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

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“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.

Creative Arts & Disability Justice: A Night with Susan Nussbaum (10/30/2014)

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Please Join us to hear from an amazing disability rights/justice organizer, writer, and artist – Susan Nussbaum.

In addition to the evening event from 6-8pm, she will also be talking about her activism in relation to the novel in the afternoon from 1:00-2:30 pm, in SAC 254.

Susan Nussbaum is a playwright, novelist, and longtime disability rights activist.    Nussbaum started one of the earliest groups for girls with disabilities, the Empowered Fe Fes. For her work with disabled girls over the years, she was named as one of 50 Visionaries Who are Changing Your World by the Utne Reader in 2008.

She won the 2012 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction for her novel Good Kings, Bad Kings. Proclaimed by the Chicago Tribune as a “joy for readers” and “saucy, brutally funny, gritty, profane, poignant and real” by the Kansas City Star, Good Kings, Bad Kings is inspired by Nussbaum’s personal experiences.  Told in alternating perspectives by a varied and vocal cast of characters, this groundbreaking book pulls back the curtain to reveal the complicated life inside the walls of an institution for young adults with disabilities.  From Yessenía Lopez, who dreams of her next boyfriend and of one day living outside those walls; to Teddy Dobbs, a kid who dresses up daily in a full suit and tie; to Mia Oviedo, who guards a terrifying secret; to Joanne Madsen, the new data-entry clerk who suddenly finds herself worrying about her own complicity in an ugly system, Nussbaum has crafted a multifaceted portrait of a way of life hidden from most of us. In this isolated institution on Chicago’s South Side, friendships are forged, trust is built, love affairs are kindled, and resistance begins.

“After I became a wheelchair-user in the late ‘70s, I joined the disability rights movement,” says Nussbaum. “So I’m always interested in giving a true voice to disabled characters, who are multidimensional people, far more complex than the stereotypical characters that tend to dominate in fiction.”