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Join us for a documentary film screening of Near Normal Man and panel discussion about the far-right rally that took place in Charlottesville this summer. The rally, attended by white-supremacists and neo-Nazis, was a deadly reminder that hatred has a long history in America. In fact, in recent years the number of hate groups and hate acts have been on the rise. We’re creating space to discuss this trend and how it affects the Stanford community.
Our panel includes:
Moderator: Dereca Blackmon, is Associate Dean and Director of the Diversity and First-Gen Office at Stanford University and Stanford University alumnus. Ms. Blackmon is an educator, facilitator, and spiritual activist with over 25 years of experience supporting communities in radical healing and strategic development. She has extensive experience facilitating “uncommon conversations” on race, gender, class, and social justice. She has also organized local and national efforts on police accountability, including leading the movement for justice in the murder of Oscar Grant, III in Oakland.
Reverend Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou is a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University’s Martin Luther King Education and Research Institute. With the Deep Abiding Love Project, he has trained over five thousands activists in militant nonviolent civil disobedience through the United States. During the Ferguson Uprising, he was arrested 4 times and faced over a year in prison. Rev. Sekou spent 6 weeks supporting local organizers in Charlotteville in the lead up to the "Unite the Right" rally. He is the author of two collections of essays, Urbansouls and Gods, Gays, and Guns. Through Chalice Press, his forthcoming titles include: The Task of the Artist in the Time of Monsters (January 2018) This is Not Your Daddy's Civil Rights Movement: Black Lives Matter and the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr (March 2018) and A Liberation Theology of Ferguson (August 2018). In May 2017, Rev. Sekou released his debut solo album, “In Times Like These”--produced by the six-time Grammy nominated North Mississippi Allstars. The sonic landscape of Rev. Sekou's music is a unique combination of North Mississippi Hill Country Music, Arkansas Delta Blues, Memphis Soul, 1960s Protest Music and Pentecostal steel guitar.
Ben Stern is a 95-year old Holocaust survivor who from the ages of 17-24, survived 2 ghettos, 9 concentration camps and 2 death marches. Thirty years later, Mr. Stern sparked and led a fierce public battle and won - against hatred when Nazis planned to march in Skokie, Illinois, his adopted hometown. This year, for the 3rd time in his life, Mr. Stern defied the Nazis. He led a march against hatred and spoke out to thousands at an anti-racism rally in Berkeley, CA. Mr. Stern believes Americans today must unite and act against racism. Mr. Stern will receive a James Joyce Humanitarian Award and honorary fellowship of the Literary & Historical Society on October 26th in Dublin, Ireland, in its 163rd session.
Charlene Stern, daughter of Ben Stern and producer and director of Near Normal Man, a documentary about her father’s life and legacy. Near Normal Man is a powerful documentary about the resilience of the human spirit. The film shows how her father’s experiences and his courage, kindness and hope, gave him the wisdom to recognize that an injustice to one is an injustice to us all.
Lily Zheng ’17, is a writer, activist and trans advocate who as an undergraduate campaigned for LGBTQ+ inclusion at Stanford and authored a weekly column on social change and effective activism. She now works at Stanford's Diversity and First-Generation Office as a Design Researcher, and is preparing her upcoming book on Transgender Workplace Discrimination for publication.
Kevin Grisham, Ph.D., Assistant Director of Research, Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism and Associate Professor at California State University, San Bernardino. Dr. Grisham is a political scientist and political violence scholar who specializes in analysis of terrorism, violent political movements, and globalization. Dr. Grisham’s writings have focused on both domestic and global terrorism threats, as well as factors that lead various violent political movements to transform into other organizations over time.
Anita Husen, Associate Dean and Director of The Markaz: Resource Center at Stanford University. Ms. Husen taught Arabic at Princeton University as a Lecturer in the Near Eastern Studies department. She has 14 years of experience in academia, holding leadership positions, advising student groups, and creating spaces for students to build community. She received her MA in Arabic Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and is committed to developing partnerships and alliances in order to build community and negotiate competing perspectives.