Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Study on Race & Stand-up Comedy Seeking Participants


My name is Aaryn Green, a graduate student here at UC. My masters thesis study regards race and stand-up comedy. We'll be watching a some clips followed by a discussion.  This  email is to ask for participation from more RAPP members!

As I know that the year is winding down and finals and graduations are quickly approaching, I am aiming to meet with you all by this week/weekend. The study only requires one meeting for about 2 hours max. Please take time to answer the survey monkey link below so that I may choose a day and time that is most fitting for everyone. Also please note that since this is a scientific study, you will be randomly placed into groups based on race. More information about the study will be provided upon your participation.


Remember free pizza and refreshments will be provided! Also if you know of anyone else who was or is currently a part of RAPP and might be interested in participating please inform them of the study as well and have them contact me ASAP. Feel free to call or email me with any questions or concerns.

Thanks so much for your help and I look forward to meeting and hearing from each you very soon!

Aaryn L. Green
Master's Candidate
Department of Sociology

We'd Love Your Thoughts the RAPP 25 Year Reunion

Survey responses have been coming in steadily about the RAPP 25 Year Reunion.  Already I've learned some great things about what people thought worked and what we could do better next time - as well as some great ideas for the years in between.  Please keep the feedback coming!

If you were able to attend the reunion, please take a few minutes to complete this survey.  If you're a RAPPer who wasn't able to or didn't want to attend, we'd also love to learn from you about that - please take a few minutes to complete this survey.

Maurice H (VI) and Elmann C (X) checking out the photo table decorations.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

RAPP Reunion: Spotlight on Food

For the RAPP 25 Year Reunion, we tried to be intentional about our purchases, especially around food.  Our food selections were made and arranged by the food sub-committee, which was chaired by RAPP's Communication Intern Melissa Davis.

At the beginning, the committee set the criteria that we wanted a multi-ethnic buffet that was mostly heavy hors d'oeurves rather than a formal served meal.  We thought this would encourage people to mingle more as well as give us the opportunity to be creative.

We also wanted to be inclusive in our food choices, ensuring that we made the food accessible to those of varying diets and dietary needs.

Finally, we wanted to support smaller, local businesses, preferably minority owned.

In general, we met most of our goals!
Food sub-committee chair Mel and committee member Stacy set up fare from Mt. Adams Pizza & Deli

Mt Adams Pizza & Deli:

Mel found this relatively new pizza & deli owned by Steve Lin.  The restaurant stood out for its variety of vegan and gluten-free offerings, as well as offering food that is safe for folks with nut allergies.  The pizzas are wood-fired and the customer service is outstanding!
RAPP XXIV Wednesday graduates Jojo & Abby dished themselves some delicious Jamaican food from Island Frydays!
Island Frydays:

This restaurant specializing in Jamaican cuisine is located right near campus and is growing in popularity as a caterer for campus!  Island Frydays, owned by UC Alumnus Leo Morgan, offers fast food service, delivery, as well as bustling catering business.  Very popular at the reunion were the jerk chicken wings, the meat patties, and steamed vegetables!

The end of the buffet included a mouthwatering array of treats!
AmandaCakes & All Things Food Catering:

Our sweet tooths were filled with delicious desserts courtesy of UC Alumna Amanda Morris' sweets.  Chef Morris offers both meals and desserts in her catering, but we ordered only her locally famous latter.  AmandaCakes offers an extensive vegan menu that most in attendance couldn't believe were vegan due to their creamy richness and full flavor.  She also brought an array of yummy nut-free desserts and a rich reunion-themed cake.

All foods were labeled by name, ingredients where possible, and tagged around vegan, vegetarian, nut-free, gluten-free or pork containing.

RAPP Reunion: Video of Pre-Party Campus Tour

The RAPP 25 Year Reunion photos are in!

Our photographer was Sam Greene and he has sent in a bevy of great snapshots from the evening. 

Given all that went into the event and how powerful the night was - as well as how we're not likely to have another one for at least a few years - I'll be milking the release of the photos. :)

Below, check out shots from the pre-party campus tour!  Many thanks to RAPP XXIV member Jessica Roberts and SALD Program Coordinator Dr. Nicole Ausmer for leading RAPPers on a memorable tour of our much-changed now most-beautiful-in-the-world campus.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

RAPP XXVI: Recognizing Participation

Each RAPP year, many students start out looking at the schedule and thinking "how can I make ALL OF THAT?!"  On the one hand, there are only 12 meetings and three retreats spread out over an eight month time span.  On the other, we've got a group of busy people: they're all students, most work at least one job, most are involved in other organizations, and everyone has a lot of commitments to manage.  On top of that, there are the unexpected events like illness, accidents, family issues, and schedule changes.

Despite all of that, every year a core group shows us that being at everything is possible.  At our banquets and here online, we recognize those who were able to fulfill the commitment they signed up for to "be present in mind and body" in at least the "body" portion.

So, without further ado, I'd like to thank the following RAPP XXVI members for their near perfect attendance (attended everything on the schedule but one):

Adolphe Hakolimana
Alec Janson
Allison Furterer
Ani Naik
Catalina Florea
Charlene Monroe
Rachel Wurm
Shanade Curtis
Shy Ruparel
Victoria Miles

Many thanks to the following RAPP XXVI members who attended every single meeting and retreat on the schedule:

Alexis Sims
Allison Miller
Andrew Boughan
Joey Scheiber
Kevin Corcoran
Kyle Corcoran
Matt Miller
Matthew Woodruff
Siva Nagi Reddy Inturi
Toni Brock

Many, many thanks also to our Peer Leaders!  All of them have a slightly lesser expectation for attendance than the RAPP members themselves, yet they all went well above and beyond!  Their participation rate is actually much higher than the overall average for the group!  So, please recognize our amazing Peer Leaders for yet another way they are rockin' awesome!:

Amber Easterling
Brice Mickey
Jojo Azevedo
Marjorie Bledsoe
Rachel Berman

Friday, May 27, 2011

RAPP XXVI: Recognizing Commitment

RAPP XXVI has officially drawn to an end.  There will still be much to report on here as we wrap up the academic year, take time to breathe and reflect, and pour through data.  In the meantime, I want to take time to recognize some members that stood out this year for their commitment!
Each year a member of each RAPP group is recognized with the Terrence L Jones Diversity Award.  In recent years, we have involved members of the groups in the selection process.

We ask them to nominate RAPPmates for the award based on their commitment to the program,  their genuine contribution to the process, and their continual encouragement of their peer's development.  Selecting this year's winners was easy because they were each overwhelmingly selected by their groups!

Toni Brock was selected for recognition by the Tuesday RAPP group.  Charlene Monroe was selected by the Wednesday one.  Both have been outstanding in their commitment to RAPP and their genuine demonstration of the power of each one teach one.

Congratulations & gratitude to both!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kimmins Southard Spotlighted in The News Record

Kimmins Southard, our intern through Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, was a front page news story in today's The News Record:

Kimmins Southard

Published: Thursday, May 26, 2011
Updated: Thursday, May 26, 2011 01:05
guy
Sam Greene | Online Editor
Kimmins Southard, a Cincinnatus scholar and prominent advocate of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community at the University of Cincinnati has been named the UCs 2011 C-Ring award winner.
A fourth-year social work student, Kimmins was honored with the award at the annual C-Ring banquet May 14 for a devotion to academic excellence, service, leadership and advocacy for women and girls on campus and in the community.
The C-Ring award "recognizes women who work to improve the quality of life in our communities and who feel a responsibility to the greater world and to advancing the status of women and girls," according to UC Women's Center's website. The first C-Ring was awarded in 1922.
"I was ecstatic when I found out that I was one of the end finalists and just excited for that honor in and of itself," Southard said. "I found out that I was the recipient at the same time as everyone else. I was shocked."
Southard, in addition to being a Cincinnatus scholar and advocate for the LGBTQ community, also participated in the racial awareness program RAPP, where students educated each other and debated social justice issues.
Southard also served as a peer advocate in the UC Women's Center Reclaim program, a health educator with the UC Wellness Center and was a participant in the Ohio Council of Advocates for Youth, which encourages a positive and realistic approach regarding adolescent sexual health.
"It feels fantastic to be recognized for all of the advocacy work I have done while at UC," Southard said. "It has been a long four years, and all my hard work would still have been worth it without receiving any awards. However, it feels really great and really validating to know that UC has recognized all my hard work."
Receiving the award has empowered Kimmins to believe that changes can still be made in the community through hard work and perseverance.
"It has definitely motivated me to bring the same energy with me in my future endeavors and not to give up fighting the good fight for social justice," Southard said.
That energy impressed one UC faculty member.
"What has impressed me most is Southard's willingness to take risks as they challenge themselves and others to make this campus and community better," said Ruth Anne Van Loon, an associate professor of social work. "[Southard's] risk-taking is not impulsive but rather well-considered and planned."
Best known for LGBTQ advocacy, Southard said the UC LGBTQ community has made huge strides during the last four years.
"This year we have an independent LGBTQ Center with a full-time staff person, which is something I advocated for starting my first year of college," Southard said. "It is very exciting to see all of the changes at UC over the last four years, both with policy changes and with the changes in the attitudes and knowledge of the student body and UC faculty and staff."
Southard credited their parents with encouraging their passion for social justice.
"My parents provided me with unbiased and honest information about reproductive right," Southard said. "And as result of this guidance, I gained valuable insight about the status of women's rights."

Tips for Working in the RAPP Office



I was RAPP's Communication Intern during spring quarter and here are a few tips I have for future interns:

Always find something to do
           Doesn't have to be a massive project every day.
           A Facebook post or a Tweet counts as something done.

Be aware of detail
            Rebecca will ask, make sure you know what you’re doing

Stay Late and Come Early
                        RAPP is a commitment, if you want to work for RAPP you better be able to commit your time and efforts to your work as well as the program

Communicate!
                        If you don’t understand something, ask. If you’re struggling then speak up. People can only help if they know what’s wrong.

Share Your View
                        If you have an idea you think is good and worth looking into, share it with Rebecca. All great ideas have to come from somewhere, might as well be you.

Hopefully future interns will have the great experience that I had.


   

Monday, May 23, 2011

Seeking Feedback on the RAPP 25 Year Reunion

The RAPP 25 Year Reunion was held just over one week ago - and it's still a hot topic around these parts!

The committee that planned the event would like some feedback from the RAPP community and are collecting it in two surveys:

Over 100 people were able to participate in the reunion!  We'd love to hear from those people what they like about the event as well as what could have been improved.  If you were able to attend, please take a few minutes to complete this survey.

For the 500 or so RAPP alumni who weren't able to attend, we'd love to learn how to make the event more accessible, affordable, or desirable in the future.  If you're a RAPPer who wasn't able to or didn't want to attend, we'd love to learn from you about that - please take a few minutes to complete this survey.

We'll repost this a few times to get as much feedback as possible!  We're also looking forward to posting "official" event photos soon - as soon as they come in from the photographer!

UC Vice President Dr. Mitchel Livingston, Kimberly McGinnis Bonner (VIII), and Kaila Noland (XXVI) smiled for a snapshot!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

First Annual UC Rainbow Celebration - June 12th!

From the LGBTQ Center:

Sunday, June 12 · 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Max Kade German Cultural Center, 736 Old Chemistry

First Annual Rainbow Celebration

Honoring the lives and achievements of UC’s
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Students

The University of Cincinnati’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center proudly announces our first Rainbow Celebration to acknowledge our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally graduates of the class of 2011!

Everyone is welcome! Students (undergraduate & graduate), faculty, staff, and alumni are encouraged to attend the ceremony. Bring your partners, your parents, and your family, friends, and significant others as we honor our outstanding graduates.

Join us for...

Rainbow Tassels and Certificates!

Leadership Awards!

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Amy C. Lind
Mary Ellen Heintz Endowed Chair and Associate Professor of
Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Sociology and the School of Planning

To RSVP, participate in ceremony, or for more information, please contact the LGBTQ Center:
571 Steger Student Life
B. Carbonara (Grad. Assistant) carbonby@mail.uc.edu, (513) 556-4329
Leisan Smith (Program Dir.) smiln@ucmail.uc.edu, (513) 556-6261

Campus Map:
http://www.uc.edu/content/dam/common/docs/maps/campus_map_west.pdf

Visitors Information:
http://www.uc.edu/visitors.html


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

From Ethnic Programs & Services and UC African Student Association:

Islam 360
Tuesday, May 24 · 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Baldwin 649
6 Muslims from 6 continents! Join us as we talk about our experience as American Muslims and explore diversity across the world. 

Check out the Facebook event for more details.


A Growing List: Reunion Increased RAPP Participant List

Over the next few weeks, we'll be highlighting outcomes of the RAPP 25 Year Reunion that was held this past weekend as a part UC Alumni Weekend.

Many people helped us achieve this first one.  As described previously, RAPP is still on a long road to finding previous participants of the program.  This weekend, we made some great strides toward eventually having a complete list!

Photos of all the previous RAPP groups were on display at the reunion and a list of the names of folks we know so far was included with the photos.  We asked for RAPPers to take a few minutes to help us continue building the list.

RAPPers from groups I-X really answered that call!  They generously took time out of their partying & mingling to add to the list.  In total, we now know the names and/or RAPP years of 39 more people than we did before!  That's an almost 10% increase!

The updated information can be found on the RAPP History page in the RAPP university website.  As this is a continuing project, any RAPPer can help at any time by checking the site out and contacting us with corrections and updates!

A snapshot of RAPPers from groups I through X at the reunion

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Civic Engagement Panel

The University of Cincinnati Alumni Association Young Professionals & Cincy YP Group invite you to join us for a Civic Engagement Panel.

Please join us for a discussion with leading young professionals executives from a range of Cincinnati organizations. Gain insight and advice on getting involved in the city to make a lasting impact, followed by a networking event.

Panelists:
Joe Condit, Founder and CEO, Condit Group
Joe Hansbauer (UC Alum), Founder and Executive Director, UGIVE
Candace Klein, Attorney, Graydon Head; Founder, Bad Girl Ventures
Mike Moroski, Teacher, Moeller High School; Founder, Choices Cafe
Sean Parker, P&G External Relations; Cincinnati Public School Board Member

When:
Thursday, May 26
5PM Registration
5:30 - 7PM Panel Event

Where:
University of Cincinnati - Russell C. Myers Alumni Center
2906 Woodside Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45221

Cost:
FREE! Light refreshments will be provided.
*Park in the Campus Green Garage off Martin Luther King. Parking vouchers will be provided at the event!

RSVP:
CLICK HERE to RSVP by May 23, 2011. Register early, space is limited!

Questions:
Please contact the UC Alumni Association at 877-4-UCALUM.

Check out the UCAA Young Professionals' Facebook page here.

AWL International Festival

The Public Ally at the Academy of World Languages would like to invite you to AWL's International Festival!!!

AWL is a CPS magnet school for languages teaching Arabic, Russian, Chinese, and Japanese to our English speaking population. They also have a thriving English as a Second Language program that brings them students from over 40 countries, speaking 30 languages.

To celebrate our diversity every year AWL has a great, big festival that all are cordially invited to attend!

The festival is Saturday May 21 from 11am - 4pm:

  • 11 - 12: AWL student performances
  • 12 - 4: Music and food from around the world
  • 12:30 - 3: Games and fun for all
There is also an added component to this where you can volunteer if you would like. If you are free that day and want to get in some service hours, please contact the Public Ally Megan Shapiro @ peaceloveshap@gmail.com for more information about volunteering.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Student of Color Leadership Workshop & Dinner, featuring Mr. Rico Rice - May 18th!

All our invited to the Emerging Ethnic Leaders Student of Color Leadership Workshop and Dinner on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. in the African American Cultural and Resource Center! 

The workshop will feature Mr. Rico Rice, of Rice Enterprises.  

Dinner will be catered by Island Frydays!

Come out and be inspired and encourage.  This program is great for those entering new leadership positions in the upcoming academic year!

Friday, May 13, 2011

UC Hires History Professor with Expertise on Middle East Relations

From UC News:

Assistant Professor Ethan Katz brings historical perspectives to contemporary Jewish-Muslim tensions.
Date: 5/9/2011
Phone: (513) 556-0142
Photos By: Melanie Cannon
While assistant professor Ethan Katz’s primary training is in modern European history—specifically French history and modern Jewish history—his research often leads him to examine the history of colonialism, religion and ethnicity in North Africa and the Middle East.

Assistant Professor of History Ethan Katz.
Assistant Professor of History Ethan Katz

Currently, he is writing a history of Jewish-Muslim relations in France. This research, he says, gives him keen insight into the current tensions surrounding such relationships, both in France and elsewhere. By studying these everyday relations, Katz found that over the course of the 20th century, many Jews and Muslims came to see each other as separate ethnic and religious groups with potentially conflicting loyalties. He connects this progression to the development of French republican ideology from the early 20th century to the present. 

As a new professor in the Department of History in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Cincinnati, Katz is spending his first year in Cincinnati researching the relationship between secularism and religious values in the modern age.

“We often equate being modern with being secular and forget the crucial influence that religious values, practices, traditions and ideas have continued to have in the modern world,” he says.

Many people also perceive a great chasm between secularism and religious practice. Katz has found that the modern world is actually a place where boundaries between the religious and the secular often blur or even disappear. To demonstrate his point Katz cites the state of Israel, a country founded mostly by non-religious Jews asserting the need for Jews to return to a land to which they are bound by religious texts and religious commandments. He says a friend sums up the blurring of secularism and religion in Israel well: “Many of these Zionists and many contemporary so-called ‘secular’ Israelis might say, ‘I don’t believe in God but he promised us this land.’”

Katz hopes his research “can encourage people, in however small a way, to think past some of the tensions between religious and secular outlooks that characterize much of our world today.”

Katz has been instrumental in organizing local public forums on current events in the Middle East as well. These forums, in which Katz has teamed with UC Middle East historian Elizabeth Frierson and others, provide historical perspective and help create public awareness about contemporary issues. He has also been used as a talking head by local media and has written op-eds for the Cincinnati Enquirer in light of the recent conflicts.

Besides his work for the Department of History, Katz has also been collaborating with the Department of Judaic Studies. He and other faculty are working to try to secure grant money for a year-long seminar that would take place jointly with Cincinnati’s nearby Hebrew Union College/Jewish Institute of Religion. The combination of a research university and a rabbinical seminary would allow for an innovative collaboration around various questions of Jewish history and culture.

These far-ranging academic interests do not go unnoticed. Though Katz has only been at UC a short time, he says he appreciates that people here value the breadth of his expertise—something that makes him a sort of double agent for the university.

“I’ve met and been welcomed by a variety of people and really enjoy the community of this university.”

In April, Katz had an opportunity to participate in some on-campus events with his father, U.S. Ambassador to Portugal Allan Katz. The elder Katz spoke to Political Science Professor Richard Harknett’s class as well as an event in the History department’s “History Out There” series, where Katz had the privilege of introducing his father.

After the visit, Katz said his parents were just as impressed with UC as he is. “I was drawn by the strength of the history department. It was clear to me right away that the university values both teaching and research, both of which are very important to me.” 

He adds further, “The research support available to humanities faculty at the university, particularly through the Taft Research Center, was critical in my decision to come here.”

Finally, he notes that given that one of his specialties is Jewish history, the nearby presence of the “unparalleled resources” of the Klau Library and the American Jewish Archives at Hebrew Union College were another major attraction. 

Katz sees a bright future for the university. “Alumni should be excited about how UC is growing—the campus transformation, intellectual growth and the positive trends in leadership; even in the face of the current statewide economic difficulties, I think these are all reasons to retain confidence in the strength of UC.”

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Cincinnati Hosts Unique Exhibit: Art by the Nation’s Wrongfully Incarcerated Now on Display

From UC News:

The University of Cincinnati recently hosted the first-ever international conference of Innocence Projects. While the conference itself has ended, a powerful reminder remains in the form of a unique Cincinnati exhibit that runs through July 9, focusing on art created by the wrongfully convicted.


Date: 5/10/2011 12:00:00 AM
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: Innocence Project exonerees

UC ingot   By using science – usually in the form of DNA evidence – Innocence Projects around the nation have freed more than 270 men and women across the United States who were wrongfully imprisoned for crimes they did not commit.

Now, that use of science has led to a unique art exhibit currently on view at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center: “Illustrated Truth: Expressions of Wrongful Conviction” currently on display through July 9, 2011.

The exhibit opened on April 7, 2011, in conjunction with the first-ever international conference of Innocence Projects hosted by the University of Cincinnati – The 2011 Innocence Network Conference: An International Exploration of Wrongful Conviction. The event drew about 100 international exonerees (individuals freed after being wrongfully incarcerated) and about 500 scholars, researchers, legal specialists and students from about 40 law schools. Law schools generally serve as the institutional homes of Innocence Projects. For instance, UC’s College of Law houses the Rosenthal Institute for Justice/Ohio Innocence Project (OIP), led by Mark Godsey, the Donald P. and Judith L. Carmichael Professor of Law and Director of the Rosenthal Institute for Justice/Ohio Innocence Project.

Raymond Towler painting
Painting titled "Passing Time" by Raymond Towler. Towler served nearly 30 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.



A painting UC’s Godsey received from an OIP client – Roger “Dean” Gillespie – became the genesis for the “Illustrated Truth” exhibit. Explained Godsey, “The painting, titled ‘As Long As There Is One,’ depicts a Native American warr
ior. It hangs on the wall outside my bedroom at home. It’s the first thing I see when I walk out of my room each morning to start the day. Seeing the painting helps me to overcome the exhaustion and burnout inherent in a line of work that has steep, uphill battles every day.”

For Godsey, such art is a conversation between the wrongfully incarcerated and our wider society:  "The wrongfully convicted have important things to say, and it is clear that art is a particularly powerful and effective way for them to say it."

The painting by Gillespie is included in the “Illustrated Truth” exhibit, as are artwork, poetry, photos, letters and other literary works by 28 exonerees, many of them completed during their imprisonment.

Of the 28 exonerees exhibiting works, four are individuals freed thanks to the efforts of the Ohio Innocence Project housed at UC. These four Ohio exonerees exhibiting works are

  • Clarence Elkins, exonerated in December 2005. Elkins was imprisoned for more than seven years before DNA evidence presented by UC’s Ohio Innocence Project not only freed him but pointed to another suspect who was later found guilty of multiple rapes and murder. Works exhibited by Elkins in “Illustrated Truth” include a wallet made out of leather shoes and trash bags; a sketch of hands joined in prayer, titled “Hands;” and a poem, “Take Courage,” that Elkins sent to his sons while he was in prison.
  • Robert McClendon, exonerated in August 2008, served 18 years for a crime he did not commit. The  work exhibited by McClendon in “Illustrated Truth” consist of a poem titled “Hello Truth!”
  • Nancy Smith, a Head Start bus driver exonerated in June 2009, spent 14 years in prison on charges that were later proven to have been part of a larger scheme by her accusers to collect large monetary settlements. The work she is exhibiting consists of a painting titled “Freedom” inspired by Michelangelo’s "The Hands of God and Man."
  • Raymond Towler, exonerated in May 2010, served almost 30 years for a crime he did not commit and is Ohio’s longest-serving wrongfully incarcerated inmate to receive his freedom. DNA testing conclusively proved that Towler was not the perpetrator in a juvenile rape and assault case that occurred in 1981. He is exhibiting a painting titled “Passing Time;” a painting titled “Blue Man with the Flag;” and a painting titled “Witch Doctor.”
    Hands by Tim Howard
    Exoneree Tim Howard, who served 26 years in prison before his exoneration and release in Franklin County, Ohio, painted this work, titled "Hands."

While Towler had taken art classes in elementary school, he learned to paint from other inmates while in prison. He said, “In prison, I moved to painting with acrylics and oils. It might seem odd to say, but in prison, we were a community. Those more advanced in painting taught those who were less advanced. I learned a lot about painting from fellow inmates, though it required a lot of work and study.”

Towler added that he turned to painting because it was the most expressive means he could find to communicate. He says simply, “Color can talk.”

He recalls that he painted almost every day for the nearly 30 years he was wrongfully imprisoned, creating – literally – thousands of paintings that were then given as gifts, bartered or sold for token amounts.
“Painting takes you away from that place. It’s like you’re not incarcerated while you’re painting. I loved the process of painting so much, of first conceiving of a piece, planning for the materials and how it will be completed,” he states.

He adds that now he is finally free, “There is a lot of emotion in being reunited with my art. I can visit friends and family that I gave paintings to and see those paintings whenever I want. I couldn’t do that before. Once I let go of a work in prison, it was gone forever.”

In a similar vein, the “Illustrated Truth” exhibit reunites exoneree Beverly Monroe of Virginia with a sketch and plant pressings she created while serving 11 years in prison for a crime she did not commit. It includes a sketch of her cell, a sketch titled “Dream Home,” and cards she sent from prison with plant pressings to friends and family.

She recalls, “The plants were contraband. There was nothing natural or beautiful in prison. In the yard were a few ‘weeds,’ wood pansies, grasses, dandelions and clovers that I secretly pressed in a German dictionary. I used toothpaste for ‘glue’ to make the cards and send them out.”

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday. Ticket prices are $12 for adults; $10 for seniors aged 60 or over, educators and students with an ID; $8 for children aged 6-12. Children 5 or under are admitted free. For more information, call the Freedom Center at 513-333-7500 or toll free at 877-648-4838.

Students and faculty from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) designed and curated the exhibit

Snapshots from RAPP/RAPPORT Spring Service Day

This past weekend RAPP & RAPPORT students participated in a service day working with Cincinnati Public Allies and Cincinnati Union Bethel.  We spent the morning working with Team Sidetrack on the completion of the natural playground they've spent the year planning and building at CUB's Head Start facility in Winton Terrace.
Many of the volunteer team rode down in a van provided by RAPP.
Our group worked on several projects - prepping a "creek" bed, installing bridges, building structures to play in, and cleaning dangerous items out of donated dirt.
RAPP intern Mel (XXVI) posed by a playground element.
At the end of the morning our team posed with some of the Public Allies for a group shot - check out the fun playgrounds!  In the end, the traditional playground will connect with the natural one.
Thanks to Kinsey (XXIII) for organizing the service day and to Matthew (XXVI), Julia (XXVI), Amber (XXV), Sara (XXVI), Kaila (XXVI), Anum (XXV), Rebecca (XXII), Amber (XXV), Mel (XXVI), and Chris for spending the morning on this fun project!

Taft Symposium Keynote Event to Feature Debate about "the Commons" - May 12th!

From UC News:

Michael Hardt of Duke University and Raj Patel of UC Berkeley will debate who owns "the commons" — the air, water, land and knowledge that make up the commonwealth of all humanity.

Date: 5/5/2011 12:00:00 AM
By: Kim Burdett
Phone: (513) 556-8577

UC ingot   Renowned theorists Michael Hardt of Duke University and Raj Patel of University of California-Berkeley will be the keynote speakers at the 2010-2011 Taft Annual Symposium next Thursday, May 12. The lecture, "The Commons: What It Is, How to Reclaim It - A Dialogue and Debate Between Michael Hardt and Raj Patel" will take place at the MainStreet Cinema in Tangeman University Center at the University of Cincinnati's Uptown campus.

Raj Patel. (Photo courtesy of Eliot Khuner, Berkeley)
Raj Patel (Photo courtesy of Eliot Khuner, Berkeley)

Who: Michael Hardt (Duke University) and Raj Patel (University of California-Berkeley)
What: 2010-2011 Taft Annual Symposium Keynote Event
When: 5 p.m. Thursday, May 12
Where: MainStreet Cinema, Tangeman University Center (TUC) on University of Cincinnati's Uptown campus

The event is free and open to the public.

More about the event:
Who owns the earth’s riches? Radical notions of the Commons suggest that air, water and land, as well as knowledge and digital technology, constitute the commonwealth of all humanity. The Charles Phelps Taft Research Center at the University of Cincinnati announces a thought-provoking public discussion of this issue by theorists Michael Hardt and Raj Patel, the keynote speakers at the Taft Center’s three-day Annual Symposium.

Michael Hardt.
Michael Hardt

More about the speakers:

Michael Hardt (Duke University) is co-author with Antonio Negri of "Commonwealth" (2009), "Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire" (2004) and "Empire" (2000). 

Raj Patel (University of California-Berkeley), is author of New York Times bestseller "The Value of Nothing" (2010) as well as "Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System" (2008). 

More about the Taft Research Center:
The Charles Phelps Taft Research Center promotes scholarly research, fosters critical conversations across disciplines, and creates and sustains an intellectual community for the exchange of ideas. Above all, the center hopes to fulfill and further Annie Sinton Taft's own vision of sustaining a "concentration of interest in the development of ideas."

For more information, contact Suzanne Warren at 513-556-0675 or warrensz@mail.uc.edu.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

EnGAGE - Ending Gender oppression and Acting for Greater Equality - Meeting May 16th!


From RAPP XXVI Peer Leader Rachel B:

I am part of a program called ACT (Activists Coming Together) and for my action project me and my friend, Katie Lambing, are forming a Social Justice organization focusing on gender oppression. It is called EnGAGE: Ending Gender oppression and Acting for Greater Equality.

We are having our first meeting on Monday (May 16th) at 5 in the Women's Center. We will be talking about Gender Oppression and Feminism and plans for the future. If you weren't invited to the facebook event here's the link: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=187551331293264

There will be candy and it'll be super fun so come out and talk about gender!

UC Hosts Freedom Writers for Day of Teacher-Student Events - May 12th!

From UC News:

Freedom Writers, featuring Erin Gruwell, will kick off "Teaching Hope" social justice project with greater Cincinnati teachers and students.

Date: 5/6/2011 12:00:00 AM
By: Alison Sampson
Phone: (513) 556-2884
Other Contact: Mark Kohan
Other Contact Phone: (513) 556-4542

UC ingot   On Thursday, May 12, 2011, renowned educators and authors Erin Gruwell and the Freedom Writers will speak with hundreds of students and educators across Cincinnati.

Centered around the launch of the Teaching Hope social justice project, a new Cincinnati initiative among educators and community partners, the day’s events at schools and universities will culminate with an evening celebration at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (NURFC) with Gruwell and two of the original Freedom Writers.

The Freedom Writers story, which became a bestselling book and blockbuster film, began with a classroom of ‘at-risk’ high school students in Long Beach, CA in the 90s. From their successes, Gruwell and her students went on to form the non-profit Freedom Writers Foundation that supports the current conditions and futures of students, teachers, and their learning.

Along with University of Cincinnati and the NURFC, community partners for the May 12 events and Teaching Hope project include:

“The goal of Teaching Hope is to call attention to how schools can be involved in making social justice a priority for the health and well-being of our region,” says Mark Kohan, a University of Cincinnati doctoral student and teacher educator in the School of Education, for the Cincinnati Freedom Writers events. Kohan is a recent recipient of UC's Just Community award for his efforts in convening education and community organizations across the region.

Invited teachers, educators, and their students will begin a dialogue about how they can become catalysts for positive educational change.  For more information, contact Mark Kohan, Cincinnati Freedom Writers Project Coordinator, at cincinnatifreedomwriters@gmail.com

MEDIA: Erin Gruwell is available for interviews at UC’s Teachers College on May 12 between 9:30am – 10am. or from 12:30 p.m. -1:30 p.m, by appointment only. Freedom Writers are also available for interviews.

Dreams of Hope Concert - May 13th!

From the LGBTQ Center:
After Main Street Stride, join the UC LGBTQ Center for lunch and entertainment at 1:00 p.m. in the German Cultural Resource Center (736 Old Chemistry).

Your support is appreciated.


Check out the Facebook Event for more details.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Join Us for the MainStreet Stride on Friday, May 13, at Noon

Don't forget - you're invited to join RAPP & RAPPORT as we walk with Student Life in this year's MainStreet Stride!

From UC News:

Join us for the 6th Annual MainStreet Stride with Grand Marshal, Provost Santa Jeremy Ono.

Date: 4/29/2011 12:00:00 PM
By: Victoria Rogers

UC ingot  
The 2011 MainStreet Stride


 The MainStreet Stride is a campus tradition – a springtime foot parade of red and black. Student organizations as well as students, faculty and staff representing offices across the university dress up in their best (and often most creative) red-and-black getups to parade their pride through campus. The parade begins at the President's Plaza at University Pavilion, and proceeds down MainStreet to Campus Green.

There will be a free picnic in front of the Myers Alumni Center immediately after the parade, featuring a performance by the UC Bearcats Band, awards, and Student Government Inauguration. Join us – and don't forget to wear red and black!

 To view this year's animated invitation, view photos from past Strides, and RSVP for your department or group, go to www.uc.edu/mainstreet.

UC Shantytown to be Built as Part of Conference to Examine Hunger and Homelessness

From UC News:

UC students, faculty and the Cincinnati community will come together for a weekend of service, action and hope.

Date: 5/9/2011 12:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Lisa Ventre

UC ingot   The sixth-annual Peace or Hunger Conference at the University of Cincinnati begins at 9 a.m., Saturday, May 21, on McMicken Commons, and runs through 11 a.m., Sunday, May 22. Student organizers representing the UC Peace Village are expecting as many as 150 people to attend the event.
Peace Village 2006


The conference will examine the most recent research – including presentations from UC graduate students – on issues related to peace and hunger in the Cincinnati community, and will include opportunities for volunteer service at local agencies.

The event will also include the building of an overnight shantytown of cardboard boxes on UC’s McMicken Commons, where attendees will spend the night. That construction will get underway at around 3:30 p.m. on May 21 and is expected to be completed by around 5 p.m.

 “The UC Peace or Hunger Conference is a way to involve the community, especially the UC community, in engaging and meaningful dialogue, service and experiential activities to better understand local issues related to hunger and homelessness,” says conference organizer Sharon Doering, a UC doctoral student in the UC educational studies program. Doering is also pursuing a certificate in peace education through the Urban Center for Social Justice, Peace Education and Research (UCSJPER) in the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH).

“It is hoped that attendees will gain a greater understanding of hunger, homelessness and other injustices that affect the peace around us,” Doering says.

The Peace or Hunger Conference is sponsored by the Peace Village, a UC student service organization that is dedicated to promoting peace, fairness and understanding through education, demonstration and art.