Lycoming College brings Created Equal initiative to Williamsport

Starting in January, Lycoming College will be hosting a series of events as a part of the “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle” initiative.

Sarah Silkey, associate professor of history, and Jessica Oberlin, assistant professor and instructional services librarian are coordinating the initiatives at Lycoming College and in the Williamsport community.

“Bringing the Created Equal initiative to the Williamsport community presents an exciting opportunity to cultivate community conversations about race, equality, and what it means to be an American citizen,” Silkey said.

Oberlin continued, “By engaging in honest conversations, we hope to foster understanding and strengthen connections both within and across our overlapping communities of friends and family members, neighbors and colleagues, campus residents and townspeople.”

The following events have been scheduled in the Williamsport community. All events will be held at Lycoming College, unless otherwise noted. (For more information and specific locations, please visit the Created Equal Web page.)

  • Wednesday, Jan. 21, 7:30 p.m.: Roundtable discussions regarding Martin Luther King’s concept of a “Beloved Community,” exploring what challenges race relations play in our community and how we overcome them.
  • Monday, Jan. 26, 8 p.m.: Film screening and discussion of “The Abolitionists,” which traces the activism of a diverse group of antislavery reformers.
  • Monday, Feb. 2, 7:30 p.m.: “The Forgotten Emancipationists,” a presentation by Manisha Sinha, professor of Afro-American Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst.
  • Friday, Feb. 6, 5:30 p.m., James V. Brown Library: Film screening and discussion of “The Loving Story,” which examines the Loving family’s Supreme Court challenge to state bans on interracial marriage.
  • Monday, Feb. 9, 8 p.m.: Film screening and discussion of “Slavery by Another Name,” which examines the abuses of the convict lease system.
  • Monday, Feb. 23, 8 p.m.: Film screening and discussion of “Freedom Riders,” which follows the efforts of the Freedom Riders to challenge Jim Crow segregation.
  • Thursday, March 5, 7:30 p.m.: “Rethinking Black Power and Black Politics,” a presentation by Rhonda Y. Williams, associate professor of history and founding director of the Social Justice Institute at Case Western Reserve University.
  • Friday, March 6, 7 p.m., Thomas T. Taber Museum: “Black Woman Reformer: Ida B. Wells and the Struggle against Racial Oppression,” a presentation by Sarah L. Silkey, associate professor of history, Lycoming College.
  • Thursday, March 26, 4 p.m.: 16th Annual Strauser Lecture: “Building Safer Schools: The Impact of School Security, Discipline and Prevention on School Crime, Victimization and Disorder,” by Allison Ann Payne, associate professor of sociology and criminal justice, Villanova University.
  • Wednesday, April 8, 7:30 p.m.: 42nd Annual Robert H. Ewing Lecture: “Whose Memories Matter? Race, Identity, and the Battle for American History,” by Jonathan Scott Holloway, professor of African American Studies and dean of Yale College at Yale University.
  • Monday, April 20, 8 p.m.: Film screening and discussion of “The Loving Story.”

The “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle” grant program is designed to mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s 1963 March on Washington. The program is centered around four powerful documentary films: “The Abolitionists,” “Slavery by Another Name,” “Freedom Riders” and “The Loving Story.” These films trace the 150-year effort to achieve equal rights for all.

The Created Equal film set is made possible through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of its Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

For more information on the initiative, please visit the Created Equal Web page.

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