Engaging the World
Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

» Engaging the World: Leading the Conversation on the Significance of Race (2020-2021)

Wilkinson College is committed to leading the conversation in our community on issues of humanity, unity and justice. As such, the college has undertaken, semester-long examinations of key societal issues, that began in fall 2020 with The Significance of Race (2020-2021). These interdisciplinary, campus-wide conversations promoted thoughtful dialogue; mindful reflection; social tolerance; awareness and respect; peace and kindness. Next conversation, Environmental Justice (2021-2022).

The Significance of Race Event Highlights

Below are 12 event highlights from the The Significance of Race series.
For a list of all the events, see The Significance of Race event archives section. 

Turning Anguish to Purpose with Gardner and Nesbitt

A discussion with Jimmie C. Gardner, inspirational/motivational speaker, youth mentor, wrongful conviction and judicial reform advocate and "Prexy" (Rozell W.) Nesbitt, educator, activist, and speaker on Africa, foreign policy, and racism.

A Musical Family Tree with Dr. Monique Charles

Dr. Charles’ research combines her interests in music, spirituality, sociology and the African Diaspora. Other research interests include popular culture, music/musicology, sound studies, embodiment, spirituality, cultural studies, class, gender and race.

Always in Season

The film, Always in Season, tells a difficult story from the perspective of a mother whose son was found hanged, and the death ruled a suicide. Listen to the director and filmmaker, Jacqueline Olive, discuss the film.

A Source of Self-Regard

Escalette artist Ivan Forde, artist & educator Niama Safia Sandy, discuss the Escalette exhibition Begin/Again: Marking Black Memories, featuring Forde. The exhibition explores how memories are reshaped and reimagined by Black artists.

Significance of Race Today in America with William J. Barber II

William J. Barber II, is a pastor and social justice advocate building a broad-based grassroots movement, grounded in the moral tenets of faith-based communities and the constitution, to confront systemic racism, poverty,environmental devastation, the war economy and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism in America today.

Olympic Pride, American Prejudice

The film, Olympic Pride, American Prejudice, explores the experiences of 18 African American Olympians who defied both Jim Crow and Adolf Hitler to win 14 medals—one quarter of the total won by the U.S. team—at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. Listen to the film's director, Deborah Riley Draper discuss the story.

In a Beat

The film, In a Beat, explores the convergence of talent and career opportunities with very real personal, social, and economic challenges. Listen to the the film's writer and director Natasha Mynhier discuss her project.

The Value of Whiteness with Dr. Cheryl Harris

Cheryl Harris is the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Professor in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at UCLA Law School, and anationally-renowned expert in critical race theory, civil rights, and civil liberties.

Working for Racial Justice and Human Rights

A panel discussion with Dr. Ahmed Younis, Former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Dr. Claudia Fuentes-Julio, author and editor of several books on human rights, and Dr. Rozell “Prexy” Nesbitt, Scholar-Activist focusing on race and colonialism in North America and Africa.

Black Activism & The Pursuit of Justice

Discussion with Dr. Kimberly White-Smith, Professor & Dean at University of La Verne, Dr. Quaylan Allen, Professor of Ed Studies at Chapman, Tylik M. McMillan, graduate of North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State, Justin Frazier, co-founder of Clarity O.C. & Arianna Ngnomire, '19, a queer Black woman.

Black Health Care: Past and Present

Panel discussion with Dr. Lawrence "LB" Brown (Vice Provost for Academic Administration); Dr. Emmanuel John (Department of Physical Therapy); Dr. Jason Douglas (Assistant Professor of Public Health) and Dr. Tamarra Jones (Orange County Healthcare Agency).

Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner's Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause

Dr. Ty Seidule grew up revering Robert E. Lee. From his southern childhood to his service in the U.S. Army, every part of his life reinforced the Lost Cause myth: that Lee was the greatest man who ever lived, and that the Confederates were underdogs who lost the Civil War with honor. His view has changed.

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Engaging the World Podcasts

A podcast series of informed and enriching dialogues to help us better understand our world – how we got here, who we are, and where we are going as a society. Produced in partnership with publicpodcasting.org. Subscribe now! Listen on Apple Podcast and Spotify!

To learn more about this program, contact Associate Professor of Sociology, Associate Dean of Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, Dr. Stephanie Takaragawa.