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CCRS 2015, 2014 Events

UHD Scholars Create High-Impact Experience for Second Ward Students

Photograph of students from the Second Ward reading in a class roomUHD Students in Vida Robertson’s African American Literature and English Composition courses recently took their studies from the classroom to the real world, as they partnered with Ripley House Neighborhood Center to create a high-impact educational opportunity for students in Houston’s Second Ward.

More than 100 students ranging in age from five to 17 participated in the summer literacy program, during which UHD students read to them and led informed discussions on the impact of race on the lives of characters portrayed in respective narratives as well as on the lives of actual people in our day-to-day experiences. As a part of this Big Read event, the Center for Critical Race Studies provided each Second Ward student with a personal copy of the text to share with their family and friends at home following the program. 

CCRS Second Annual Big Read/Read Out Event Volunteers group photo Second Annual CCRS Read Out - Volunteers, June 2015  

Photograph of Dr. Erin Morles-WilliamsDr. Erin "Mari" Morales-Williams, Gender Conference Keynote Speaker

April 2, 2015

The dynamic conference will include presentations by UHD faculty and students exploring the ways in which gender relates to sexual and domestic violence, race, media, education, literature and the workplace.

Born in East Harlem and raised in the Bronx, keynote speaker,  Dr. Mari is a community based healer, educator, and activist. For over a decade she has taught and directed a wide range of programs in schools and community organizations throughout New York City and Philadelphia. She is currently the founder and director T.U.F.F. (Turn Up for Freedom) Girls, an arts based and activist driven community leadership program for Black and Latina youth.

Morales-Williams earned her Master's and Ph.D. in Urban Education from Temple University and her dissertation, Tough Love: Young Urban Women of Color as Public Pedagogues and Their Lessons of Race, Gender, and Sexuality, was also awarded by the Myra Sadker Foundation in 2011. She taught teacher education at its College of Education for several years and recently rejoined Temple's faculty as an adjunct where she teaches the course, Education for Liberation. Morales-Williams will discuss the emotional and mental experiences she had during her dissertation field experience at a teen summer camp within a community center in her hometown of the Bronx, NY.


FreedomRider-film-poster.jpgUHD students, faculty and staff are invited to attend "Students and the Struggle for Justice," a panel discussion to be held on Feb. 26, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Wilhelmina Cullen Robertson Auditorium.

The panel will comprise former and current student activists who will discuss their personal experiences. Attendees will view clips from the "Freedom Riders" documentary, discuss past and present social justice initiatives, and meet distinguished panelists who contributed to the Civil Rights Movement. 

The panelists include:

• Herbert Hamilton, a Texas Southern University alumnus and civil rights activist who participated in the Freedom Ride from Los Angeles to Houston in 1961,

• The Rev. Dr. Virgil Wood, a Baptist minister who served on the board of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and worked directly with Martin Luther King, Jr.,

• Biko Gray, local activist and graduate student at Rice University, and

• Tarah Taylor, UHD student and local community organizer.

The event is sponsored by Created Equal, the Center for Critical Race Studies, and the Department of Social Sciences. Refreshments will be provided.

Black History Month Events

February 17, 2015
Houston Equal Rights Ordinance

N1099, 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

February 18, 2015
Police Brutality Fishbowl

N602, 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

February 19, 2015
Black History Jeopardy

N420, 12:11 p.m. - 2:11 p.m.

You Know Your Rights: A Criminal Perspective
C100, 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

February 23, 2015
You Know Your Rights: A Civil / Law Enforcement Perspective

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

February 25, 2015
Let the Drums Speak

Auditorium, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Cosponsored by the Center for Diversity & Inclusion

Jimmy Santiago Baca is CCRS 2015 Scholar-in-Residence

UHD’s Center for Critical Race Studies (CCRS) proudly announces the poet, essayist, screenwriter, and activist Jimmy Santiago Baca as our 2015 Scholar-in-Residence. Mr. Baca is an internationally-celebrated writer, known for such works as Immigrants in Our Own Land, Working in the Dark: Reflections of a Poet of the Barrio, Winter Poems Along the Rio Grande, and Healing Earthquakes. He is the recipient of a number of prestigious awards for his work, including the American Book Award and the Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature for Martin and Meditations on the South Valley, the International Prize for A Place to Stand, as well as, two Southwest Book Awards, the Pushcart Prize, and the National Poetry Award.

During his time at UHD, Mr. Baca will read from his work, host public talks, guide faculty seminars, conduct students workshops, lead service and community learning engagements, and screen his newly released documentary A Place to Stand: The Making of a Poet. Mr. Baca’s inspiring life, vision, and unwavering commitment to social justice will serve as a catalyst for the campus to continue to transform the minds and lives of our students and communities.

January 26, 2015
Meeting with members of the Hispanic Male Initiative and Black Male Initiative
N420, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Writer’s Workshop for Poets, Novelists and Screenwriters
Cosponsored by the English Department
S1070, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

January 27, 2015
Faculty Development Seminar-Engaging Underprivileged Students
A711, 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Meet with the Fellows of the Center for Critical Race Studies
Rockwell Room, 2:00 a.m. - 1 1:30 a.m.

A Place to Stand: The Making of a Poet —Documentary Screening
Discussion, Public Reception and Book Signing will directly follow
Robertson Auditorium, 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

January 28, 2015
Faculty Development Seminar-Engaging Underprivileged Students
A711, 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Interview on HTV—Center for Critical Race Studies Interview Series
City Hall Building 901 Bagby, 5:30 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.

January 29, 2015
Critical Race Studies Annual Lecture Series
Lecture, Book Signing and Public Reception

Co-sponsored by the Center for Public Service and Family Strengths
Robertson Auditorium, 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 

January 30, 2015
Kegan State Jail— Lecture and Poetry Reading
Co-sponsored by the University-Jailhouse Literacy Program
(led by Drs. Jackson and Farris)

Meet with members of the Student Government/Leadership
Rockwell Room, 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

January 31, 2015
Teacher’s Seminar—Collegiate & High School Teachers
Co-sponsored by the Urban Education Department
C100, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

CCRS Read Out!
July 8, 2014

Big Read Event Poster for 2014 The Read Out! brings Houston teens together with UHD students to develop and engage critical reading and thinking skills. UHD students enhance their critical thinking skills learned in UHD courses by designing ethical and philosophical questions for teens to consider. Through discussion, UHD students encourage young students to think critically about individual choice in relation to one’s commitment to their respective communities and our mutual humanity. Ultimately, students learn the ways in which philosophical ideas and constructs of identity are useful in daily activities and community engagement. This initiative fosters civic responsibility by helping UHD students understand how to use their valuable critical thinking, reading and writing skills to contribute to the improvement and growth of their communities. Through this process, UHD students build relationships with teens. These relationships encourage the students to not only graduate from high school, but also attend and graduate from college. This community engagement contributes to retaining UHD students by showing them the power and humanitarian utility of a college education.

Dreamer: A true American Story
A film by Jesse SalmeronDreamer: A True American Story film banner

Dreamer is a narrative feature film about Joe Rodriguez, an All-American young man. He's amiable, well-educated, and attractive. He's graduated from college and is working and excelling in his field. He's on the way to achieving the American Dream. That is until his employer discovers his undocumented status and the life he's worked so hard for begins to crumble around him. He must face the possibility of losing his livelihood, his family, and, even himself.

Dreamer opens a window into the reality of many who, because of one insurmountable obstacle, find it impossible to achieve their dreams. Even though Joe was raised in the United States for all but the first few years of his life – and considers himself American – he must live with the constant fear of deportation from the country he loves to a place he has never known. The film transcends racial lines and illuminates the immigration debate for what it is: a tragedy that affects all Americans.

Dr. Doran Larson: A public Talk

Photograph of Doran LarsonUHD's Cultural Enrichment Center, Department of English, and the Center for Critical Race Studies presents "The American Prison Writer as Witness," a public talk by Dr. Doran Larson.

Dr. Larson brings to UHD a deep commitment to the public conversation around the difficult subject of mass incarceration; he is a teacher-scholar who transforms both universities and prisons by advocating for the power of creativity, writing, and an open cultural exchange between prisoners and the free world

Dr. Larson is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Hamilton College. He is also the Leader of the Attica Prison Writer's Workshop and founder of the Attica-Genesee Teaching Project and The Mohawk Consortium College-in-Prison program, as well as the creator of the American Prison Writing Archive, a Digital Humanities Initiative.

Keynote Speaker – UHD's 7th Annual Gender Conference

Photograph of Dr. Sherri Davis-FaulknerThe College of Humanities and Social Sciences will present the seventh annual Gender Conference April 4 at UHD. This year's theme is "Gender, Sex and Power." Gender involves social and cultural understandings of sexual difference and the practices and behaviors that support or challenge those understandings.

The keynote speaker will be Sherri Davis Faulkner, who will share her research on childhood obesity, "Precious Opportunities: A Critical Race Feminist Approach to Media."

A graduate of the Institute of the Liberal Arts at Emory University, Davis-Faulkner completed an American Studies dissertation entitled, Precious Opportunities: Black Girl Stories and Resistance Pedagogies as Critical Race Feminist Responses to the Childhood Obesity Epidemic.  For her dissertation research, she developed Camp Carrot Seed, a summer camp, for middle and high school youth where she examined their food decision-making.  She worked directly with teenagers observing their eating habits and accessible foods and natural resources in their communities. 

Her research interests include feminist body studies, critical race studies, and media literacy with a specific focus on health and healthy body narratives for black girls.  She is currently the Director of Community Engagement with the Westside Communities Alliance through the Ivan Allen College of the Liberal Arts at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  She is also an adjunct professor at Spelman College, and a blogging member of the The Crunk Feminist Collective (CFC)

Black History Month Graphic for 2014

Black History Month 2014

Film Festival Week:

  • Thursday, January 30th - "Slavery by Another Name"
  • Thursday, February 6th, - "Eyes on the Prize documentary series"
  • Thursday, February 13th, - "Eyes on the Prize documentary series"
  • Thursday, February 20th, - "Eyes on the Prize documentary series"
  • Thursday, February 27th, - "Eyes on the Prize documentary series"

All films will be in 1099-N from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Cosponsored by the UHD Library and Student Activities.

Monday, February 3rd, 11:30 AM. - 12:45 PM
African American Read - In in the 3rd floor Atrium (main building)
Cosponsored by UHD Library

Tuesday, February 11th, 1:00 PM. Cullen Auditorium
Ebony Embers - Vignettes of the Harlem Renaissance Play
Cosponsors: CHSS, Student Activities, Center for Diversity & Inclusion, English Department, Arts & Humanities Department, Social Sciences department.

Wednesday, February 5th, 6:00 PM. - 8:00 PM., Cullen Auditorium
AAMMP (African American Male Mentorship Program) and S.T.A.R. Spoken Word Night

Thursday, Feb. 27th, 11:30 AM. - 12:45 PM. Cullen Auditorium
Jurgen Grandt: Black History Month Speaker
"Bebop in Bavaria: The Reception and Practice of African American Studies in Europe"

Black History Month Speaker, Dr. Jurgen Grandt

Photograph of Dr. Jurgen GrandtIn February 2014, Dr. Grandt was UHD’s featured Black History month speaker. His presentation addressed, among other issues, the reasons for the heavy emphasis on critical theory in general and Gatesian Signifyin(g) in particular: the impact of September 11 and current US foreign policy.

Bebop in Bavaria: The Reception and Practice of African American Studies in Europe” – “Bebop in Bavaria” is something of a personal travelogue through the discipline of African American Studies in Europe. Drawing on my experiences as a graduate student at the University of Zurich (Switzerland) and my stints as Visiting Professor of American Studies at the University of Bayreuth (Germany) and as Visiting Professor of English at the University of Basel (Switzerland); on conference proceedings and guest lectures at institutions in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Ireland; as well as on more informal discussions with colleagues and students from many more nations, “Bebop in Bavaria” seeks to illuminate some of the peculiar challenges and opportunities faced by the (white) European student, teacher, and scholar of African American literature and culture.

Serie McDougal Presentation

Photograph of the cover of McDougal's book Research Methods in Africana StudiesThis presentation explores the historical approaches and current barriers to conducting valid life affirming and emancipatory research on people of African descent. This presentation also looks at some important factors that will contribute to the creation of more valid research on people of African descent. Special attention is given to the approaches to explaining the lives of people of African descent in the discipline of Africana Studies. Dr. Serie McDougal is a co-founder of

Inaugural Resident Scholar - Dr. Brittney Cooper

Photograph of Inaugural Resident Scholar - Dr. Britney CooperIn January 2014, Dr. Cooper presented a public lecture titled "When Blackness Was in Vogue: Intersectionality and Post-Racial Politics". Dr Cooper asserts, "Increasingly, academics who study race charge themselves and others to move "beyond the Black/White binary," when thinking about contemporary operations of race and racism. This talk considers what calls for transcending or moving beyond the binary mean. It seems to mean in many cases that folks are tired of talking about blackness, but never tired of talking about whiteness. Thus this talk drives to the heart of these debates, to understand what we really mean when we say we are "post-racial," and how debates over the continued usefulness of intersectionality are implicated in the project of transcending Black identity."

Dr. Cooper is a co-founder of the The Crunk Feminist Collective (CFC)

Last updated 2/3/2020 1:35 AM