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Intercultural Engagement and Leadership

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Up From the Roots

Musicians Randye Jones of Grinnell College and Damani Phillips of the University of Iowa will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by sharing the rich history of the music of the African-American tradition.

The 13th Amendment, which officially abolished slavery in America, was ratified by the states on Dec. 6, 1865, eight months after the Civil War ended.

To mark this milestone, Jones and Phillips will present a free public lecture, "Up From the Roots," and a musical performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, in Herrick Chapel.

They will explore the development of music from the end of the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, including spirituals, gospel, jazz, blues, and rhythm and blues.

The Office of Intercultural Affairs and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion are sponsoring the event.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations and Events.

Randye Jones

Randye JonesJones, a soprano and researcher, is a doctoral student in vocal literature at the University of Iowa. She also serves as media room supervisor in Burling Library at Grinnell College.

Jones has gained recognition for her writings on African-American vocalists and composers, and as a performer and lecturer through her projects, "The Art of the Negro Spiritual, Afrocentric Voices in Classical Music," and the recently published "The Spirituals Database."

She regularly presents lecture-recitals and concerts, and serves as a panelist at events such as the Research, Education, Activism, and Performance (REAP) National Conference on Spirituals, African American Art Song Alliance Conference, and the National Association of Negro Musicians conference.  

Damani Phillips

Damani PhillipsPhillips, formerly on the music faculty at Grinnell College, is an assistant professor of jazz studies and African-American studies at the University of Iowa.

An active saxophone player, pedagogue, and composer, Phillips has taught and performed throughout the United States, England, and Japan, and is actively sought as a guest artist, clinician and adjudicator. Phillips has performed with artists/groups such as Lewis Nash, Christian McBride, the touring Dave Matthews cover band "Crush," and many others. He has released five albums of his own, including his most recent recording project, "Duality," a double album featuring a unique synergy between straight-ahead jazz and hip hop music.

A Level Playing Field?

Sociology professor Matthew Hughey Matthew Hughey of the University of Connecticut will deliver a lecture on Monday, Nov. 30, about how media coverage of athletics perpetuates the myth of "black brawn vs. white brains."

The free, public lecture, titled "A Level Playing Field? Zombie Theories of Athletics, Genetics and Race in Media," starts at 7:30 p.m. in Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101.

Black and white image of Jesse Owens racingHughey will discuss the role the news media play in perpetuating the myth of "black brawn vs. white brains" – that blacks have an inherent biological disposition toward athletic excellence. Despite biological and sociological evidence that debunks this theory, Hughey contends that many still believe in a link between black athleticism and biological determinism. He will argue that while empirically impossible, this thesis is a zombie theory – an idea that just won't die.

The author of several books, Hughey has written extensively about race, including The White Savior Film: Content, Critics and Consumption and  White Bound: Nationalists, Antiracists and the Shared Meanings of Race. He also serves as co-editor of The Obamas and a (Post) Racial America?

National media outlets such as NPR, ABC and CBS frequently call upon Hughey for his sociological expertise. He also is a contributing writer to The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and the Huffington Post, among others.

Hughey has received numerous honors throughout his career, such as the Distinguished Early Career Award from the American Sociological Association's Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities. Hughey is a member of both the Africana Studies and American Studies departments at the University of Connecticut.

Assistant Professor Casey Oberlin, sociology, is organizing the event. Co-sponsors are the Office of Diversity and Inclusion; the Center for Humanities; the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights; the Instructional Support Committee; the Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies Department; the Department of Sociology; and the Department of Anthropology.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Rosenfield Center has accessible parking in the lot to the east. Room 101 is equipped with an induction hearing loop system. You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations and Events.

Timbuktu at The Strand

Timbuktu, winner of seven Cesar Awards including Best Picture, will be shown at 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, at The Strand Theatre, 921 Main St., Grinnell. The screening is free and open to the public.

The film centers on proud cattle herder Kidane, who lives peacefully in the dunes with his wife, Satima, his daughter, Toya, and Issan, their 12-year-old shepherd. Their home is near the ancient Malian city of Timbuktu in the West African nation of Mali.

Jihadists determined to control the faith of Timbuktu residents have imposed a grinding interpretation of Sharia law. Music, laughter, cigarettes and even soccer have been banned. Kidane and his family have avoided the chaos that reigns in Timbuktu — but their destiny changes suddenly after a tragic accident.

A nominee for the 2015 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, Timbuktu also garnered seven of France's Cesar Awards. In addition to Best Picture, the film won Best Director for Abderrahmane Sissako, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Music, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound.

Timbuktu is rated PG-13 (for violence and thematic elements). Sponsors of the screening are the French and Arabic department, Center for the Humanities, Center for International Studies, Intercultural Affairs, and the Cultural Film Committee.

Don’t Run, Embrace It All

Join teacher, mentor, and healer Tarell A. Rodgers ’93 as he returns to campus to present “Don’t Run, Embrace It All.”

In the small group session, Rodgers will talk about how to survive and thrive at Grinnell, describing motivational and self-healing techniques and answering students’ questions, says Stephanie Snow, interim assistant director of intercultural engagement & leadership.

"Don't Run, Embrace It All" will cover his own personal journey, including how he "discover[ed] my heart
had all I needed." He'll talk about the "importance of living from the heart, not the intellect," and lead a Sufi Dhikr chant and recitation, as well as private Sufi healings for participants with oils, chants and Quranic recitation.

When he was a student at Grinnell, Tarell was a member and president of Concerned Black Students, and a Student Government Association senator. He's since gone on to win awards like the Citizen against Recidivism Award for Leadership in Education.

Schedule of Events

“Don’t Run, Embrace It All”
Thursday, Feb. 19, 7 p.m.
ARH 302

Small Group Session
4:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20
Black Cultural Center

Both events are free and open to the public. Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations.

Sponsored by Grinnell’s Office of Intercultural Engagement and Leadership; Peace and Conflict Studies; Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights; and Development and Alumni Relations.

Program Preps Students for Grinnell

A pre-orientation program is helping put new Grinnellians at ease — a week before classes begin — through tours, workshops, and social events.

“It has helped lower my stress,” says Dasaan McCrimmon, a first-year student from Philadelphia, Pa.

The five-day program introduces students to the campus and college resources. Each student is paired with a student mentor.

David Chang, a first-year from San Diego, Calif., lauds the program. “Being in PCPOP with other students from across the nation, and a lot of them being students of color and minority students, I think that’s great,” he says. “It’s great to know people and know where things are.”

Jocelyn Acosta is a mentor and third-year sociology and gender, women’s, and sexuality studies major from El Monte, Calif. “It’s an awesome program,” she says. “It’s important for students to have one-on-one attention.”

PCPOP participants have fun while exploring campus. Some of their activities include:

  • Scavenger hunt and campus tour
  • Dinner with President Raynard S. Kington
  • Leadership Panel with Student Government Association (SGA)
  • Ice Cream Social
  • Visits to the writing, reading, and math labs
  • Discussion about wellness and financial management

Joan Mohan, director of the Reading Lab, makes students feel comfortable seeking help. She shows them resources about time management and discusses good reading and study habits.

“How did you ever learn anything in your life?” she asks. “It takes time. It takes practice, repetition, perseverance, a little bit of patience, a little bit of bravery, and, me nagging along.”

The program is organized by the Office of Intercultural Engagement and Leadership (OIEL).

Jocelyn Acosta ’16 sociology and gender, women’s, and sexuality studies major from El Monte, Calif. Dasaan McCrimmon, a first-year student from Philadelphia, Pa. David Chang, a first-year student San Diego, Calif.

Real Conversation, Removing the Mask

Iowa State Representative Ako Abdul-Samad, who has represented the state’s 35th district, including Des Moines, since 2007, will speak at Grinnell College at 8 p.m. Monday, May 5.

His talk, “Real Conversation, Removing the Mask,” will take place in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101. This free lecture is open to the public.

About Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad

Currently serving his third term in the Iowa House of Representatives, Ako Abdul-Samad is an assistant minority leader who sits on the Administration and Rules, Education, Human Resources and Public Safety committees. Before being elected to the House, he was a member of the Des Moines School Board.

Abdul-Samad is the CEO/Founder of Creative Visions Human Development Center, a Des Moines organization designed to help economically vulnerable individuals, families and communities become self-sufficient through education and economic empowerment.

In 2009, Abdul-Samad received the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Activist award for his commitment to improving the quality of life in his community and in the state of Iowa. In 2004, he received the Caring Institute’s National Caring Award, which recognizes caring, compassion and service.

Abdul-Samad recently published his first book, A Deeper Truth, Revelations of the Soul, a collection of poems depicting experiences and events within his own life and the lives of others he has encountered.

About Abdul-Samad’s Talk at Grinnell College

Ako Abdul-Samad’s talk at Grinnell College is presented by Man(hood) and sponsored by the College’s Office of Intercultural Engagement and Leadership, and the Dean’s Office.

Addressing Diversity Through Sports

Author and human rights activist Richard E. Lapchick — often described as the "racial conscience of sport" — will discuss “Addressing Socioeconomic Diversity: The Power of Sport to Heal” at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 8 in Harris Center Cinema.

Lapchick is a pioneer for racial equality and an internationally recognized expert on sports and social issues. He is committed to equality and believes that sport can be an effective instrument of positive social change.

The event, sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, is free and open to the public.

About Richard E. Lapchick

Lapchick was one of 200 guests of Nelson Mandela at his inauguration. Lapchick had led the American sports boycott of South Africa from 1975 until the end of apartheid.

He is a prolific writer and has spoken in the U.S. Congress, at the United Nations and in the European Parliament.

Lapchick created the critically acclaimed Racial and Gender Report Card, an annual study of the racial and gender hiring practices of the major professional sports and in college sports in the United States. He helped found several organizations, including a group of over 280 colleges and universities that created a first-of-its-kind degree completion and community service program. Nationally, the group’s athletes have worked with nearly 19.1 million students in school outreach and community service, teaching youth how to improve race relations, develop conflict resolution skills, prevent gender violence, and avoid drug and alcohol abuse.

He has been the recipient of numerous humanitarian awards.

Student Activity: Budget and Funding Request Form

The Student Activity Fund is administered through the Office of Student Affairs. This fund has been
established to support student initiated events and activities. The fund is intended to provide students with
another avenue to acquire funds to produce an event/activity, travel to organized competitions, present a
paper at a professional conference, etc. This fund is not intended to become a fund that provides a regular
operating budget for organizations within a specific year nor in the long term. It is to be noted that there

PCPOP Peer Mentor Application 2014-2015


Thank you for applying for the Peer Mentor position. The Peer Mentor Pre-Orientation Program (PCPOP) is a full year commitment. We are excited to review you as a candidate for the program. Below you will find the mission of Peer Connections Pre-Orientation Program and what is expected of a peer mentor in the Peer Connections Program.