Monday August 6, 2007

An All-Star Line-Up

Filmmaker Spike Lee and Grammy Award-winning musician Kirk Franklin headline the 2007-2008 University of Dayton Diversity Lecture Series.

An all-star line-up of acclaimed artists and journalists — including filmmaker Spike Lee and Grammy Award-winning gospel musician Kirk Franklin — will tackle "The Responsibility of Media in a Global Society" during the University of Dayton's 2007-2008 Diversity Lecture Series.

The season includes:

* Maria Hinojosa, 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 7, Boll Theatre, University of Dayton.  Free and open to the public. Part of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Award-winning journalist and author Maria Hinojosa is managing editor and host of Latino USA, a weekly program on NPR. She also is the senior correspondent for the Emmy Award-winning PBS Newsmagazine NOW. Previously, she spent eight years at CNN, where she covered urban affairs. She's been nominated for two Emmys and listed three times as one of the 100 most influential Latinos in the United States by Hispanic Business Magazine. She wrote Crews: Gang Members Talk with Maria Hinojosa and Raising Raul: Adventures Raising Myself and My Son, a motherhood memoir about raising a Latino child in a multicultural society.

* Juan Williams, 8 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 13, Kennedy Union Ballroom, University of Dayton. Free and open to the public.

Juan Williams is one of America's leading political writers and thinkers. He is a senior correspondent for NPR's "Morning Edition," a political analyst for Fox News and a regular panelist for Fox News Sunday. In addition to prize-winning columns and editorial writing for The Washington Post, he has written six books.  With the 2006 release of Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America — and What We Can Do About It, Williams ignited debate with his analysis of black leadership in the U.S. Among other acclaimed works, he wrote the non-fiction bestseller, Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965, the companion to the TV series.

* Kirk Franklin, Jan. 21-22. A Partnership with the Dayton Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.  6:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 21, Dayton Convention Center, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Holiday Celebration and Presidential Banquet.  For ticket information, call 937-268-0051.  7:30 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 22, Thomas J. Frericks Athletic and Convocation Center, University of Dayton, Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast.  For ticket information, call 937-229-2545.

Songwriter and musician Kirk Franklin has changed the landscape of contemporary gospel music. His latest album, Hero, won two 2007 Grammy Awards. Since his 1993 debut, he has won three Grammys, 33 Stellar and nine Dove Awards. His music blends gospel, hip hop and R&B.  He has collaborated with some of the biggest names in gospel music as well as such mainstream artists as Bono and Mary J. Blige. In addition to his singing career, he founded Fo Yo Soul Entertainment, Inc., which includes a youth-outreach initiative, ad agency and production company.

* Spike Lee, 7:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 18, Schuster Center, One West Second St. A Partnership with the Victoria Theatre Association. Tickets: $15, $20. For ticket information, call 937-228-3630 or 937-229-2545.

As a writer-director, actor, producer, author and philanthropist, Spike Lee has revolutionized the role of black talent in cinema. Widely regarded as today's premiere African American filmmaker, Lee is a forerunner in the do-it-yourself school of independent film. Recent critical and box office successes have included such films as The 25th Hour, The Original Kings of Comedy, Bamboozled and Summer of Sam. Lee's films, Girl 6, Get on the Bus, Do The Right Thing and Clockers display his ability to showcase a series of outspoken and provocative socio-political critiques that challenge cultural assumptions — not only about race but also class and gender identity.

The Diversity Lecture Series is one part of a larger strategic plan to increase inclusion and diversity on campus and prepare students, faculty, staff and the Dayton community for success in a global society.  Past speakers have included Andrew Young, Coretta Scott King, Clarence Page, Nikki Giovanni, Azar Nafisi and Johnnetta B. Cole.

The University of Dayton's commitment to diversity is founded in its Catholic, Marianist heritage of social justice.

"The University of Dayton has an obligation to deliver what students need to know about their world," said Daniel J. Curran, president. "Students can no longer cling to the familiar and comfortable experiences of their past.  We know that connecting with people very —  or even slightly — different from ourselves stimulates the imagination. We learn to see the world through different eyes."

The Diversity Lecture Series is co-sponsored by the offices of the president and provost, with the support of such community partners as The National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ); Dayton Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Victoria Theatre Association; Markey's Audio Visual; Dayton Daily News; WDTN-TV; and WDAO-1210 AM.