Grinnell College’s Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations and Human Rights will open the 2011-12 academic year with a three-day symposium, Sept. 13-15, focused on “What is Social Justice?”
Sarah Purcell, director of the Rosenfield Program, said the symposium will provide “opportunities for conversation with practitioners and theorists about what we mean by social justice.” In 2010, Grinnell launched the Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize awards program to honor individuals under the age of 40 who demonstrate leadership, creativity and accomplishment in effecting positive social change, The first winners of the Grinnell Prize, announced in May, will be on the Grinnell campus Oct. 25-27 to receive their awards and make public presentations during a Social Justice Prize symposium, also co-sponsored by the Rosenfield Program.
“The September symposium will help to provide context and prepare us for the dialogue that will take place when the winners arrive on campus in October. We anticipate lively discussion from our global campus community and invite the public to join in,” Purcell said.
The Sept. 13-15 symposium will include the following free, public events to be held in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center on the Grinnell campus:
• Tues., Sept. 13, 4:15 p.m.: Grinnell faculty members including Kesho Scott (American studies and sociology), Chris Hunter (sociology), Lakesia Johnson (gender, women’s and sexuality studies), and Monty Roper (anthropology and global development studies) will open the symposium with a discussion of social justice from interdisciplinary and personal points of view.
• Tues., Sept. 13, 8 p.m.: Edward Hailes, Jr., managing director and general counsel of the Advancement Project, will discuss “The Characteristics of a Just Democracy,” from his background as a civil rights lawyer, former NAACP administrator and Southern Baptist pastor.
• Wed., Sept. 14, 4:15 p.m.: “Connecting Social Justice and Social Entrepreneurship” will be the focus of a talk by Sara Gould, Atlantic Philanthropies senior fellow at the Foundation Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of the disadvantaged. Gould will also conduct a workshop for students interested in managing a social justice organization.
• Wed., Sept. 14, 8 p.m.: Bread and Puppet, a Vermont arts collective focused on human rights issues, will perform using life-size puppets. The troupe will be on the Grinnell campus for a week-long residency of workshops with students. A documentary about the group will be shown at 4:15 p.m., Fri., Sept. 9 in Room 302 of Alumni Recitation Hall.
• Thurs., Sept. 15, 11 a.m.: Grinnell President Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D. will deliver the opening Scholars’ Convocation of the academic year on “Choosing Grinnell’s Future.” Kington initiated the Grinnell Prize when he joined the college in 2010 to provide social change role models for Grinnell students.
• Thurs., Sept. 15, 4:15 p.m.: Kristin Kalsem, professor of law at the University of Cincinnati will discuss “Social Justice Feminism.”
• Thurs., Sept. 15, 8 p.m.: David Estlund, Lombardo Family Professor of Humanities, Brown University, will close the symposium with “Utopophobia,” looking at the ethical basis for social justice beliefs.
For more information about the September or October social justice symposia, contact Sarah Purcell, purcelsj[at]grinnell[dot]edu, 641-269-3091. Grinnell welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Information on parking and accessibility is available on the college website. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations at 641-269-3235 or calendar[at]grinnell[dot]edu.