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. | Lovejoy 100

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. | Lovejoy 100
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.