Monthly Archives

January 2015

Diversity, Heritage Month

Black History is American History

2015BlackHistoryMonthEventsFebruary is a time to remind ourselves of the many and varied contributions African Americans have made to every aspect of the U.S. culture and to celebrate them in conjunction with others. Be it music, science, religion, health, examples and influence from the black experience are present.
Please join Student Diversity and Inclusion Services in celebrating Black History Month this February! The month kicks off with “The Gathering” on Friday, Feb. 6th at 8 p.m. in ASC LL Dance. We once again welcome DJ Enferno for a “Flashback Friday” themed event. Invite students to celebrate the new semester with us by reconnecting with friends and letting loose on the dance floor.
Come to ASC Hearth on Tuesday, Feb. 10th at 4 p.m. for some dialogue and stew! The topic for Culture Stew is natural hair, and discussion will be facilitated by Dr. Buffy Smith, Dr. Todd Lawrence, and Michelle Miller (student). Mixed Blood Theatre will present “AFRICAN AMERICA” in ASC Scooter’s on Wednesday, Feb. 11th at 7 p.m. The play helps immigrants from Somalia, Ethiopia, and Liberia to connect with and celebrate their heritage as an interracial couple is led by a magical African to a better understanding of the immigrant experience.2015AfricanAmericaScreen
There will be a special menu at T’s in ASC for the week of Feb.16-20 to celebrate Black History Month! Special lunch items will be served from 11a.m.-2 p.m. Our main event this week is a series of slam poetry workshops and performances Feb. 17-20 with help from STAR, BESA, American Culture and Difference, Office of Mission, and the English department. Dr. Todd Lawrence writes:
Nate Marshall is a poet,2015SlamPoetryWeekScreem writer, rapper, educator, and activist from the south side of Chicago. He is author of Blood Percussion and the forthcoming Wild Hundreds. Featured in the award-winning documentary Louder Than a Bomb and the HBO series “Brave New Voices,” Marshall is a Zell Postgraduate Fellow at University of Michigan where he earned an MFA in poetry. He has won many awards, including the 2014 Hurston/Wright Foundation Amistad Award and the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize from University of Pittsburgh Press.
Michael Mlekoday is the author of The Dead Eat Everything. He won the 2009 National Poetry Slam with the St. Paul team, and returned in 2010 to coach the team to another championship. He has served as Poetry Editor of Indiana Review, and his poems have appeared in Ninth Letter, RHINO, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Anti-, Muzzle Magazine, and other journals.
During their visit, Nate Marshall and Mike Mlekoday will offer poetry workshops so that participating poets can improve their writing and performance skills. Poets will receive personal instruction from two published artists who have extensive experience with performance poetry.

 
In our final week of celebrating, Dr. Bryana French will lead our Still We Rise series with the Luann Dummer Center for Women. Come discuss the “Intersectionality of Black Women” and enjoy a soul food dinner on Wednesday, Feb. 25th at 5:30 p.m. in the Luann Dummer Center for Women (OEC 103).

 
Celebration leads to providing experiences that create lasting impressions and knowledge. This month is especially significant to enhance our sense of the differences, sameness, and uniqueness of every individual allowing us to embrace the contributions of all of us in this shrinking society.

Uncategorized

J-Term Book Club 2015-Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman

piper5We would like to share the discussions questions for “Orange is the New Black”

Week 2
1. Table introductions:
• Who is your favorite character, and why?
2. Summarize key points from this week’s chapters that outline Piper’s story.

3. On pages 78-79, Piper says:
“…it was a clear demonstration that I ‘had it like that’ on the outside, a network of people who had both a concern for me and the time and money to buy me books…I saw that some of the women had little or no resources from the outside to help make their prison life livable.”
• What other examples of social capital have you noticed in the book?
• Can you think of a way that people without social capital are affected outside of prison? At UST?

4. Piper references conditions in county jails on page 125, calling them “universally nasty, full of drunks, prostitutes, and junkies.” She goes on to say that conditions were better at Danbury, a federal prison.
• Piper says it costs $30,000/year to incarcerate a prisoner (p. 138). Given the descriptions of Danbury’s conditions, does this surprise you? Why or why not?

5. One of the guards at Danbury was prosecuted for sexually abusing prisoners and served one month in jail (p. 130). Does the punishment fit the crime? How are perceptions of power-based violence similar or different outside prison?

Week 3

Piper refers to Danbury as a “Human Warehouse” in chapter 10. She later says, “A lengthy term of community service working with addicts on the outside would probably have driven the same truth home and been a hell of a lot more productive for the community,” (p. 180)

What do you think? Was it necessary for piper to go to prison?

Think back to our conversation about social capital—Piper mentions that she had a job lined up for her when she left prison.  Do you think this is common for inmates?

What are some challenges you can think of for women who are trying to rejoin society after imprisonment?

How might new policies keep these women from returning to prison?

Piper has a realization of the consequences of her actions which led her to Danbury.  She looks at Allie and Pennsatuckey, who suffer from addiction, and acknowledges the role she had in others’ addictions.

    • Do you think she feels real remorse?
    • Do you hold her, and other suppliers, accountable?
  • Our presenter and contact information- Sarah King –MnCoSA Volunteer Coordinator –Sarah.King@state.mn.us

Week 4

 

  • Discuss some of the connections that Piper made with the other inmates at Danbury. What does she learn from them?
  • Which of the other stories that were shared over the course of the memoir did you find particularly intriguing?Piper says, “I was eager to offer what I had, which was more than I had realized. Judging others held little appeal to me now, and when I did it, I regretted it.” (Ch. 15)
    • What other ways did piper transform during her time in prison?
  • After reading Orange Is the New Black, do you think our prison system is successful? Do you think its dramatic growth over the last thirty years—nearly 400 percent more Americans in prison—is a good thing for the country?
    • Why or why not?
    • What do you think the author is trying to accomplish by telling her story?
  • What are some questions that you have for piper Kerman when she comes to campus on March 25th?