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Claiming Freedom Symposium at Cal State L.A. features guest speakers, film series, more

January 30, 2015

Cal State L.A. will present a three-day Claiming Freedom Symposium in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Summer, Free Speech Movement, Civil Rights Act, Freedom Schools, and the Voting Rights Act and the 150th anniversary of 13th Amendment.

Wednesday, Feb. 4

3-6 p.m.: Introductory Films (Golden Eagle Ballroom)

"Freedom Summer" (2014)

"Mendez vs. Westminster: For All the Children/Para Todos Los Niños" (2002)

"Sylvia Mendez v. Westminster" (2011)

Claiming Freedom7 p.m.: Panel Discussion (Golden Eagle Ballroom)

A panel of distinguished experts from diverse fields will discuss the impact of these historical events on their own lives and their importance today. The panel features Sylvia Mendez (civil rights icon), Ericka Huggins (educator, poet and former Black Panther Party member), David Crittendon (Freedom Summer and Cal State L.A. alum), Robert Land (professor of education at Cal State L.A.), Jean-Philippe Marcoux (associate professor of American literature at Université Laval in Québec, Canada), Melina Abdullah (professor and chair of Pan African Studies at Cal State L.A.), and Tomás Benítez (chairman of the Board of Latino Arts Network), moderated by Lauri Ramey (professor of English at Cal State L.A.).

Thursday, Feb. 5

9:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m.: Teach-In (Golden Eagle Ballroom)

Experts and activists take part in lectures and roundtable discussions.

9:30-10:30 a.m.: Robert Land and Michael Soldatenko (professor and chair of Chicano Studies at Cal State L.A.) discuss "The Struggle for Educational Equity since Freedom Summer, 1964: Promises Kept and Dreams Deferred"

10:30-11:30 a.m.: Lauri Ramey and Jean-Philippe Marcoux discuss "Freedom in Jazz and African American Poetry"

11:30-11:45 a.m. (break)

11:45-12:45 p.m.: David Crittendon talks about "Operation Bootstrap/Shindana Toys: The Dream Made Real"

12:45-1:45 p.m.: Malcolm Boyd (author, priest and antiwar activist) and Andrew Thomas (award-winning and Emmy-nominated filmmaker) discuss "Personal Reflections from the Trenches of the Freedom Movement"

1:45-2:30 p.m. (lunch)

2:30-3:30 p.m.: Melina Abdullah will discuss "Black Lives Matter!" (This session is located in the U-SU Los Angeles Room.)

3:45-4:45 p.m.: Ericka Huggins talks about the "Movement Forward"

6:30-10 p.m.: Celebration of the Poetry and Music of Freedom (Music Hall)

Featuring "Quilting," the poetry of Countee Cullen, which is set to music composed by pianist Andre Myers and sung by counter-tenor Darryl Taylor. There will also be a poetry reading by Ericka Huggins and Chicana poet/intermedia artist Gloria Enedina Alvarez, accompanied by Cal State L.A.'s student jazz musicians under the direction of Professor James Ford.  The program also includes poetry reading by Cal State L.A.'s Poetry Seminar students, and creative writing students from Schurr High School, who are advised by Betty Harbison. 

Thursday, Feb.19

Film Screening and Book Launch: "A Higher Form of Politics" by Sophie Rachmuhl (U-SU Alhambra Room)

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Marisela Norte, one of the ten poets featured in the book and film, "A Higher Form of Politics," and George Drury Smith, founder of the Beyond Baroque Literary Center and editor of Beyond Baroque Magazine.

For more info:

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(Photo courtesy: Cal State L.A. English Department archive)


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