impactful social revolutions in our nation’s history.

Free Food for Thought encourages building a community that values diversity. Interested participants exchange viewpoints on selected topics, resulting in a greater awareness about issues and experiences across social and personal identities. Learning from one another through facilitated respectful discussion helps us value the contributions of our peers. In exchange for opinions, we provide Free Food. The Free Food For Thought Fall 2013 series focuses on the commonalities and differences that exist between these three events that aided in the shift from single occurrences to social movements for change. Conversations will focus on the intersection of social identities of the people involved in each of these movements. We will examine and discuss how Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall created a foundation for current global movements for justice and equality.


Session

1

Celebration & Suppression*

Thursday | September 19, 2013 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. The Edge of Chaos, 4th Floor Lister Hill Library

We will develop an understanding of the concept of human rights, its definition and application as it relates to Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall. Students will identify and discuss key points in history that helped spark social movements. Finally, we will discuss how these events were intersected by the pride and prejudice that inspired the foot soldiers and antagonist.

Session

2

Handbills to Hoodies: The Art of Activism*

Thursday | September 26, 2013 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. The Edge of Chaos, 4th Floor Lister Hill Library

We will discuss the intersection of consciousness and creativity through the use of symbols such as signs, photographs, music and clothing. Furthermore, participants will examine the use of social media as a tool and a symbol that has the power to simply spark conversation or create solidarity across different equality campaigns.

Session

3

How Does It Feel to be a Problem?** A Lecture by Mandy Carter

Thursday | October 10, 2013 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. The Edge of Chaos, 4th Floor Lister Hill Library

Using DuBois’ framework of double consciousness from the The Souls of Black Folk (1903), Mandy Carter will share insight on the complexity of our multi-layered identities. As a black lesbian woman, Mandy understands the pluralism that exists between these two identities and will challenge participants to think critically about their own identity intersections.


Session

4

Film for Thought: Day of Dialogue* “The Color Purple” Sunday | October 20, 2013 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. The Edge of Chaos, 4th Floor Lister Hill Library

We will view and discuss the film The Color Purple (1984) based on Alice Walker’s 1982 novel bearing the same name. The movie will provide visual context to the complexity of intersecting identities of a black woman in the rural south during the beginning of the 20th century. Concepts of sexism, race, abuse, sexual expression, and orientation are exemplified through the film’s main character, Celie. Celie’s life sets a framework for discussion that surrounds the growth of social movements, and how these movements provide a voice to the voiceless.

Session

5

Involve to Evolve*

Thursday | October 24, 2013 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. The Edge of Chaos, 4th Floor Lister Hill Library

Using historical movements for justice and equality for perspective, we will examine and discuss how to organize for sustainable and transformative change on college campuses and in our communities. We will also discuss what it means to be an ally

* Registration required; to register, go to uab.edu/diversity ** Registration suggested but not required; to register, go to uab.edu/diversity


Framework

Events that Sparked Movements

The Seneca Falls Convention July 1848, Seneca Falls, New York Spearheaded by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucreita Mott, the Seneca Falls Convention initiated a social revolution and inaugurated the women’s rights movement. Despite not being heavily publicized, the event garnered participation from over 300 men and women. It was the first women’s rights convention in U.S. American history. The Convention protested the mistreatment of women in social, economic, political and religious life. The Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions issued by the Convention, which was modeled after the Declaration of Independence, detailed the “injuries and usurpations” that men had inflicted upon women and demanded that women be granted all of the rights and privileges that men possessed, including the right to vote.

The Selma to Montgomery March March 1965, Selma, Alabama The Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights ended three weeks and three events that represented the political and emotional peak of the modern civil rights movement. On “Bloody Sunday,” March 7, 1965, some 600 civil rights marchers headed east out of Selma on U.S. Route 80. They got only as far as the Edmund Pettus Bridge six blocks away, where state and local lawmen attacked them with billy clubs and tear gas and drove them back into Selma. Two days later on March 9, Martin Luther King, Jr. led a “symbolic” march to the bridge. Then civil


rights leaders sought court protection for a third, full-scale march from Selma to the state capitol in Montgomery. On Sunday, March 21, about 3,200 marchers set out for Montgomery, walking 12 miles a day and sleeping in fields. By the time they reached the capitol on Thursday, March 25, they were 25,000-strong. Less than five months after the last of the three marches, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 – the best possible redress of grievances.

Stonewall Riots June 1968, Greenwich Village, New York City The gay community rioted against the harassment and brutality of law enforcement at the Stonewall Inn, in the Greenwich Village Section of New York City. As the word spread throughout the city about the demonstration, customers and supporters were soon joined by other gay men and women till their numbers reached over 1000 people. These riots, barely covered by the media, were the spark that led to a new militancy and openness in the gay political movement. The Stonewall riots inspired LGBT community throughout the country to organize in support of gay rights, and within two years after the riots, gay rights groups had been started in nearly every major city in the United States.


UAB Inclusive Campus Statement I will strive to build an inclusive community at UAB. I believe that every student, faculty and staff member has the right to be treated with dignity, respect and self-worth. I will work to ensure that my behavior and my actions do not harass or make fun of anyone due to their race, gender, culture, faith, class, sexual orientation, disability, or any other difference. Although I know I am not perfect and I will make mistakes, I believe that it is my responsibility to act in a manner free of bias, exclusion and discrimination. I believe I have the power to build an inclusive UAB.

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Free Food For Thought at UAB - Fall 2013