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Winter Term 2014 offers a variety of courses and events

January includes a lineup of thought-provoking lectures and activities to help students learn more about people of many backgrounds and perspectives.

Whether it’s in a class that explores identity, poverty or immigration or a program that looks at the complexities of race or religion, Winter Term 2014 will give Elon University students many opportunities this month to learn, engage and appreciate.

The programs offered during Winter Term are designed to help prepare students to be global citizens and informed leaders motivated by concern for the common good.

“This is the second year of the diversity-themed Winter Term, which offers a host of courses for our students plus lots of free events and amazing speakers open to the entire campus staff, faculty and students,” said Alison Morrison-Shetlar, dean of Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences.

The array of courses and events that will be part of the term are meant to foster respect for human differences as well as a passion for lifelong learning, personal integrity and an ethic of work and service. For a full listing of events, visit the Winter Term 2014 website.

Some of the highlights include the following:

William A. Darity Jr., “Bold Policies for Economic Justice”
Wednesday, January 8, at 6 p.m.
LaRose Digital Theater

William A. Darity, Jr. is a professor of public policy and African & African American studies and professor of economics at Duke University. His research focuses on stratification economics, inequality and race and identity.

“Black Men in America—Imagining the Future”
Thursday, January 9, at 6 p.m.
Whitley Auditorium

Panelists take a serious look at the complexities facing black men in America today and imagine what the future might be for black men if only... Panelists will discuss the issue from the point of view of law, education, medicine, students and religion. Panelists include Professor George Johnson, Dean of Elon School of Law; Dr. Gerald Trusdale, a Greensboro, N.C. physician; Anthony Graham, professor and chair of N.C. A&T University’s School of Education; the Rev. Dr. Sir Walter Mack Sr., pastor of Union Baptist Church, Winston Salem, N.C.; Gian Spells, mentoring project, Alamance-Burlington School System; and Jordan Joshua, Watson/Odyssey Scholar, Elon University.

Neobodies: The Matrix and Transgender Cinematic Real
Monday, January 13, 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. (lunch provided)
Belk Pavilion 201

This talk addresses the ongoing cultural and historical importance of transgender director Lana Wachowski's iconic film series, The Matrix Trilogy. As an out, queer transgender woman and mainstream blockbuster film director, Wachowski has become perhaps the most important transgender image-maker in the history of the Western world. Her film The Matrix, which exploded into American popular culture in 1999, permanently altered our understanding of the cinematic body in ways that are informed by the political and technological development of modern transgender consciousness. This workshop is led by Cael Keegan, a visiting assistant professor of LGBT studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Please email Laura St. Cyr to sign up. Space is limited.

Tu B'Shevat Program & Dinner
Wednesday, January 15, at 6 p.m.
Sklut Hillel Center

Tu B'Shevat, the New Year for the trees, is a celebration of the environment. The Jewish holiday begins Jan. 15 and ends at sundown Jan. 16. Hillel's special Tu B'Shevat program includes dinner and interesting adventures tasting 15 different fruits and nuts. The program will also include the dedication of the olive tree newly planted in front of the Hillel Center. One of the "trees of faith," the olive tree was planted as a part of Elon's 125th anniversary celebration.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Difficult Dialogue: "Continuing the Spirit Of Social Justice"
Thursday, January 16, at 6 p.m.
Lakeside 213

This program will provide an opportunity for students to discuss the impact of social justice efforts on local, national and international policies. Participants will hear from students who lead organizations or groups in an effort to effect change in the community.

Douglas Foster, “Making Good on the Promise: Generational Challenges in Post Apartheid South Africa”
Tuesday, January 21, at 6 p.m.
Yeager Recital Hall

Douglas Foster is a former newspaper reporter, magazine editor, television correspondent and documentary producer who now teaches feature writing to graduates and undergraduates at Northwestern University while overseeing the Journalism Residency Program in South Africa. His most recent book is After Mandela: The Struggle for Freedom in Post-Apartheid South Africa.

Beyond Faith and Reason: Same-Sex Marriage
Wednesday, January 22, at 7:30 p.m.
McBride Room - Numen Lumen Pavilion

Discuss same-sex marriage with Dr. Kate Bruce. There will be light refreshments and all are welcome. This is part of a Wednesday evening discussion series, “Beyond Faith and Reason,” focusing on social and environmental justice concerns while considering how our faiths and worldviews inform our response.

Patricia J. Williams, “The Eradication of Prejudice”
Thursday, January 23, at 6 p.m.
McCrary Theatre

Columbia School of Law's Patricia J. Williams has published widely in the areas of race, gender and law and on other issues of legal theory and legal writing. Books include The Alchemy of Race and Rights; The Rooster's Egg; and Seeing a ColorBlind Future: The Paradox of Race. She is a columnist for The Nation.

Roselee Papandrea Taylor,
1/7/2014 12:00 PM