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Campus and Community Engagement

speaker seriesCultural Lens: Film & Speaker Series introduces films, scholars, authors, artists, and activists to campus to address various topics and how those topics are being defined and portrayed through the media. Using these illustrations, we aim to explore and drive discussion on the film’s accuracy, while addressing legitimized myths and barriers along the road to finding common ground.

Each semester, ODEI will host these screening events and facilitate conversations following the selected film. Panelists will discuss reflections and encourage a larger conversation through audience participation. Co-Sponsors are UAB Student Multicultural and Diversity Programs and Student Involvement.

Upcoming Events

 Future dates will be announced soon.  


Past Events

February 23 - A Conversation with LaGarrett King, Ph.D.: Historical Memory: Rethinking Black History

A Conversation with LaGarrett King, Ph.D.: Historical Memory: Rethinking Black History was a part of ODEI’s Cultural Lens: Film & Speakers Series.Dr. King is the founding director of the CARTER Center for K-12 Black History Education and the University of Buffalo Center for K-12 Black History and Racial Literacy Education. This conversation was moderated by Paulette Patterson Dilworth, PhD, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

October 19 – An Evening with Professor Carol Anderson: Framing Inequality through Race and Policy

An Evening with Professor Carol Anderson: Framing Inequality through Race and Policy was a part of ODEI’s Cultural Lens: Film & Speakers Series. Dr. Anderson’s research explores how policy is made and unmade, how racial inequality and racism affect that process and outcome, and how those who have taken the brunt of those laws, executive orders, and directives have worked to shape, counter, undermine, reframe, and, when necessary, dismantle the legal and political edifice used to limit their rights and their humanity. Some of her most noted works include White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Nation's Divide; Eyes Off the Prize: The United Nations and the African American Struggle for Human Rights, 1944-1955; Bourgeois Radicals: The NAACP and the Struggle for Colonial Liberation, 1941-1960, One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying Our Democracy, and her latest book, The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America.

October 7 – The Deportation Machine: America's Long History of Expelling Immigrants by Adam Goodman

In the past few years, we have witnessed constant headlines about deportations, detention camps, and border walls drive urgent debates about immigration and what it means to be an American in the twenty-first century. Join us as we invite professor and author, Dr. Adam Goodman to discuss his latest book, The Deportation Machine and troubling history of the US government’s systematic efforts to terrorize and expel immigrants over the past 140 years and the innovative strategies people have adopted to fight against the machine and redefine belonging in ways that transcend citizenship.

September 22 – An Evening with Clint Smith

An Evening with Clint Smith was a part of ODEI’s Cultural Lens: Film & Speakers Series. Clint Smith is a staff writer at The Atlantic, host of the YouTube series Crash Course Black American History, and author of the recently released #1 New York Times Bestseller, How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America. Join us as we invite him to discuss the brutal history of the slave trade and how it has been deeply imprinted on today’s society whether it is in places we might drive by on our way to work, holidays such as Juneteenth, or entire neighborhoods.

March 18 – An Evening with Alice Walker

An Evening with Alice Walker was a part of ODEI’s Cultural Lens: Film & Speakers Series. Alice Walker is an internationally celebrated writer, poet and activist whose books include many collections of short stories, children’s books, and volumes of essays and poetry. Walker made history as the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Literature as well as the National Book Award in 1983 for her novel "The Color Purple". The award-winning novel served as the inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s 1985 film and was adapted into a New York City Broadway Theatre stage play in 2005.

February 23 – Social Media and Racial Trauma
Join us as we explore the effects of social media on race-based trauma, self-assessment/diagnosis, and healing. To some, the news of the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and others simply marked another viral police killing—tragic, but like most trending topics, short-lived and inconsequential. But for others, every shared tweet, image, video, headline, and comment around this news builds into a daily deluge of trauma—flooding our psyche, leaving us afraid to drown. It’s a familiar pain of a communal PTSD and a secondary trauma of not only witnessing the trauma of others, but the lack of justice toward these situations. Research into secondary racial trauma is relatively new, but the data is there. In the U.S., Black, Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) are most vulnerable to race-based traumatic stress (RBTS) due to living under a system of white supremacy.

October 28 – A Conversation With Dr. Beverly Tatum
A Conversation with Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum was a part of ODEI’s Cultural Lens: Film & Speakers Series. Tatum, Ph.D., president emerita of Spelman College, is a clinical psychologist widely known for both her expertise on race relations and as a thought leader in higher education. The author of several books including the best-selling “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” and Other Conversations About Race and Can We Talk About Race? and Other Conversations in an Era of School Resegregation, she is a sought-after speaker on the topics of racial identity development, race and education, strategies for creating inclusive campus environments, and higher education leadership.

October 30 – LA 92 Film Screening & Discussion
A little over twenty-five years after the verdict in the Rodney King trial sparked several days of protests, violence, and looting in Los Angeles, Ca., filmmakers examine that tumultuous period known as the "LA Riots" through rarely seen archival footage. After the film, panelists will discuss their reflections, lessons to be gained, and facilitate a larger conversation among the audience.

November 28 - The [Re]Invention of Western Civilization: Human Rights, Civil Rights, and Indigenous Rights w/ Robert A. Williams, Jr.
After centuries of war, conquest, colonization, and genocide, American Indians continue to assert their rights under treaties with the United States, as citizens under the Constitution, and as indigenous peoples with rights to self-determination under international law. Drawing on the protests of American Indian "Water Protectors" against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota as a framework for understanding and contrasting the unique legal status and rights of tribal Indians in the United States, Lumbee legal scholar and human rights lawyer Robert A. Williams, Jr. argues for the re-invention of Western Civilization according to an indigenized vision of law and justice for a multicultural world.

February 6 - Stamped from the Beginning: A Conversation with Award-Winning Historian and Author, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
Ibram Kendi, Ph.D., professor at American University and award-winning scholar of racism and antiracism, will discuss current events relating to society and culture with Paulette Patterson Dilworth, Ph.D., UAB's vice president for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Dr. Kendi currently serves as professor and director of the Antiracist Research & Policy Center in the Department of History at American University and an award-winning scholar of racism and antiracism and a New York Times best-selling author.


Events are free and open to the public. To learn more, or if you have any questions, please contact the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at (205) 934-8762.

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