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University of Maryland, College Park
Thursday, October 18, 2018 - 8:00 AM to Saturday, October 20, 2018 - 7:00 PM

Join the first national conference of the African American Digital Humanities Initiative at UMD.

2/2/18

By Jillian Atelsek | The Diamondback

"As he arrived at the podium to deafening applause and a standing ovation, Bobby Seale raised his hands, stepped back and chuckled.

"'Reminds me of the '60s,' he said.

"Seale, the co-founder of the Black Panther Party, a political activist and a cultural icon, spoke at the University of Maryland on Thursday night about organized resistance and strength in the face of discrimination and oppression.

"'I don't believe in riots,' he said. 'I believe in organizing. I believe in putting my machine together.'"

Read the complete article in The Diamondback.

Photo: Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale addressed University of Maryland students and faculty on Thursday, Feb. 1. (Richard Moglen/The Diamondback)

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Over 150 people filled the Gildenhorn Recital Hall at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center on Wednesday night to hear award-winning slam poet and social justice advocate Theo Wilson, who appeared as part of the University of Maryland College of Arts and Humanities Dean’s Lecture Series.

Wilson skyrocketed to social media fame after posting beliefs about hate and bias. During his lecture, he discussed his experiences as a black man in an increasingly digital and racially charged world.

Wilson went undercover in white supremacist online communities to “get a gist of the gathering storm” because “nothing is more dangerous for black people than white supremacy.”

While undercover, he learned how social media creates digital echo chambers that steer users toward content that affirms their ideological beliefs. He also learned about the dangers of groupthink, a psychological phenomenon in which a group of people make irrational decisions based on the desire for harmony. Noticing how alt-right online communities gained momentum through these realities propelled his career as an activist.

Throughout the lecture, he detailed events that changed the way he thought about his own race. From the racially motivated bombings at Florida A&M University, a historically black college, in 1999, to the election of George W. Bush in 2001, Wilson described how race permeated his everyday life.

Wilson began his public speaking career in the NAACP at the age of 15, and has always had a passion for social justice. He helped found the Denver Slam Nuba team, which won the National Poetry Slam in 2011. Wilson also performed at this year’s TEDxMileHigh event.

He concluded his lecture by reciting a slam poem called “Impossible,” which expressed the possibility of the impossible and the barriers African Americans have overcome. The poem captivated the audience as Wilson proclaimed “My breath is like humanity/ Limitless/ Unbounded/ And impossibly free.”

During a question and answer session moderated by Linda Aldoory, associate dean for research and programming, Wilson responded to questions about slam poetry, his personal utopia and a world without racism.

Wilson ended his performance by reminding the audience that “there’s this new generation that has this attitude that’s unbreakable,” and encouraged the continuation of self-expression.

MEDIA ALERT

Description: The first lecture in the “2017-18 Dean’s Lecture Series: Courageous Conversations, ARHU Resists Hate And Bias” features Theo Wilson, the award-winning slam poet and social justice advocate who skyrocketed to social media fame after posting beliefs about hate and bias. Wilson will discuss his experience as a black man who went undercover in alt-right social media communities.

Who: Theo Wilson is a founding member of the Denver Slam Nuba team, which won the National Poetry Slam in 2011. He is also the executive director of Shop Talk Live, an organization that hosts community dialogues in barbershops and beauty salons on issues affecting African-American communities. In 2015, Wilson went undercover online to better understand the ideologies and social-media algorithms that inform the alt-right.

What: Award-winning slam poet and social justice advocate Theo Wilson discusses his experience as a black man who went undercover in alt-right social media communities.

When: Wednesday, November 29, 2017, 5:30 PM

Where: Gildenhorn Recital Hall. Located at the base of the grand staircase off the main lobby of The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.

3800 The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

8270 Alumni Drive

University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-1625

Why: This event is the first lecture in the “2017-18 Dean’s Lecture Series: Courageous Conversations, ARHU Resists Hate And Bias.” Future lecturers include Bobby Seale, founding chairman and national organizer of the Black Panther Party, and Mara Liasson, NPR political correspondent. This year’s speakers consider what it means to engage in courageous conversations that speak to the difficult issues of hate and bias across personal, political and historical frames. Each lecture is an opportunity for the campus and the UMD community to join together for provocative conversations about resisting these issues.

How: The event is free but tickets are required. Members of the press should contact Nicky Everette, Director of Marketing and Communications, to RSVP.

ABOUT THE SERIES:

The Arts & Humanities Dean's Lecture Series provides an opportunity for the college faculty, students and staff to join together with colleagues across campus for stimulating conversation about issues that cross our disciplines. Lectures and performances may address either enduring or emerging questions central to the arts and humanities, or questions arising from other disciplines to which the arts and humanities might speak. In addition to presenting a major public event, each lecturer interacts in smaller settings with faculty, graduate students and/or undergraduates.

 

Busboys and Poets Hyattsville 5331 Baltimore Avenue Hyattsville, MD 20781
Sunday, April 09, 2017 - 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Help Recently Arrived Immigrant Youth Share Their Stories.

0301 Hornbake Library, MITH Conference Room
Thursday, April 06, 2017 - 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM

Join this narrative of how blackness shapes the experiences of space and place across time.

Tawes Hall 0330
Wednesday, May 03, 2017 - 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM

Reflect on how scholars use newly acquired approaches to cultivate and refine their empirical orientation.

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM

Theorizing “The Archive” explores one of the fundamental tools of black digital scholarship.

3/7/17

By Tom Hall & Bridget Armstrong | Midday on WYPR

"The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities are two of 17 federal agencies that appear to be targeted by the Trump administration for elimination, as its budget inclinations lean heavily toward defense spending. The state of Maryland funded arts institutions at the highest level ever last year, and the Governor has proposed an additional $1 million this year, bringing the allocation for the arts to $21 million in Fiscal Year 2018. Ironically, Baltimore City Schools are facing drastic cuts. Principals looking to trim expenses, may have to make cuts to music and visual arts programs. 

"An organization called Arts Every Day is holding a symposium this weekend that will call attention to the role that arts education plays in boosting attendance, improving test scores and making schools vibrant parts of their communities.

"Tom and Dr. Sheri Parks speak with arts educators and advocates about what the arts can do for kids and their families. They also talk about the cost of funding arts programs and if that cost is worth it when belts are being tightened locally and nationally."

Listen to the complete podcast: Midday on WYPR

1/26/17

By Christine Condon and Danielle Ohl | The Diamondback

"President Trump plans to defund the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, a move that could jeopardize funding for the arts and humanities at the University of Maryland and in this state.

"A Jan. 19 report in The Hill detailed a meeting between White House staff and Trump's transition team, who fleshed out a plan to cut back on bureaucracy and government spending. The plan included eliminating the two endowments, which have granted this university about $2.5 million for research, performances and projects since 2010.

" '[The NEH and NEA] have been important in a lot of ways,' said arts and humanities college Dean Bonnie Dill. 'They are a very important part of the work that we do.' "

Read the complete story online at The Diamondback.

Image: The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. (File photo/The Diamondback).

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