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The Rev. C.T. Vivian (Photo Courtesy of WIU Visual Production Center)
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DWDI to Feature Rev. C.T. Vivian

May 2, 2012

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MACOMB, IL -- The Western Illinois University 19th annual Dealing with Difference Institute (DWDI) will be held Tuesday-Wednesday, May 15-16 in the Multicultural Center on the WIU-Macomb campus. The institute, which is designed for higher education faculty, students and staff, along with pre-K-12 educators, will feature presentations and discussions revolving around the themes, "Multiculturalism and/or Assimilation?" and "Nonviolent Strategies for Social Transformation." Keynote presenters include Pedro Noguera of New York University's (NYU) teaching and learning, humanities and social sciences and sociology departments, and Macomb native, WIU alumnus, Freedom Rider and renowned Civil Rights Activist the Rev. C.T. Vivian.

The DWDI begins at 1 p.m. Tuesday, May 15 with Noguera's keynote presentation, "Preparing for the New Majority: The Role of Schools in Building a More Inclusive and Equitable Society." Noguera taught in public schools in Rhode Island and California and held tenured faculty positions at the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard's Graduate School of Education before being joining the NYU faculty. Besides his departmental appointments, Noguera, the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University, directs the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education, and co-directs the Institute for the Study of Globalization and Education in Metropolitan Settings. He has published more than 150 articles and book chapters as well as several books. Two of those books, "City Schools and the American Dream: Fulfilling the Promise of Public Education" (2003) and "The Trouble with Black Boys and Other Reflections on Race, Equity and the Future of Public Education" (2008), have won the American Association of Educational Studies' Book of the Year award.

Vivian will present "Nonviolence: Motivation, Preparation, and Social Justice Initiatives" at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 16. Vivian is, as noted in his "Speak Out Now" biography, "a living legend of the Civil Rights Movement who has never let his commitment to social justice lapse." He is as fervent today as he was in the 1960s when he marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, rode with other Freedom Riders into Jackson, MS., served time in the Jackson State Penitentiary, or challenged Mayor Ben West in Nashville, TN., or Sheriff Jim Clark in Selma, AL. In 1970, Fortress Press published his "Black Power and the American Myth," the first book-length analysis of the Civil Rights Movement. Vivian is the founder of the Black Action Strategies and Information Center (BASIC) to provide multicultural training in workplaces, the Center for Democratic Renewal to provide a place where culturally diverse allies could work together against white supremacist activities, Churches Supporting Churches to provide assistance to Hurricane Katrina victims, and the C. T. Vivian Leadership Institute to build strong leaders through education, cultural enrichment and academic pursuits.

Other sessions include:

Tuesday, May 15:

3 p.m. - J. Q. Adams, educational and interdisciplinary studies (EIS), "Balancing Personal and Group Identity with National Allegiance, Multiculturalism, and Assimilation."

4 p.m. - "Sing Your Song," documentary on Harry Belafonte.

7:30 p.m. - Gloria Delany-Barmann, EIS, working with musicians Ivan Chancay, Dan Eilers and Reinhard Lindner (EIS), "Pastures of Plenty: Using Music to Promote Change." (WIU Alumni House).

Wednesday, May 16:

8:30 a.m. - James La Prad and Tamara La Prad, both of EIS, "What the World Needs Now ... Cultural Competencies for Reducing Racial and Ethnic Prejudice."

1 p.m. - Cornell Bondurant, social work graduate student; Sean Dixon of EIS and the Center for the Study of Masculinities and Men's Development; Justine Johnson, coordinator of WIU's Interpersonal Violence Prevention Initiative, and A. J. Segneri, executive director of the Foundation for a United Front in Springfield, "Contemporary Nonviolent Social Justice Activities and Movements."

2:15 p.m. - Small group discussions [Nonviolence - Resources, Initiatives, Strategies; Difficult Conversations; and Balancing Multiculturalism and Assimilation].

A complete schedule, registration forms and more information (including registrations fees) can be found at Community members who wish to attend only the Rev. Vivian's presentation, should register online at General admission is $5 for Vivian's keynote (WIU faculty, staff and students may attend Vivian's presentation at no charge).

Questions can be directed to DWDI co-directors Janice R. Welsch at or J.Q. Adams at

The Dealing with Difference Institute is sponsored by Western Illinois University's Expanding Cultural Diversity Project, the WIU Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research and the Illinois Association for Cultural Diversity.

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