2017-18 Oak Events

Spring 2018

Taste of Cement

Ziad Kalthoum
February 21st | 7 p.m. | Ostrove, Diamond Building

Oak’s Resistance and Repression film series continues with a screening of Taste of Cement.  A portrait of workers in exile. An empathetic encounter with people who have lost their past and their future, locked in the recurring present. ZIAD KALTHOUM creates an essay documentary of Syrian construction workers building new skyscrapers in Beirut on the ruins caused by the Lebanese civil war. At the same time their own houses are being bombed in Syria. A Curfew prohibits them from leaving the construction site after work. Every night in their pit below the skyscraper the news from their homeland and the memories of the war chase them. Mute and imprisoned in the cement underground, they must endure until the new day arrives where the hammering and welding drowns out their nightmares. Cosponsored by Colby Cinema Studies, the Cultural Events Committee, and Pugh Community Board.

Moving Our Most Vulnerable Communities from Surviving to Thriving

Mustafa Santiago Ali from the Hip Hop Caucus
March 6th | 7 p.m. | Ostrove, Diamond Building

Mustafa Santiago Ali is the senior vice president of climate, environmental justice, and community revitalization for the Hip Hop Caucus, a national, nonprofit and non-partisan organization that connects the Hip Hop community to the civic process to build power and create positive change. Mustafa is renowned as a national speaker, trainer, and facilitator specializing in social justice issues focused on revitalizing our most vulnerable communities. Cosponsored by the Oak Institute for Human Rights, the Environmental Studies Program, Pugh Community Board, Goldfarb Center, and African-American Studies.

Activism How To: A Workshop With Gail Carlson

Gail Carlson, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
March 12th | 7:30 p.m. | Pugh Center

The Oak Student Committee presents the first in a series of spring workshops on engaging in activism.

Gail teaches in the Environmental Studies Program and focuses on environmental public health and environmental activism.  Much of Gail’s work involves civic engagement focused on environmental policy-making in Maine and at the federal level.  Many of her courses incorporate projects aimed to enhance learning by having students engage with community members, non-governmental organizations, and policy-makers on environmental health issues of public significance.  Outside of Colby, Gail is the chair of the Science Advisory Council and a former executive board member of the Portland-based nonprofit Environmental Health Strategy Center, which is committed to improving public health and incentivizing the use of safer chemicals in a sustainable economy.


A Personal Matter

John de Graaf
March 19th | 7 p.m. | Kassman Auditorium

The Resistance and Repression film series brings a screening of the documentary, A Personal Matter followed by a discussion with the director, John de Graaf.  The film is about Gordon Hirabayashi’s fight against the U.S. policy that led to the internment of Japanese and Japanese-Americans during WWII.  It took 40 years, but he eventually prevailed.  Cosponsored by Colby Cinema Studies and Pugh Community Board.

Activism 101 Workshop with Activist, Author, and Filmmaker John de Graaf

John de Graaf
March 20th | 8:30 a.m. | Fairchild Room, Dana

John de Graaf has produced more than 40 documentaries about social and environmental issues, including 15 national PBS specials and has won more than 100 regional, national and international filmmaking awards.  The John de Graaf Environmental Filmmaking Award, presented annually at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in California, is named for him.  He has written four books, including the international best-seller, AFFLUENZA, and dozens of articles for national publications.  He is the co-founder of three national organizations–And Beauty for All, Take Back Your Time, and the Happiness Alliance.  He has spoken on more than a hundred campuses, and has taught at the Evergreen State College in Washington State.  His website is: www.johndegraaf.com

Nuclear Amnesia: Waking Up to Love the World

Dr. Kathleen Sullivan, 2017 Nobel Peace Laureate, Director of Hibakusha Stories
April 4th | 7 p.m. | Ostrove, Diamond Building

Kathleen Sullivan, PhD, has been engaged in the nuclear issue for nearly 30 years, and has worked internationally as an educator for disarmament focusing primarily on two distinct audiences: young people and atomic bomb survivors (hibakusha). Currently, she is the Program Director for Hibakusha Stories, an arts-based initiative that has brought atomic bomb survivors into the lives of some 40,000 New York City High Schools students. As an education consultant to the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, she developed the disarmament education web portal for the UN’s Cyberschoolbus website and co-wrote with Peter Lucas Action for Disarmament: 10 Things You Can Do! (2014), recently translated into Japanese and Korean.  Kathleen has produced four films on nuclear issues, two documentaries (The Last Atomic Bomb & The Ultimate Wish: Ending the Nuclear Age) and two projects that focus on art for disarmament — utilizing visual arts, music and dance (The Nuclear Age in 6 Movements & The Hiroshima Panels Project). With Robert Croonquist, Pioneer Works and the Maruki Gallery, she helped produce an exhibit of Toshi and Iri Maruki’s remarkable Hiroshima Panels, voted the second best arts exhibition in Brooklyn for 2015.

Sex and Labor Trafficking: Prevention and Ethical Storytelling

Rachel Goble
April 5th | 3 p.m. | Grossman 209

Rachel Goble is the CEO and Co-Founder of The Freedom Story (previously The SOLD Project), a trafficking prevention organization in Northern Thailand. After production of the film “The SOLD Project: Thailand” (2009), Rachel traveled to over 27 cities in America to share the hope that exists in prevention. Today, thanks to the power of these stories, The Freedom Story has sponsored 200+ students at-risk in Northern Thailand and has seen the drop-out rate statistics plummet from 50% to 6% in the past nine years. Prevention works, as is evident in the lives of the students that The Freedom Story is affecting. In 2017, Rachel launched Ethical Storytelling, a movement dedicated to creating industry standards for non-profit storytelling. Having learned from her own filmmaking mistakes, the Ethical Storytelling website and resources seek to put the constituent first and donor second. She calls Oakland, CA home and spends a fourth of the year in Thailand.

2018 Jan Plan interns, Emily Geske, Kevin Munoz, and Grace Yu will also speak about their experience volunteering with The Freedom Story.

Cosponsored by Davis Connects.

Activism 101: Activism at Colby

Es Topolarova ’17
April 5th | 4 p.m. | Mary Low Coffeehouse

Join the Oak Student Committee for a conversation over coffee with Es ’17 about their activism at Colby, and especially about their work with the activist collective United for Better Dining Hall Services (UBDS). The UBDS was a sustained 2-year-long activist effort to improve working conditions for dining hall workers at Colby, which resulted in the change of dining hall service provider. As one of the founders and a leading voice of the collective, Es is going to share with us the history of the movement and its goals and its long term impact ( whether positive or negative)  We will also learn about what it looks like to sustain a long-term issue focused campaign on campus, and what are the lessons to be learned from this case for the future activists.

Nazlee Saif, Performance Artist

Nazlee Saif
April 5th | 7 p.m. | Silberman Lounge

Born in Durban [South Africa] and raised on a diet of Tupac, Nazlee Saif has been claiming titles in poetry slams and street cyphers since 2011. Since they left the microphone for the megaphone during the Fees Must Fall and Rhodes Must Fall student uprisings of 2014, Nazlee has been working with multimedia art as a form of protest and mobilization.

Nazlee’s most recent works revolve around the self-coined term “Afrofuturistic gangsterism,” which they define as “a mental and spiritual recognition of the constant violence we face, which is taking arms in ways with much more longevity than the sound of a gun.”

Cosponsored by the Center for Arts and Humanities, PCB, The Bridge, Global Studies Department, and Colby Feminist Alliance.

Guerrero, Film Screening and Director Q&A

Ludovic Bonleux
April 16th | 7 p.m. | Ostrove

The Resistance and Repression film series brings a screening of the documentary, Guerrero followed by a discussion with director, Ludovic Bonleux.

2014: 43 students of Ayotzinapa’s teachers school in Guerrero, Mexico are kidnapped by the police in the city of Iguala.  A few weeks later, Juan and his companions from Guerrero Popular Movement (MPG) have taken Tlapa’s City Hall to protest the disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa. They oppose having elections held in the state and organize marches and rallies to convince people to form popular councils.  Coni, Juan and Mario go their way fighting against impunity and trying to resist the apathy of society in a State that, day after day, becomes more chaotic.

Since 2002, Ludovic Bonleux directed three documentaries and one photographic essay about political violence and forced disappearance in Guerrero, Mexico.  During the last 15 years he participated in the production of numerous documentaries in Latin America as a director or producer.  He studied history, photography, and documentary film in Mexico, the US, and France. A common theme in all of his work is denouncing the violation of human rights and recording the struggle of those fighting for justice.

Activism At Colby: Panel with Alumni

Oak Student Committee and Colby Alumni
April 26th | 7 p.m. | Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Join the Oak Student Committee in dialogue with alumni as they share their experiences with activism on Colby’s campus and beyond.  Alumni on the panel include: Muheb Esmat ’16, Tionna Haynes ’15, Eric Mehner ’82, and Charles Terrell ’70.



Fall 2017


Dissent as a Way of Life: Freedom, Jail, Love 

2017 Oak Fellow Jinyan Zeng
September 13th | 7 p.m. | Ostrove, Diamond Building

Dr. Zeng, a Chinese human rights activist, digital storyteller, and scholar, completed her first film while under house arrest in Beijing.  She will talk about the power of love and creativity in the struggle for liberation. Please join us in welcoming the 2017 Oak Human Rights Fellow for a reception at 6 p.m. in the Diamond Atrium, followed by her first public talk at Colby.

Zeng has spent more than a decade and a half fighting for people with HIV-AIDS, women facing discrimination, factory workers suffering exploitation, a natural environment threatened by pollution, and political dissidents experiencing repression.

In 2006 Zeng made her first documentary, Prisoners in Freedom City, about living under house arrest in Beijing.  Her most recent film, We the Workers, had its world premiere at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in January 2017.  During the production of that film, the Chinese party-state detained several of the featured labor activists, placed a few of them under house arrest, and forced still others to make “confessions” on state television.  Zeng is cofounder of the Chinese Independent Documentary Lab in Hong Kong and the leading curator of an independent film series.

In 2017, Zeng earned a Ph.D. from the University of Hong Kong, where she studied film, gender, and cyber-activism.  Her dissertation focused on the work of Ai Xiaoming, a feminist professor of literature and a documentary filmmaker in China.

Whose Streets?

Film screening and discussion with director Sabaah Folayan
September 19th | 7 p.m. | Ostrove, Diamond Building

Told by the activists and leaders who live and breathe this movement for justice, Whose Streets? is an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising. When unarmed teenager Michael Brown is killed by police and left lying in the street for hours, it marks a breaking point for the residents of St. Louis, Missouri. Grief, long-standing racial tensions and renewed anger bring residents together to hold vigil and protest this latest tragedy. Empowered parents, artists, and teachers from around the country come together as freedom fighters. As the national guard descends on Ferguson with military grade weaponry, these young community members become the torchbearers of a new resistance. Filmmakers Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis know this story because they have lived the story. Whose Streets? is a powerful battle cry from a generation fighting, not for their civil rights, but for the right to live. We will be joined by director Sabaah Folayan for a discussion and question and answer session after the screening.  Cosponsored by Colby Cinema Studies, Pugh Community Board, African American Studies, The Center for Arts and Humanities, and The Goldfarb Center.

In Search of Our Mothers’ Arrows

Sabaah Folayan
September 20th | 12:15 p.m. | Pugh Center

Join director of Whose Streets, Sabaah Folayan for a multi-media presentation and workshop exploring femininity during conflict, romance, and its relationship to popular literature.  Lunch will be provided.  Cosponsored by The Center for Arts and Humanities, African American Studies, and the Pugh Community Board.

Sabaah Folayan (Writer/Director, Producer) is an activist and storyteller born and raised in South Central LA. As an advocate at Rikers Island, Folayan interviewed incarcerated people about their experiences with trauma. She later helped organize The Millions March, one of the largest marches for racial justice in New York history, in response to the non-indictment of the police officer who choked Eric Garner to death. Folayan entered the world of storytelling through theater, attending the Lee Strasberg Institute of Theatre and Film as a teenager, and performing as a member of the Black Theater Ensemble while a pre-med student at Columbia University. In September 2014, she went to Ferguson with cinematographer Lucas Alvarado-Farrar to learn the truth behind the dramatic scenes playing out on the news. Hearing the stories from the community inspired her to embark on her directorial debut Whose Streets? landing her a coveted spot on Filmmaker Magazine’s annual “25 New Faces of Independent Film” along with Co-Director Damon Davis. Folayan recently directed an episode of Glamour Magazine + The Girl Project’s Get Schooled web series presented by Maybelline. She is a 2015 Firelight Media Producers Lab Fellow, 2016 Chicken & Egg Accelerator Lab Fellow, and 2016 Sundance Institute Documentary Edit and Story Lab Fellow.

GS 111 Open Class Human Rights in Global Perspective: Discussion with Film Maker Wang Wo 

Wang Wo
September 27th | 7 p.m. | Diamond 141

Director WANG Wo, born in 1967, is a designer and visual artist. He began to make independent films and videos in 2001. He was the 2012 Artist in Residency and International Fellow at Jacob Burns Film Center and Media Arts Lab (New York) and the (2014) Visiting Artist in Performing and Media Arts Department of Cornell University.  This session will be a discussion with the director of two films, A Filmless Festival and Zhe Teng: According to China.

The Maribor Uprisings 

Maple Razsa and Milton Guillen ’15
October 6th | 7:30 p.m. | Ostrove

Reception | 6:30 p.m. | Diamond Atrium

In the once prosperous industrial city of Maribor, Slovenia, anger over political corruption became unruly revolt.  In The Maribor Uprisings– part film, part conversation, and part interactive experiment-you are invited to participate in the protests.  Dramatic frontline footage from a video activist collective places you in Maribor as crowds surround and ransack City Hall under a hailstorm of tear gas canisters.  As a viewer, you must decide collectively with your fellow audience members which cameras you will follow and therefore how the screening will unfold.  Like those who joined the actual uprisings, you will be faced with the choice of joining non-violent protests or following rowdy crowds towards City Hall and greater conflict.  These dilemmas parallel those faced by protesters everywhere as they grapple with what it means to resist.  What sparks outrage?  How are participants swept up in- and changed by- confrontations with police?  Could something like this happen in your city?  What would you do?

Maple Rasza (writer, director, producer) earned his PhD in anthropology and filmmaking at Harvard University, and has since, been teaching in the Global Studies program at Colby College.  Maple is committed to using text, images, and sound to embody the experience and political imagination of contemporary activist movements. His previous films, co-directed with Pacho Velez, include Bastards of Utopia and Occupation: A Film about the Harvard Living Wage Sit-In and have shown in festivals around the world.

Milton Guillen ’15 (director, editor, director of photography) focuses in exploring the borders between fiction and documentaries to explore the cinematic intersections of ethnographic research and sensorial experiences. Milton earned his BA from Colby College in Anthropology and studied film production at the Film and Television Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague.  He’s directed several short documentaries in Brazil, Nicaragua, and Kenya and is committed to engage in multiple platforms that strive for social justice.

We the Workers

2017 Oak Fellow Jinyan Zeng
October 8th | 1:30 p.m. | Ostrove, Diamond Building

Shot over a six-year period (2009-2015) in the industrial heartland of south China, a major hub in the global supply chain, WE THE WORKERS follows labor activists as they find common ground with workers, helping them negotiate with local officials and factory owners over wages and working conditions. Threats, attacks, detention and boredom become part of their daily lives as they struggle to strengthen worker solidarity in the face of threats and pressures from the police and their employers. In the process, we see in their words and actions the emergence of a nascent working class consciousness and labor movement in China.

War’s End? Guerrilla Demobilization in Colombia

Nancy Sanchez, 2007 Oak Human Rights Fellow
October 9th | 4 p.m. | Diamond 122

The hemisphere’s longest running guerrilla war formally ended when the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia agreed to lay down there arms in November 2016. Southern Colombia was one of the regions hardest hit by the war; now, residents ask, what kind of world will peace bring? Establishing a Truth Commission, ensuring complete hand-over of weapons, and reintegrating FARC combatants into civilian life are only some of the challenges.

Nancy Sánchez is an award-winning Colombian human rights defender. She was the Colby Oak Human Rights Fellow in 2007, and is currently working with the Women’s Alliance of Putumayo: Weavers of Life. Sponsored by the Anthropology Department, Latin American Studies Department, Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs, and the Oak Institute for Human Rights.

GS 111 Open Class Human Rights in Global Perspective: Discussion with Tang Danhong 

Tang Danhong
October 18th | 7 p.m. | Diamond 141

Guest speaker TANG Danhong is a feminist poet, avant-garde filmmaker, an ally of the Tibetan people. She has written extensively about Tibetan history and culture, especially the conflict between Tibet and China. She boldly confronts her own relationship to the Tibetan people as a Han Chinese woman. Tang was born in 1965 in Chengdu, the capital of the southwestern province of Sichuan. Her parents’ abuse when she was a child is a major theme of her controversial 2000 documentary, “Nightingale, Not the Only Voice”, which is the opening film of Guggenheim Museum’s Turn It On: China on film 2000-2017 project. Tang started traveling to Tibet and befriended Tibetan writer and activist Tsering Woeser. Tang’s first documentary, At Tsurphu Monastery, came out in 1998. She has made several films about Tibet, including Nima IncarnateAt Samsara’s Door, and Zhaxika. More recently, Tang traveled to India with exiled writer Sangjey Kep to collect oral histories from elderly Tibetan exiles who had fled Tibet as the People’s Liberation Army entered and tightened control of the region in the 1950s. Kep and Tang published 11 interviews in the book “Troubled Times: Voices of Tibetan Refugees,” released in 2014 in Taiwan by Snowland Publishing House.

Waking the Green Tiger 

Film screening and discussion with director Gary Marcuse
November 6th | 7 p.m. | Olin 1

Seen through the eyes of activist, farmers and journalists, Waking the Green Tiger follows an extraordinary campaign to stop a huge dam project on the Upper Yangtze river in southwestern China. Featuring astonishing archival footage never seen outside China, and interviews with a government insider and witnesses, the documentary also tell the history of Chairman Mao’s campaigns to conquer nature in the name of progress. An environmental movement takes root when a new environmental law is passed, and for the first time in China’s history, ordinary citizens have the democratic right to speak out and take part in government decisions. Activist test this new freedom and save a river. The movement they trigger has the potential to transform China. Cosponsored with East Asian Studies, Environmental Studies, Global Studies, Colby Cinema Studies, Center for the Arts and Humanities, and DavisConnects.

Gender and Human Rights Tea Time Discussion

Eliza Capai, Sonja Thomas, and 2017 Oak Fellow Jinyan Zeng
November 8th | 3 p.m. | SSWAC Library

Join Oak for our first afternoon tea time round table discussion.  This session will focus on gender and human rights with WGSS faculty member Sonja Thomas, 2017 Oak Fellow Jinyan Zeng, and Brazilian filmmaker Eliza Capai, moderated by Oak Student Committee member Erica Lei.


Eliza Capai
November 9th | 7 p.m. | Kassman Auditorium

Join Oak for a screening of the film followed by a discussion with director Eliza Capai.

Brazil: Between May and August 2016, the legislature voted to oust the first woman elected president in the county, Dilma Rousseff.   As a response to the process, dozens of public buildings were occupied, demanding constitutional rights such as culture, education, gender equality and democratization of the media.

#Resistance follows these occupation movements and the shouts on the streets during the months that culminated in the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff and in her vice, Michel Temer, taking office as the president of Brazil.

Cosponsored by Colby Cinema Studies, Pugh Community Board, and the Cultural Events Committee.

Eliza Capai is a journalist and documentary filmmaker focused on gender and social issues.  As an international correspondent, Capai has produced work for different media in over 30 countries.  In 2015, Capai produced the thriller, “It’s Forbidden to Talk in Angola,” which was one of ten works nominated for the Garcia Marquez Award for Ibero American Journalism in the “Coverage” category.  In 2014, Capai made a web-series called “Linhas” for Greenpeace, discussing the Brazilian energy scenario, which led to her second feature, “The tortoise and the tapir,” which was released at the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival.  In the same year, her short-film, “Severinas” was a finalist of the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Journalism Award.  Footage filmed for this short led to the production of “As time flies slowly by,” released internationally in the Guadalajara Film Festival and awarded in Brazil, Venezuela, and Morocco.  Capai has also directed numerous documentaries for Canal Futura, WikiLeaks, GNT, and TV America Latina (TAL) for which she has received a number of awards and accolades.

Film, Activism, and Human Rights Tea Time Discussion

Huang Wenhai, Maple Razsa, and 2017 Oak Fellow Jinyan Zeng
November 14th | 3 p.m. | SSWAC Library

Join Oak for our second afternoon tea time round table discussion.  This session will focus on film, activism, and human rights with Global Studies Chair Maple Razsa, 2017 Oak Fellow Jinyan Zeng, and visiting independent film director Huang Wenhai, moderated by Oak Student Committee members Aiste Vaitkeviciute and Allie Douma.


GS 111 Open Class Human Rights in Global Perspective: Discussion with Huang Wenhai 

Huang Wenhai
November 15th | 7 p.m. | Diamond 141

Guest speaker WEN Hai studied at the Beijing Film Academy and has since 2001 been active as an independent film director. Among his best known films are Floating Dust(2003), that received the Prix Georges Beauregard at the 16th Festival International du Documentaire in Marseille in 2005, Dream Walking (2005), and the film We(Women) that won the Horizons Special Mention award at the 2008 Venice International Film Festival. WEN Hai also worked as a cameraman on WANG Bing’s film Three Sisters (2012). His 2016 book放逐的凝——见证中国独立纪录 [The Gaze of Exile: Witnessing Chinese Independent Documentary Films]is published in Taipei by the Tendency.

Born a Chinese Woman- new film release

2017 Oak Fellow Jinyan Zeng
November 29th | 7 p.m. | Ostrove, Diamond Building

Be among the first to see a preview of the new film by Oak Fellow Jinyan Zeng, tentatively titled Born a Chinese Woman, in which Chinese women struggle and protest for individual and collective autonomy: rural women working in world factories, female intellectuals speaking in secret and underground spaces, performance artists addressing violence against women. Zeng’s new film, about to be finalized and released, connects women around the world who are healing from pain and trauma.

Producer and Script Director: ZENG Jinyan

Film Director: Wen Hai

Animation Director: Trish McAdam

Sex Trafficking: A Local and International Problem

Bill Stauffer ’89 and Tricia Grant
December 4th | 5 p.m. | Diamond 123

Bill Stauffer is a small business entrepreneur based in Portland, Maine.  Bill graduated Colby in 1989.  While at Colby he studied in Beijing, China, Taipei, Taiwan, and Thailand.  During his Colby semester in Thailand Bill did a research paper on the sex tourism industry that helped form the foundation for his current volunteer work in the field of anti-trafficking.

In 2011 Bill became an Ambassador with The Freedom Story, an NGO working in northern Thailand to prevent children from being trafficked into prostitution.  In 2014 Bill was awarded Freedom Story’s Freedom Award for his fundraising campaign to build a new resource center in Chiang Rai, Thailand for at risk children.  More recently, Bill has worked to start a scholarship fund for USM’s Stonecoast MFA program for Writers for social justice, supports a student scholarship at Colby, and is on the board of Oceanside Conservation Trust of Maine.  In addition to an East Asian Studies degree from Colby, Bill holds an MFA in creative writing from USM.

Tricia Grant lives in Lewiston and is a survivor of sex trafficking who now educates youth and adults in large group and one-on-one settings about the dangers and realities of human trafficking.  Having been trafficked at a popular restaurant in Auburn, Maine when she was 15 and living on her own with her little boy, Tricia has been able to connect deeply with at-risk youth and encourage victims of trafficking and sexual abuse as they move forward in their healing process. She shares her story with the hope that it will help others understand that trafficking can happen to anyone anywhere, and prevent victims from waiting 16 years to talk about it, as she did.


2016-17 Oak Events


Spring 2017

2017 SHOUT Keynote: Janet Mock
March 1st | 7 p.m. | Lorimer Chapel

As a journalist, Mock brings issues of gender, race, class, and equity to the forefront of public discourse. Her memoir “Redefining Realness” debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list in 2014 and she recently helped produce the HBO Documentary “The Trans List” (http://janetmock.com/bio/). She is also the founder of #GirlsLikeUs, a social media project that empowers trans women. Additionally, Mock spoke at the Women’s March on Washington this past January.

SHOUT week is co-sponsored by: Center for the Arts and Humanities, Office of the Provost and Dean of Faculty, Office of the Dean of the College, Cultural Events Committee, Pugh Center, Goldfarb Center, Oak Institute, Art Museum, Farnham Writers’ Center, Colby Libraries, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Creative Writing Program, Anthropology Department, American Studies, Education Program, and Writing Program.

Blue Scholars Concert
March 3rd | 8 p.m. | Page Commons, Cotter Union

Blue Scholars are a hip-hop group out of Seattle and we have the privilege to have them here on the Hill performing for us. The concert will be part of SHOUT week and the year’s humanities theme: Revolutions. Not only are they fantastic musicians and entertainers, but they’re also deeply committed to civic engagement and social justice. They sing about issues of economic inequality and diversity and inclusion, and we’re really excited for them to engage the Colby community on these topics through their music.
This event is sponsored by Students Organized for Black and Hispanic Unity in collaboration with PCB and supported by the Oak Institute.

Palante, Siempre Palante!- Film Screening

Iris Morales
March 6th | 7 p.m. | Room 1, Olin Science Center

As the 21st-century female Robin Hood in East Harlem, Iris Morales is an inspiring change agent. Since a teenager, Morales dedicated her life to the advancement of the Puerto Rican community, social justice, and human rights. During her years at City College of New York, she helped establish the first Puerto Rican group, Puerto Ricans in Student Activities. After organizing a tenant movement in East Harlem, she joined the radical Young Lords Party, which originated in Chicago and established a branch in Harlem with goals and methods similar to the Black Panthers. Initially an all-male Latino patriarchal organization, she was the first woman to join this group and quickly became a leading member, bringing forward a feminist agenda. Cosponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities, the Spanish Department, the Latin American Studies, American Studies, and Cinema Studies programs, the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, and the Oak Institute.

Through the Eyes of Rebel Women- Open Class

Iris Morales
March 7th | Noon | Pugh Center

As the 21st-century female Robin Hood in East Harlem, Iris Morales is an inspiring change agent. Since a teenager, Morales dedicated her life to the advancement of the Puerto Rican community, social justice, and human rights. During her years at City College of New York, she helped establish the first Puerto Rican group, Puerto Ricans in Student Activities. After organizing a tenant movement in East Harlem, she joined the radical Young Lords Party, which originated in Chicago and established a branch in Harlem with goals and methods similar to the Black Panthers. Initially an all-male Latino patriarchal organization, she was the first woman to join this group and quickly became a leading member, bringing forward a feminist agenda. This open class will be a presentation and discussion of her new book.

Community Think-Tank: 2018 Oak Fellowship

March 7th | 4 p.m. | Lovejoy 205

Oak invites the Colby community to join in a group brainstorm to share ideas and visions for the annual theme for our fall 2018 Oak fellowship.

Yoza, Yogera, and the Student Hub: Ugandan Technological Innovations for Social Justice

March 8th | Noon | Diamond 146

What do a laundry service app, a citizen engagement platform, and an online career guidance portal have in common? All are Ugandan technological initiatives supported by Hive Colab, a Ugandan startup incubator that ensures social justice in a developing country.  Come to hear from representatives of those revolutionary initiatives in order to learn about local development in African states through the lens of entrepreneurship


Can Writing Change the World: The Public Sphere from the Enlightenment to Post-Truth

Colby English Symposium
March 10th | 1-5 p.m. | Special Collections, Miller Library

What makes a democracy work? How do societies support vigorous civil discussion and debate? The Colby English Symposium, Can Writing Change the World—The Public Sphere from the Enlightenment to Post-truth, provides a space to ask these questions.

The Symposium brings together distinguished scholars, journalists, and members of the Colby and Maine communities.  Participants will discuss the public uses of writing in sessions on “Public Discourse and Legacies of the Enlightenment,” “Ethics, Imagination and the History of Fascism,” and “Where are We Now?”

Admission is free and open to the public until 5:30. Those who plan to attend should register at english@colby.edu.

The Symposium is co-sponsored by the Department of English, the Oak Institute for Human Rights, and the Center for Arts and Humanities at Colby College.

The Opulence of Integrity

Spring Dance Concert
March 10th-11th | 7:30 p.m. | Strider Theater

To be born, branded by history, burdened by responsibility, and inspired towards greatness requires a committed heart and an opulence of integrity.”
– Choreographer Christal Brown

The Spring Dance Concert features guest artist Christal Brown’s company in The Opulence of Integrity and new work by Senior Theater and Dance Major Kathryn Butler. Butler’s multi-phased and multi-faceted honors thesis work takes a complex look at collaborative creative processes both in person and via mediated experience, and this project merges the research of multiple student choreographers and performers into a new work showcasing her signature athleticism that fascination with differently trained bodies in pragmatic puzzle-solving.

Inspired by boxing’s outspoken superstar Muhammad Ali’s career as a boxer and life as a social activist, public martyr, and human being, The Opulence of Integrity deploys eclectic movement and multiple media to illustrate the turmoil of a life infused by divinity yet misinterpreted by humanity. By using Ali as an archetype, The Opulence of Integrity explores the struggle for identity for men of color in the United States with an intimate and expansive look at social, economic, and spiritual trappings that prohibit freedom. Brown pours her own experience into the work and dedicates it to her father, brother, and uncle who, in her words, “fought but did not win” and to her son “whose battle has not yet begun.” Co-sponsored by the Oak Institute for Human Rights.

Secure your tickets at: http://www.colby.edu/theaterdance

Due to the weather, this event has been postponed until April. We apologize for the inconvenience.

The Humanitarian Journey

Brendan Cahill ’89, Executive Director of Fordham University Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs
March 14th | 4 p.m. | Diamond 122

Join us in welcoming Brendan Cahill to Colby in February when he will discuss the state of the humanitarian sector by looking at its past, its present, and its future.

Missa Marjat- Where the Berries Are

Junya Yimprasert
March 15th | 7 p.m. | Diamond 122

Junya Yimprasert will present her new documentary film “Missa Marjat – Where the Berries Are”, about farmers from Thailand trafficked to work in the wild berry harvest in Finland and who now struggle for justice. Q&A to follow.

Junya is a prominent human rights activist from Thailand and a long-time campaigner for the rights of workers and victims of human trafficking, both in Thailand and beyond. She is the founder of the Thai Labour Campaign and a co-founder of Focus on the Global South. She is currently living in Finland as a political exile: her uncompromising support of free speech, democratic rule, and open criticism of the Thai monarchy and military rule mean that she can no longer safely return to Thailand.

Sponsored by the Anthropology Department, Center for the Arts and Humanities, East Asian Studies, Global Studies, Goldfarb Center, and the Oak Institute for Human Rights.

Diversity and Higher Education – What Do College Students Think?

Dorceta Taylor
March 16th | Noon | Pugh Center

Studies show that many institutions of higher education lack racial, ethnic, and class diversity. This talk explores how college students identify themselves professionally and how they would frame themselves as they embark on their careers. The talk will also examine how important institutional diversity is when it comes time to make decisions on where to work. This event is sponsored by Environmental Studies and co-sponsored by the Office of the Dean of the College, Oak Institute, the Departments of Sociology and African American Studies, the IBM Lecture Series Fund, and Interdisciplinary Studies.

Understanding Food Access in Low-Income Communities and Communities of Color

Dorceta Taylor
March 16th | 7 p.m. | Room 1, Olin Science Center

Low-income and minority communities are often characterized by lack of access to healthy and affordable foods. Large grocery stores are sometimes scarce while food outlets such as gas stations, corner stores, and pharmacies abound. Though terms like “food desert” have been used to describe this phenomenon, this talk by Dorceta Taylor will examine the problematic nature of how researchers have defined and studied the food landscape. It explores the role of alternative food sources in providing access to healthy foods in urban areas. Taylor is a professor of environmental sociology at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE). She is the James E. Crowfoot Collegiate Chair and the director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at SNRE. She also holds a joint appointment with the Program in the Environment. Taylor is the former field of studies coordinator for SNRE’s Environmental Justice Program and a past chair of the American Sociological Association’s Environment and Technology Section. Sponsored by the Environmental Studies Program with support from the Oak Institute.

Thigh High Politics: The Importance of Accessible News

Lauren Duca, Contributing Editor at Teen Vogue
March 28th | 7:00 p.m. | Kassman Auditorium

The Oak Student Committee is bringing Lauren Duca to Colby as the keynote speaker for their spring programming series on issues of access: “Breaking Down Barriers.” Duca, Contributing Editor at Teen Vogue, will speak about the importance of making the news accessible to every audience, including groups like teenage women who have not historically been told that it is important for them to be informed about current events. Lauren is excited to share her insights on the state of journalism in terms of accountability, the necessity of being informed, and the role of young people in politics, as well as her experience as a woman in journalism. She will also be able to contextualize Teen Vogue’s shift to include more politics in their magazine. As someone who played a large role in this pivot, she will be able to talk about her new column, “Thigh High Politics,” and the importance of making the news relevant to young readers.

The event is sponsored by the Oak Institute for Human Rights and co-sponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities, the English Department, and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department.

Lunch with 2014 Oak Fellow Clare Byarugaba

Clare Byarugaba
March 31st | Noon | Fairchild Room, Dana Dining Hall

Clare Byarugaba is the Coordinator of the Equality and Non-Discrimination Program at Chapter Four Uganda.  Byarugaba is an LGBT activist and feminist based in Uganda. In 2011, driven by her passion to work for the realization of the rights and freedom for the LBTI community in Uganda, she became one of a handful of leaders in the movement who were determined to be visible and speak out for the voiceless. Byarugaba worked as the Coordinator of the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CSCHRCL), a coalition that successfully used its collective power to fight the notorious Anti-homosexuality Bill. She is one of the brains behind the first ever Ugandan gay pride of 2012. In addition to her courageous activism in Uganda, she is an advisor to the World Bank on LGBTI issues for the East African region.

Listen-In: What Keeps Colby from Being Accessible

Oak Student Committee
April 6th | 7 p.m. | Parker-Reed Room, SSWAC

2010 Oak Fellow Jestina Mukoko, “The Abduction and Trial of Jestina Mukoko: The Fight for Human Rights in Zimbabwe” Book Discussion

Jestina Mukoko
April 20th | 4:00 p.m. | Diamond 122

Jestina Mukoko is the National Director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), an NGO that monitors human rights abuses throughout the country.  ZPP’s reports provide the international community with accurate assessments of human rights abuses, including violence against women and politically-biased distribution of food; it was particularly crucial during the violent 2008 election period. A long-time leader in the human rights and activist communities in Zimbabwe, Mukoko was abducted from her home on December 3, 2008 by state security agents for her work monitoring the brutality of the Mugabe government. During her 21-day abduction, she was tortured, beaten, and forced to confess to a crime she did not commit. She remained detained until a court granted her bail on March 2, 2009. Mukoko was awarded the International Women of Courage Award by the United States State Department in 2010.

Criminal Justice Reform in a Post-Obama World – Dead or Alive?

Sally Yates, former Acting U.S. Attorney-General
May 3rd | 7 p.m. | Page Commons, Cotter Union
Sally Yates P’17 served in the Justice Department for more than 27 years, quickly rising through the ranks to become the first woman to run the U.S. Attorney’s office. In her career, she has prosecuted a notorious bomber of abortion clinics and called for jailing white-collar criminals. Earlier this year, she was dismissed as Acting U.S. Attorney General for refusing to defend President Trump’s controversial travel and immigration ban. Former Labor Secretary Tom Perez told the Washington Post, “Acting Attorney General Yates’s record is simply beyond reproach.” Now she is coming to Colby to answer this question: “Criminal Justice Reform in a Post-Obama World—Dead or Alive?” Cosponsored by the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement and the Oak Institute for Human Rights.

Fall 2016

Khartoon exhibition by artist Khalid Albaih at The Edge of Arabia space, London.From Khartoum to Khartoon! Using Cartoons and Social Media to Promote Human Rights
Khalid Albaih, 2016 Oak Human Rights Fellow
Sept. 14 | 7 p.m. | Ostrove Auditorium, Diamond Building
Khalid Albaih, the Oak Human Rights Fellow for 2016, is a Sudanese political cartoonist now living in Qatar. Since the Arab Spring, when his pro-democracy images were plastered all over city walls from Cairo to Sana’a, Albaih has taunted not only Middle Eastern dictators, but also Western Islamophobes. He has become an internet phenomenon. Come join us for food, cartoons, and conversations with Khalid about everything from terrorism to Trump.

Body of Work
Oct. 26 | 7 p.m. | Schair-Swenson-Watson Alumni Center, Parker-Reed Room

Guatemalan performance artist and poet Regina José Galindo is bringing her deeply moving and transformative artwork to Colby. She has gained international fame for dramatic works highlighting dictatorship, torture, and the sexual abuse of women. In one performance, she walked from the Guatemalan Congress to the National Palace, dipping her feet at intervals in a basin filled with blood. Her bloody footprints told a powerful story about her country’s military leadership.

Poetry and Human Rights
Oct. 27 | 6 p.m. | Robinson Room

The Oak Institute for Human Rights will sponsor a poetry reading celebrating the intersection between the personal and the political in English and Spanish. Guatemala’s Regina José Galindo and Colby’s own Adrian Blevins will read from recent work. The reading will be followed by a Q and A. Refreshments will be provided.

Regina José Galindo is a performance artist and poet from Guatemala. She is the author of two books of poems including Trentacuentos (2008) and most recently Telerañas, from which she will read. She has also been published in many anthologies in Guatemala.

Adrian Blevins is the author of Live from the Homesick Jamboree, The Brass Girl Brouhaha, two chapbooks, and, with Karen McElmurray, Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean: Meditations on the Forbidden from Contemporary Appalachia. She is the recipient of many awards and honors including a Kate Tufts Discovery Award, a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Foundation Award, and many others. New poems are forthcoming or have been recently published in American Poetry Review, North American Review, Florida Review, Crazyhorse, Copper Nickel, and other magazines.

Resistance and Hope: A Collaborative Exhibit with Khalid Albaih
Nov. 2 | 7 p.m. | Miller Library
Join us in exploring the power of political cartoons through the important work of 2016 Oak Fellow Khalid Albaih. Students in GS111 Human Rights in Global Perspective selected and interpreted 18 of Albaih’s images, which will be displayed in large format in this exhibit. With Albaih’s guidance, the students produced their own cartoons on issues important to them, which will also be displayed. Refreshments will be served.

A special thank you to our exhibit partners:
2016 Oak Fellow Khalid Albaih
GS 111 Human Rights in Global Perspectives faculty and students
Special Collections / The Colby Libraries

Humor and Hate: How Two Political Cartoonists Draw a Violent World
Nov. 16 | 7 p.m. | Ostrove Auditorium
Khalid Albaih, 2016 Oak Fellow
George Danby, editorial cartoonist, Bangor Daily News
Khalid Albaih and George Danby have thought a lot about how to respond to violence — including the actual shooting of artists like themselves, or really bad jokes about killing artists like themselves. In 2015, Albaih, our Oak Fellow, was horrified by the murder of cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo, even though he, a Muslim, had criticized the Islamophobic work occasionally produced at the French magazine. And later that same year, Danby was startled to learn that Maine Gov. Paul LePage, had told an audience of high school students, including Danby‘s son, that he would “like to shoot” the cartoonist for The Bangor Daily News. Come hear (and see) these two cartoonists talk about (and draw) humor in a hate-filled world.

This event has been cancelled due to weather conditions. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Narcy: Rapping for Human Rights
Nov. 30 | 8:45 p.m. | Silberman Lounge, Cotter Union
NARCY (the Narcicyst), Iraqi-Canadian rapper
Narcy, a rapper, actor, and professor, has performed with Mos Def, shared the stage with Kanye West, and forged a collective, The Medium, to promote transnational, multi-media art. He was born in Dubai to Iraqi parents and grew up in Montreal, Canada, where he still lives. Narcy uses his art to promote social justice.

2015-16 Oak Events

Human Rights and Foreign Policy — Can America Make a Difference?
May 5 | 4 p.m. | Diamond 122
Tom Malinowski, assistant U.S. secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor; former lobbyist for Human Rights Watch
Can the U.S., reviled by many for its record on torture and drone attacks, really serve as a positive force for human rights around the world? Tom Malinowski thinks so. He is the lead official on this issue for the federal government, and used to be the chief lobbyist for Human Rights Watch in DC. He is coming to Colby on Thursday to explain why he is generally optimistic. Refreshments provided!

Movie Screening: Spotlight
April 17 | 8:30 p.m. | Kassman Auditorium
Before Ben Bradlee, Jr. ’70 comes to speak on Monday the 18th, the Oak Institute for Human Rights will host a screening of “Spotlight,” this year’s Oscar-winning Best Picture. Bradlee, a best-selling author and former assistant managing editor of the Boston Globe, oversaw the courageous reporting that won the Globe the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for revealing that scores of priests had sexually abused hundreds of victims in the local Archdiocese — and that the Church had systematically covered up these crimes.

Ben_BradleeSpotlight: Boston Journalists and Hollywood Filmmakers on Sex Abuse in the Catholic Church
Ben Bradlee, Jr. ‘70
Best-selling author and former assistant managing editor, Boston Globe
April 18th | 7 pm | Lorimer Chapel
The Boston Globe won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for revealing that scores of priests had sexually abused hundreds of victims in the local Archdiocese — and that the Church had systematically covered up these crimes. Now the producers of “Spotlight,” a film about the Globe’s investigation, have won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Ben Bradlee, Jr. ‘70 was the editor who oversaw this courageous reporting, and he plays a central role in the Oscar-winning film. Bradlee will talk to us about journalism, Hollywood, and sexual abuse.

This Ain’t Yo Mama’s Civil Rights Movement: Reflections on Race, Gender, Activism, and Faith
Feb. 9th | 7 pm | Lorimer Chapel
Rahiel Tesfamariam is a social activist, public theologian, writer and international speaker. She is the founder and publisher of Urban Cusp, a cutting-edge online lifestyle magazine highlighting progressive urban culture, faith, social change and global awareness. She is also a former columnist for The Washington Post.
Sponsored by the Gerrish Fund for spiritual enrichment, Office of Religious & Spiritual Life, the Pugh Center, Religious Studies, Education & Human Development, Computer Science, African-American Studies, the Gender and Sexual Diversity Program, the Bridge, the Feminist Alliance, Center for Arts and Humanities, SOBHU, the Goldfarb Center, the Pugh Community Board, and the Oak Center for Human Rights.


Growing Power and the Good Food Revolution
Will Allen, founder, Growing Power
Co-sponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities, Cultural Events Committee, and Environmental Studies Program
Oct. 14 | 7 p.m. | Ostrove Auditorium, Diamond Building
Winner of a  MacArthur Genius Grant and listed in Time Magazine’s “100 World’s Most Influential People,” Will Allen shared his expertise in urban farming and its relationship to strong local communities. As a world-traveling ambassador for food security, Will seeks to train others through his not-for-profit Growing Power organization. With both words and images, Will documents his experiences from sharecropper roots through basketball fame, corporate life, and ultimately to an urban farm.

Puppet Making Workshop
Anna Sapershteyn & Jodi Koberinski
Co-sponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities and the Department of Theater and Dance
Oct. 19-23 | 1:30-4:30pm daily | Runnals Scene Shop
Planning Lunch: Oct. 19 | 11:30-1 p.m. | Roberts Private Dining Room
Oak hit the streets — with giant puppets — to promote our theme of food sovereignty this fall. Anna Sapershteyn, a puppet artist with Clay and Paper Theatre in Toronto, joined us to lead a workshop.

Owning Seeds, Accessing Food: Biodiversity, Food Sovereignty, and Food Security in a Changing World
Gloria Otieno, Bioversity International, Uganda
Cosponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities
Nov. 4 | 7 p.m. | Diamond 122
Charged with promoting the conservation and use of agro-biodiversity among small and large farmers, particularly in Uganda and Kenya, Gloria Otieno works as a PhD-holding academic as well as an on-the-ground practitioner. Otieno addressed food sovereignty, food justice, and food security from a human rights perspective as well as agro-biodiversity in a changing global context.