Speaking of Diversity

  • Sharon Brown and James Johnson, visiting assistant professor history, led a reading group in the fall semester on W.E.B. DuBois, the African-American historian, sociologist, and political philosopher, in observation of the centenary of his path-breaking book The Souls of Black Folk. It drew faculty members from the College and Seminary, administrative staff, community members, and students. it also brought Nahum Chandler, associate professor of humanities at Johns Hopkins University and a DuBois scholar, to speak to the group.
  • Manning Marable, professor of history at Columbia University, spoke on the disenfranchisement of former convicts, a process heavily weighted against black ex-convicts. This was at least a month before The Nation magazine spotlighted the same issue on its cover.
  • Sones de México, Ensemble East, and Atzilut were among the concert offerings of the Music Institute. Atzilut is a group of Jewish and Arab-American musicians, and Ensemble East presents music of Japan.
  • Suleiman “Sunny” Modjadidi ’73 spoke on “Country of Birth and Country of Choice,” from the perspective of an immigrant from Afghanistan who has become an American—and an American, once Afghani, in the post 9/11 era.
  • Salome Thomas-El, a teacher in the inner-city schools of Philadelphia, spoke on the flight of teachers from these schools and of his own decision to stay, about which he has written a recent book.
  • The Moravian Reading Group, a monthly gathering of faculty and staff, spent the fall semester discussing “America: The New Rome,” about the political, historical, and cultural issues of global politics and imperialism. In the winter, it began a series on time that will delve into works about Zionism by Eyal Chowers of Tel Aviv University and Korean “comfort women” during World War II, among others.
  • As the magazine went to press, the Moravian College Theatre Company offered a new musical, Aliya, by Emily Ralph ’04, about the connections between faiths and cultures in the Middle East at the time of the birth of Christ.
  • African-American poet Sekou Sundiata and trans-gender activist Debra Davis spoke on campus.
  • Mary Frances Berry, chair of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, was the featured speaker for Moravian’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. She described the effects of Brown v. Board of Education, the epic civil rights decision by the Supreme Court in 1954—how far we have come and how far we still have to go on the occasion of the ruling’s 50th anniversary.
  • Jean-Pierre Lalande, professor and chair of foreign languages, Paula Ring Zerkle, associate professor of music, and Rosalind Remer, associate professor of history, presented some of the fruits of their six-month learning project about Japan. As part of a curriculum-development project sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania, they and teams from other colleges in the state read books about Japan, held on-line discussions, and visited the country in the summer. They talked about courses in which they could now include a Japanese perspective, and they showed about 10,000 slides of the Land of the Rising Sun.
  • And Moravian students used pictures—each worth a thousand words, of course—to communicate the study-abroad experience. The winning photo in the first International Studies competition is featured on the around campus section.

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A Sones de Mexico dancer introduced a Moravian audience to indigenious culture.

Photo: Michelle Lala '05