BY BTL STAFF
Michigan State University’s 10th Biennial Conference on Race in 21st Century America breaks new ground this year in taking a focused look at themes of sexuality and gender, with a strong emphasis on national and local LGBTQ activism.
The conference, on April 13 in the MSU Kellogg Center, features keynote addresses by pioneering LGBTQ leader Urvashi Vaid and pioneering scholar Patricia Hill Collins.
Vaid, Managing Director of the Vaid Group, will speak in the early afternoon on the topic of “Pawns in Their Game: Race, Gender & Sexuality in American Politics Today.”
Collins, Distinguished University Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park, will speak in the late afternoon on “Taking a Stand: Anti-Racism, Intersectionality and Coalition Politics.”
Patricia Hill Collins, Distinguished University Professor of Sociology at the Univerisity of Maryland, College Park will discuss “Taking a Stand: Anti-Racism, Intersectionality and Coalition Politics” at 4 p.m.
In addition to the keynotes by Vaid and Collins, the daylong event will include two panels on LGBTQ organizing, marking the first time in its 19-year history that the conference will host sessions specifically devoted to LGBTQ activists.
A morning panel brings together queer students of color reflecting on their experiences from a faith perspective. “The voices of young people who are marginalized by their sexuality or gender identity will be elevated in this discussion on religion, faith and race, says DeAnna Hurlbert, director of the MSU LBGT Resource Center.
Rafael Moure-Eraso, Emeritus Professor, University of Massachusetts Lowell will discuss “Occupational Health of Latino Workers: Is There Still a Need for Identity Politics?” at 8:30 a.m.
An afternoon panel on “Intersectional Queer Activism in the Motor City” will showcase the experiences and insights of three of the most prominent LGBTQ activists in the Detroit area: Affirmations program services director Lilianna Reyes, LGBT Detroit executive director Curtis Lipscomb, and celebrated spiritual leader the Rev. Darlene Franklin.
The conference is free to attend and it brings to the MSU campus leading scholars, community activists, public officials and residents, representing racial, ethnic, gender and ideological diversity, to participate in an important conversation with scholars and the wider community about race in America.
The Race Conference, as it has come to be called, is fundamentally designed to examine systems of power and privilege in the U.S., especially the ways in which they impact communities of color. But also to identify specific goals and strategies that promote democratic, yet radically transformative, social, economic and political structures…The aim is not simply to identify and examine problems, but especially to propose actionable recommendations for addressing 21st Century challenges.
Robert D. Bullard, Dean of Barbara Jordon- Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University will discuss “The Wrong Complexion for Protection: Why Race and Place Still Matter in the 21st Century” at 9:30 a.m.
Times for the LGBTQ-specific parts of the program are as follows:
10:45 a.m.-12 p.m. Voices on Faith from Queer Students of Color panel
1:15-2:15 p.m. Urvashi Vaid keynote address
2:30-3:45 p.m. Intersectional Queer Activism in the Motor City panel
4:00-5:30 p.m. Patricia Hill Collins keynote address