Joanna Foote (SFS ’13), a participant in the Kalmanovitz Initiative’s Day Laborer Exchange Program, was selected as one of 54 students nationwide to win the Truman Scholarship. Click here to read a profile of Joanna in The Hoya.
Please join the Lecture Fund for the Michael Jurist (SFS ’07) Memorial Lecture honoring former Lecture Fund Chair Michael Jurist and featuring Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley. A prominent philosopher, writer, and intellectual, Dr. West is a renowned commentator on poverty and race theory. Dr. West is widely cited for his scholarly work, and has authored numerous books on the topics of class, race, and gender. Tavis Smiley, a celebrated television personality, currently hosts The Tavis Smiley Show on PBS. In addition to his work in the broadcast world, Mr. Smiley has authored several works with his friend and colleague, Dr. West. In their new, game-changing book due this April,”The Rich & the Rest of Us” they challenge all Americans to re-examine their assumptions about poverty in America—what it really is and how to eradicate it. The lecture will be followed by a Q&A and book-signing.
When: Tuesday, April 17, 7pm-8:30pm
Where: Lohrfink Auditorium
Sponsored by the Jurist Family Additional Co-Sponsorships from The Lecture Fund, The Kalmanovitz Initiative, and the Institutional Diversity, Equity & Affirmative Action
On Wednesday, April 11, 2012, the Economic Policy Institute sponsored a forum titled A Closer Look at Apple and Foxconn: Labor Practices in China and Brazil. The panel was comprised of Debby Chan, Project Officer at Students and Scholars against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM); Larry Cohen, President, Communications Workers of America; Scott Nova, Executive Director, Worker Rights Consortium; Luis Carlos de Oliveira, Vice President, Metalworkers Union of Jundiai, Brazil; Li Qiang, Executive Director, China Labor Watch. Ross Eisenbrey, the Vice President of EPI, moderated. Panelists shared their varied expertise and offered a detailed portrait of Foxconn’s practices in Asia and South America.
The Kalmanovitz Initiative hosted screenings of two films that explore community reactions to immigration: “9500 Liberty” and “On the Line.”
April 2, 2012
“9500 Liberty” documents the first time in U.S. history that an Arizona-style immigration law was actually implemented—and the surprising grassroots opposition that led to its repeal.
Racial tension and threats of violence erupt when Prince William County, Virginia adopts a law requiring the police to question people who appear to be undocumented immigrants. Supporters of the law ride a wave of hysteria to an election victory. But many reconsider when the local economy feels the impact of a sudden exodus of workers, consumers, and business owners. Despite fears of reprisal, a group of concerned citizens launches a “virtual resistance” using social media, setting up a final showdown with the law’s ferocious advocates.
Discussion to follow withː
-Community activist Elena Schlossberg
-Community activist Alanna Almeda
-Professor Denise Brennan
-Professor Katie Benton-Cohen
On the Line
April 18, 2012
“On the Line” documents a Latina journalist as she patrols the US-Mexican border with the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps, the controversial self-described neighborhood watch group whose mission is to secure the United States Border.
Carolyn Brown struggles with her own identity as she examines the troubled history of immigration in the United States, and spends time getting to know the Minutemen in the desert of Arizona.
The daughter of an immigrant, Brown finds her place among the Minutemen, and eventually is forced to look at her own ethnicity, her family history and where she fits within American Society.
“This film is about how we identify ourselves, who we are as Americans, and who we want to be,” says Brown.
Discussion to follow with…
-Filmmaker Carolyn Brown
-Community advocate Edgar Aranda-Yanoc
On March 19, 2012, Mike Daisey delivered a long-scheduled talk at Georgetown as part of the Kalmanovitz Initiative’s Labor Lab series, which aims to look at work and the dignity of labor in a changing economy.
As Jennifer Luff, KI’s Research Director, noted in her opening remarks, when we invited Mike Daisey to speak at Georgetown, “we wanted him to help us think about the power that art has to make what is invisible, visible; to give voice to the voiceless; to create a human connection across the international supply chain, linking consumers to workers on the other side of the world.” Daisey’s show “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” brought broad media attention to the experiences of factory workers in China and helped audiences envision the people who build our laptops and cell phones. Thus the title of the talk was “A Hammer With Which to Shape It: Art and the Human Voice in the Global Labor Struggle.”
Of course, during the final days before March 19, the context of Mike Daisey’s talk changed quite radically. As Luff explained, “On Friday, March 16, the ‘This American Life’ show retracted its January 6 story [based on ‘The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs’], and the radio show ‘Marketplace’ also aired a report contradicting Daisey’s account. ‘This American Life’ concluded that Daisey was not honest in what he told the show about his research in China.”
And although, as our Executive Director Joe McCartin noted, this series of events “left us scratching our heads and scrambling a bit,” we moved forward on the premise that “… unexpected events provide unexpected opportunities, and we believe the events of the past several days offer us the opportunity for an unusually deep and searching discussion…dealing with such things as truth, power, and social justice, the kinds of things that deserve deep discussion at a great university.”
To read about Mike Daisey’s talk and better understand the ongoing debate, check out this compilation of news coverage:
The Atlantic, by Rebecca Rosen
The Hoya, by Sarah Patrick
Woolly Mammoth Blog
Georgetown Voice, by Vanya Mehta
DCist, by Benjamin Freed
Washington Post, by Erik Wemple
Washington Post, The Reliable Source
Washington City Paper, by Ally Schweitzer
Washington City Paper, by Chris Kilmek
The Washingtonian, by Sophie Gilbert
Reuters, by Jack Shafer
Reuters, by Mike Elk