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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Friday Forum

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The Fall 2015 Friday Forum lecture series presents

Uncovering the Reality of Racial Injustice in the U.S.

"Breaking Down Racism" will explore how young people in America of different backgrounds experience race, ethnicity, and racism today.  The series will continue in the spring with highlighting specific tools, campaigns, and changes necessary to combat racism and break down the institutional barriers to equality faced by communities of color.  

Fall 2015 Friday Forum Lecture Series Schedule:

All Friday Forum events, unless otherwise noted, are at 12 Noon in the Y's Latzer Hall, 1001 S. Wright Street, Champaign, IL
All Friday Forum lectures and events are free and open to the public. You can download the half page lecture series flyer here (pdf).

September 18
Black Mothers in the “Hidden America”: Effects of Discriminatory and Unequal Housing
Dr. Ruby Mendenhall, Associate Professor of Sociology, African American Studies, Urban and Regional Planning, and Social Work, UIllinois

September 25
What It Means to Be White
Dr. Monica McDermott, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Illinois and author of Working Class White: The Making and Unmaking of Race Relations

October 2
Border Crisis, Immigration Policy, and Rhetorics of Citizenship
Dr. J. David Cisneros, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and affiliate faculty in the Department of Latina/Latino Studies and the Center for Writing Studies

October 9
Police Violence, Confederate Flags, and Sundown Towns: The [Often] Hidden Dimensions of American Racism
James Loewen, Author and Adjunct Professor of African American Studies, University of Illinois

October 16
The History of African American School Achievement in the 20th Century
Dr. James Anderson, Department Head and Gutgsell Professor, Education Policy, Organization and Leadership

*Tuesday, October 20
Film screening of:
The Whole Gritty City
at the Art Theater Cooperative
126 W. Church Street in Champaign, IL
Time: 7:30pm

October 23
Can you YouTube save Asian America?
Vincent N. Pham, Assistant Professor of Communication, California State University-San Marcos

October 30
#SayHerName: Toward a Gender Inclusive Movement for Racial Justice
Dr. Brittney Cooper, Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University and co-founder of the Crunk Feminist Collective

November 6
Race Relations in the Classroom: Racial Microaggressions at the University of Illinois
Dr. Stacy Harwood, Associate Professor of Urban & Regional Planning Urban & Regional Planning Dept, University of Illinois

November 13
Intersections of Diversity and Internationalization
Dr. Nicole Lamers, International Education Specialist, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership

November 20
Dr. Carlos Montezuma, Activism and American Indian Racial Injustice
Jamie Singson, Director of the Native American House at the University of Illinois

Friday Forum has been a program for over 80 years at the University YMCA, continually adapting to the times while remaining committed to providing talks that address topics of relevance and urgency in our society.

Our generous sponsors of the Fall 2015 Friday Forum lecture series are:

ACES Deanís Office - College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, Asian American Cultural Center, Atmospheric Sciences, Channing-Murray Foundation, The Chapel of Saint John the Divine Episcopal Church, Central Illinois Jobs with Justice, Counseling Center, College of Education, Department of Recreation, Sport, and Tourism, Department of Speech and Hearing Science, Education Justice Project, First Mennonite Church, College of Education, McKinley Presbyterian Church and Foundation, Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Prairie Research Institute, Social Action Committee of the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Urbana-Champaign, Urbana Baha'i Community, Urbana Champaign Friends Meeting, Wesley United Methodist Church, Wesley Foundation at the University of Illinois, Westminster Presbyterian Church, YWCA of the University of Illinois.


Questions? Contact Kasey at 217-337-1500 or at



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