August 28, 2017
Against a national backdrop of increased focus on racism, racial division and racial justice, Johnson State College will host events throughout the fall to examine those issues. All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.
The diversity-themed events start Sept. 5 with the opening of “I am Vermont, Too,” a photo exhibit about race by JSC graduate and Vermont artist Sabrina Leonard that runs through Sept. 28 at Julian Scott Memorial Gallery on campus.
A campus workshop Sept. 5 on exploring systemic racism, led by Paul Marcus, lead trainer at Community Change Inc. in Boston, will be conducted for the JSC community. The semester-long diversity focus centers on the book “How to Be Black” by best-selling author, activist, comedian and entrepreneur Baratunde Thurston, who will speak at JSC at 8 p.m. Sept. 18 at Dibden Center for the Arts. As part of the college’s interdisciplinary Common Reading Initiative, incoming first-year students read the book over the summer. They will participate in discussions about race in America with other students, faculty and staff at various campus events all semester.
The diversity theme reflects some of JSC’s core values, including freedom of expression, civility, and respect and support for everyone on campus.
Other public, diversity-focused events at JSC this semester include:
* Sept. 13, 6 p.m., Stearns Performance Space, Muslim Girls Making Change: The South Burlington-based slam poetry team focused on dispelling stereotypes includes Hawa Adam, Kiran Waqar, Lena Ginawi and Balkisa Abdikadir.
* Oct. 3, 7 p.m., Bentley Hall Room 207, James Mills and “An American Ascent”: The film documents the first African-American expedition to Alaska’s Denali, North America’s highest peak. Mills, one of the writers, will participate in a discussion after the screening.
* Oct. 23, 6 p.m., Bentley Hall Room 207, “13th” screening: Ava DuVernay’s award-winning documentary centers on how the Constitution’s 13th Amendment led to mass incarceration in the country.
* Nov. 30, 8 p.m., Dibden Center for the Arts, “The Opulence of Integrity”: Through boxing, martial arts and dance, Christal Brown’s dance company INSPIRIT celebrates the life of the late Muhammad Ali and examines the experience of men of color in the U.S.
On July 1, 2018, Johnson State College and Lyndon State College will become Northern Vermont University, a two-campus institution of higher education that combines the best of both colleges’ nationally recognized liberal arts and professional programs under a single administration. Driven by a mission to provide a high-quality, accessible, inclusive education for students in the state, the region, the nation and online, NVU will begin recruiting in fall 2017 for its first class starting in fall 2018.