College hosting series on past, present of activism

SUNY Oswego will present “Activism: The 1960s and Beyond,” a series of lectures and films exploring the tradition and current activities of civic engagement on social issues.

All events will be free and open to the public.

The series will begin with a 7 p.m. Thursday, April 10, screening and discussion of “North of 49,” a film about the destruction of the Gobind Sadan U.S.A. temple in Palermo. Produced by Richard L. Breyer and David Coryell, the film chronicles local youths mistakenly thinking the Sikh temple’s name meant “Go Bin Laden” and burning it down, and how a community sought understanding in the aftermath.

Breyer, a professor at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications, will discuss the film’s issues of diversity, understanding and forgiveness. The screening and discussion will take place in Room C114 of the Campus Center.

Craig Warkentin of Oswego’s political science department will discuss “Laptops, Rats and Taxis: Ordinary People and the Politics of Global Change” at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, in Room P209 of the Campus Center. Warkentin will examine three cases of people using the connections made possible by the Internet and global society to strive for a more just and sustainable future. The presentation probes how ordinary people can still make a difference in a complex world.

A screening of the documentary “The 1960s: When Protest Turned Violent: The Weather Underground” and related discussion will take place at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, in Room C114 of the Campus Center. The 2002 film, directed by Sam Green and Bill Siegel, documents a group of idealistic young people who turned to violence in trying to overthrow the U.S. government in the 1960s and 1970s. Geraldine Forbes and Mary McCune of Oswego’s history department will introduce the film, providing the context of the 1960s and revolutionary terrorism.

A session on “Migrant Workers and Human Trafficking,” at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 29, in Room C114 of the Campus Center, will look at international labor migration and exploitation. Yasmine Kabir’s 2003 film “My Migrant Soul,” on the plight of workers from Bangladesh who fall prey to human traffickers, will be shown. A representative of the non-profit Farmworker Legal Services of New York will discuss its legal advocacy on behalf of local migrant farm workers, including a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant-funded outreach and aid project for victims of human trafficking.

Michael Zweig, a professor of economics and director of the Center for Study of Working Class Life at SUNY Stony Brook, will discuss “The War and the Working Class—From Vietnam to Iraq” at 12:40 p.m. Monday, May 5, in Room C114 of the Campus Center. Zweig will detail antiwar activism in labor movement, and U.S. Labor Against the War’s work with groups such as Military Families Speak Out and Iraqi Veterans Against the War.

For more information, call the SUNY Oswego history department at 312-2170.

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CONTACT: Dr. Geraldine Forbes, 312-3249

(Posted: Mar 31, 2008)