Which Way Forward?: Freedom Organizing in the 21st Century

“Which Way Forward?: Freedom Organizing in the Twenty-First Century”

An Event Featuring Leading Black Feminist Scholar and Organizer, Barbara Smith

Wednesday, January 18, 2017
6:00-8:00 pm, with reception.

SAC 154 (2320 N. Kenmore)

Author, activist, and independent scholar, Barbara Smith is a groundbreaker in opening up a national cultural and political dialogue about the intersections of race, class, sexuality, and gender. She was a cofounder of the Combahee River Collective, a Black feminist organization of the 1970s, and a cofounder and publisher of Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press (until 1995), the first U. S. publisher for women of color.

A collection of her essays, The Truth That Never Hurts: Writings on Race, Gender, and Freedom was published by Rutgers University Press in 1998. And in 2014, Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith, edited by Alethia Jones and Virginia Eubanks with Barbara Smith, was published by SUNY Press.

She is editor of three major collections: Conditions: Five, The Black Women’s Issue (with Lorraine Bethel, 1979); All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men, But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women’s Studies (with Gloria T. Hull and Patricia Bell Scott, 1982); and Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology, 1983. She is also the co-author with Elly Bulkin and Minnie Bruce Pratt of Yours in Struggle: Three Feminist Perspectives on Anti-Semitism and Racism, 1984. She is the general editor of The Reader’s Companion to U.S. Women’s History with Wilma Mankiller, Gwendolyn Mink, Marysa Navarro, and Gloria Steinem, 1998.

She resides in Albany, New York and served two terms as a member of the Albany Common Council from 2006 to 2013. Currently she is the Special Community Projects Coordinator for the City of Albany responsible for the Equity Agenda. She is a regular panelist on WAMC Northeast Public Radio’s Round Table.

This event is co-organized by Women’s and Gender Studies, the Center for Black Diaspora, the Women’s Center, the African and Black Diaspora Studies Program, with generous and much appreciated support from a growing number of cosponsors including the Critical Ethnic Studies and the LGBTQ Studies Programs, the Departments of English, Geography, and Latin American/Latino Studies Program.

His Name is Not Ted: An Evening with Josh Radnor

His Name is Not Ted: An Evening With Josh Radnor
By Gabbie Zeller


            Imagine sitting in a coffee shop, catching up with a friend you haven’t seen in years. You have no idea what is going on in his life, and you don’t have the slightest clue as to how he is doing now. You begin to ask him questions such as: “How was life after college?” and “How exactly did you know that you wanted to be an actor?” For many of us, this was a reality last night when Josh Radnor, the star of the television show How I Met Your Mother, visited DePaul’s campus to give a talk. Of course a multipurpose room replaced the coffee shop, and there were a large number of us packed into the space.

Anyone who came to the event, or who happened to be in the Student Center, recalls that the line to even get into the room was extremely long. I happened to get very lucky when I saw how long the line was; I grabbed some homework and rushed over. This was at 4:30, and the event was not even supposed to start until 6pm! I can’t even imagine how many people ended up getting in line, but I guess that shows how popular the event was.

After anxiously waiting for an hour and a half, it was finally time to sit down and get situated before the event got started. The suspense was building, and everyone was getting very excited. When Josh came out, he was welcomed with cheers and applause. Not to mention obsessed fans yelling for “Ted” and saying “Marry me, Ted Mosby!”  When things finally calmed down, Josh told us that DAB, the DePaul Activities Board, had given him a water bottle and some Garrett’s popcorn. He decided that we all needed a snack, and proposed that we pass around the bag of popcorn. Josh started off with a little introduction about other schools he had been to, and then opened the floor to questions. I’ll admit, I was going into this thinking the whole thing would just be a talk, but most of it was actually a question and answer period. I thought that was interesting and preferred the question and answer format.

Many students asked intriguing questions, and Josh would reply and then go off on a slight tangent with an interesting story or fun fact about himself. He talked about his experiences from acting, writing, and directing, and his love for his profession.  At one point he asked the audience, “This is college. We can talk about stuff, right?”  Josh was ready and willing to answer every question that came his way. He shared insightful stories about college and finding yourself.

As great as the event was, I must note my one qualm. One aspect that put a damper on Josh’s talk was the hecklers in the audience. People were randomly yelling pointless comments while Josh was talking, and it was not only irritating to me, but also to Josh, and not to mention disrespectful. We are all adults, not children, and even though we may be big fans of his, he still deserved to be able to speak without being interrupted. Sure, most people were there because they watch How I Met Your Mother, and I believe most people are convinced that Josh is really Ted. I went, and I’m sure many others did to, to hear him share his insights and experiences. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge How I Met Your Mother fan, but yelling out comments and going crazy is not my style.

On a lighter note, it was great to see how open Josh was with us, and hearing about how he tries to shed the “Ted” image. We can all relate to this. Sometimes there are things that seem to define us that really don’t. Although Josh is a lot like Ted in some ways (he’s from Ohio and loves to read) he is not Ted. He is Josh, a completely different, very real person.

Overall, it was a fantastic night and I had a blast! I know that all the students did too, and I believe Josh did as well. He was so nice, and even took a picture of all of us for his Twitter page. A very special thank you goes out to DAB for bringing us not only a great speaker, but also a fun night filled with laughter. And thank you to Josh Radnor, whose name is not Ted Mosby.


About the Writer:
My name is Gabriella Zeller, and I am a freshman English major at DePaul. I am from Peoria, IL, three hours south of Chicago. I love to write short stories and hope to go into editing/publishing one day. I believe that to be a good writer one must be an avid reader. Reading is an important hobby instilled in me at a young age by my family. I enjoy reading all types of books and here are a few of my favorites: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Starter for Ten by Andrew Nicholls, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy by Steig Larsson.