Wednesday November 10, 2010

Waiting for Superman

A documentary on education featuring an upcoming guest to the University is playing locally and will be a main topic in an education issues forum this month.

The University of Dayton is hosting a National Issues Forum in November on "Closing the Achievement Gap in Education" to prepare for a visit in January from national education leader Geoffrey Canada.

The forum is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30, in the University's Kennedy Union Torch Lounge. Participants in the forum are encouraged to view the new documentary Waiting for "Superman" prior to the discussion and bring their ticket stubs to receive reimbursement and to be entered into a prize drawing.

The film is now showing at The Neon movie theater, 130 E. Fifth St. Dayton, and will begin showing this weekend at the Little Art Theatre, 247 Xenia Avenue, Yellow Springs.

Waiting for "Superman" is a documentary about the state of education in the U.S. and the challenges of five students seeking to overcome the odds. The film features Canada, president and CEO of the Harlem Children's Zone in New York City, who is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18, at the University of Dayton's RecPlex as part of the University's Diversity Lecture Series. The lecture is part of the University's Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration and is free and open to the public.

Canada has dedicated his life to helping at-risk youth beat the odds. What he has done for a 24-block neighborhood in Harlem has been groundbreaking and replicated in communities across the nation. He's the author of Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America and Reaching for Manhood and is the subject of a recent best-seller, Whatever It Takes.

This year's Diversity Lecture Series, "Voices From the Margins," will also feature basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who has turned to filmmaking and writing books that popularize the contributions of African-Americans to American culture and history. "An Evening With Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: On the Shoulders of Giants" is slated for 7:30 p.m. March 14, at the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Center, One West Second St. Abdul-Jabbar's appearance is presented by the University of Dayton and Victoria Theatre Association. Tickets for the general public, which are not on sale yet, will be $15 and $20.

The Ohio premiere of Abdul-Jabbar's documentary, On the Shoulders of Giants: The Story of the Greatest Basketball Team You Never Heard Of, will precede his talk at 4 p.m. at the Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St. The documentary, still in production, chronicles the Harlem Rens, a local, all-black New York team that became the first basketball world champions in 1939. Tickets for the general public will be $5. Students with a valid college or high school identification card may attend at no cost.

Journalist Roxana Saberi, who gained international attention last year when she was falsely imprisoned in Iran on charges of espionage, began the series with a lecture Oct. 13.

The University of Dayton's Diversity Lecture Series is 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, Spike Lee, Kirk Franklin, Elie Wiesel, Kevin Powell Reza Aslan, Clarence Page, Nikki Giovanni, Soledad O'Brien, Azar Nafisi, Roland Martin and Johnnetta B. Cole.

The University's commitment to diversity is founded in its Catholic heritage of social justice and the Marianist tradition of equality and being inclusive of people from all segments of society.

The Diversity Lecture Series is co-sponsored by the offices of the president and provost, with the generous support of such community partners as The National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ); United Way of the Greater Dayton Area; YWCA Dayton; Victoria Theatre Association; Markey's Rental and Staging; Ross Buick-GMC-Hummer; RTA; NewPage; University of Dayton's Media Production Group; Dayton Daily News; WDTN-TV; WDAO-1210 AM; and 92.1 WROU.

For more information, contact Lynnette Heard, executive director of the office of the president, at 937-229-4122.