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Events for January 27 - May 26 › Speaker Series

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January 2022

Natasha Mayers: an Un-Still Life

January 27 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Virtual Event
Free

Now, more than ever, people want to see truthful, creative role models like Natasha Mayers, who has been called the “most committed activist artist” in Maine and who Senator George Mitchell called a “state treasure.” Presenting an artist who has remained true to her passion for over 50 years, the film follows Natasha as she takes on social, economic and environmental justice issues with humor, irreverence and a keen aesthetic that enlightens while it entertains.

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February 2022

Letters to Martin: Meditations on Democracy in Black America

February 8 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Virtual Event
Free

The First Amendment Speaker Series presents Randal Maurice Jelks, professor, a documentary producer, and award-winning author. His latest book Letters to Martin: Meditations on Democracy in Black America (Chicago Review Press, Jan 11, 2022) evokes Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail and contains twelve meditations on many of the public issues currently faced by citizens in the United States—economic inequality, freedom of assembly, police brutality, ongoing social class conflicts, and geopolitics. 

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Mary McLeod Bethune and the Necessity of Black Women’s Leadership

February 28 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
First Amendment Museum
Free

First Amendment Speaker Series presents Dr. Ashley Robertson Preston, author, curator, and Assistant Professor of History at Howard University. She is the author of Mary McLeod Bethune in Florida: Bringing Social Justice to the Sunshine State. Mary McLeod Bethune was often called the "First Lady of Negro America," but she made significant contributions to the political climate of Florida as well. From the founding of the Daytona Literary and Industrial School for Training Negro Girls in 1904, Bethune galvanized African…

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March 2022

FREE SPEECH: A History from Socrates to Social Media

March 2 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Virtual Event
Free

Free speech around the world today is in retreat. Even in democracies, where it is hailed as the “first freedom” and a bedrock democratic value, the free speech debate is weaponized by the political left and right, as different groups aim to curtail it on college campuses, in classrooms and on digital platforms—undermining the very culture of tolerance and open mindedness on which this freedom ultimately depends.

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TRUTH TELLERS: Artist Robert Shetterly’s Journey to Uphold Our Founding Ideals

March 16 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Virtual Event
Free

A special virtual screening and conversation with the artist featured in the new documentary film, TRUTH TELLERS, a film that delves into the lives of courageous Americans fighting for racial justice, climate change and indigenous rights through the eyes of Robert Shetterly, a long-time activist and artist.

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April 2022

Brown Belongings: A Dialogue about the Politics of Color and Class

April 14 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Free
Linda Vallejo

Join artist Linda Vallejo as she describes her new exhibit "Brown Belongings", which represents ten years of concentrated work on visualizing what it means to be a person of color in the United States. These works reflect what she calls her “brown intellectual property”—the experiences, knowledge, and feelings she has gathered over more than four decades of study in Chicano/a and American indigenous communities. Since 2010 Vallejo has produced hundreds of sculptures, paintings, and works on paper entitled “Make ‘Em All Mexican.” She…

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Hong Kong: Freedom Under Attack

April 28 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Free

Currently on display at the First Amendment Museum is a copy of the last edition of the famous Hong Kong newspaper, Apple Daily.  Founded by Hong Kong freedom of speech and freedom of the press advocate Jimmy Lai in 1995, Apply Daily was shuttered by the Chinese Communist Party in 2021. Its demise symbolized the death of the free press in Hong Kong and is just one of many assaults on the universal freedoms of Hong Kong citizens by the…

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May 2022

Brewing a Boycott Book Talk with Dr. Allyson Brantley

May 12 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Free

Allyson P. Brantley will discuss her book, Brewing a Boycott: How a Grassroots Coalition Fought Coors and Remade American Consumer Activism (published with the University of North Carolina Press in 2021). Brewing a Boycott tells the story of one of the longest-running consumer boycotts in U.S. history, the boycott of Coors beer. From the 1950s to the 1990s, union members, progressive students, Black and Latinx activists, Native Americans, feminists, and members of the LGBTQ+ community built powerful coalitions to challenge…

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Art as Activism: Indigenous Artists’ Responses to Nuclear Exposure

May 26 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

This presentation focuses on international Indigenous artists’ responses to the impacts of nuclear testing, accidents, and uranium mining on their communities and the environment. Manuela Well-Off-Man, chief curator at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, will present. Indigenous artists from Australia, Canada, Greenland, Japan, French Polynesia (Tahiti), and the United States with American Samoa and Guam combine tribal knowledge with Indigenous and contemporary art as a visual strategy to address the long-term effects of nuclear exposure. There are over five hundred abandoned uranium mines and mills on Navajo Nation…

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