Thompson Forum to focus on historical, contemporary discrimination

· 5 min read

Thompson Forum to focus on historical, contemporary discrimination

Silhouettes of different colors

The 33rd season of the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln will feature three acclaimed speakers and five explorations into historical and contemporary cases of discrimination.

The season, organized under the theme “Moments of Reckoning: Global Calls for Racial Equity and Action,” opens Sept. 1 with a panel discussion featuring Husker faculty.

Other events in the 2021 series include talks by Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, a Penn State law professor and immigration law scholar; Anna Deavere Smith, a world-renowned playwright, actress, author, journalist and educator; and Walter Echo-Hawk, a Native American rights attorney, tribal judge and law professor; and a panel discussion featuring Lincoln-area youth.

The events will take place at three locations — the Lied Center for Performing Arts, Kimball Recital Hall and The Bay. Each presentation is free and open to the public.

Tickets can be reserved through the Lied Center by clicking here, calling 402-472-4747 or visiting the Lied’s box office, 301 N. 12th St. Forums are general admission, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

The university will follow the latest public health guidance from the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. For more information, click here.

The E.N. Thompson Forum's Sept. 1 "Global and Historical Moments of Reckoning" panel discussion will feature (from left) Deirdre Cooper Owens, Margaret Jacobs, Ng'ang'a Wahu-Mūchiri and William G. Thomas III.

The schedule:

  • Sept. 1, 7 p.m.: “Global and Historical Moments of Reckoning,” panel discussion moderated by Nkenge Friday, Kimball Hall — The kickoff event features Husker faculty bringing different disciplines to bear on the complex and historical challenges the world faces. Panelists include Deirdre Cooper Owens, Wilson Professor of history and director of the Humanities in Medicine program; Margaret Jacobs, Mach Professor of History and director of the Center for Great Plains Studies; Ng’ang’a Wahu-Mūchiri, assistant professor of English; and William G. Thomas III, Angle Chair in the Humanities and professor of history. The discussion is presented in partnership with the College of Arts and Sciences.

Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia

  • Nov. 2, 7 p.m.: Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, “Facing Immigrant Exclusion: Then and Now,” Lied Center — Wadhia’s research focuses on the role of prosecutorial discretion in immigration law and the intersections of race, national security and immigration. Her work has been published in numerous law journals, and she is the author of two award-winning books, “Beyond Deportation: The Role of Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Cases” and “Banned: Immigration Enforcement in the Time of Trump.” She is also the author of “Immigration and Nationality Law: Problems and Solutions.” Wadhia is the associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion; Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar; and clinical professor of law at Penn State Law. This event is presented in partnership with the Nebraska College of Law.

Anna Deavere Smith

  • Feb. 9, 2022, 4 p.m.: Anna Deavere Smith, “A Conversation on Race and the Arts,” moderated by Lincoln City Councilwoman Sändra Washington, Lied Center — Deavere Smith is a world-renowned playwright, actress, author, journalist and educator who has been credited with creating a new form of theater. For four decades, she has used theater and movies to reveal the effects of inequality and discord on American communities. She starred in “The West Wing” and “Nurse Jackie”; was selected as the Jefferson Lecturer by the National Endowment for the Humanities; was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in drama; was a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship; taught at Carnegie Mellon University, Stanford University and the New York University School of Law; and is the founding director of the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at NYU. This event is presented in partnership with the Lied Center.

  • March 22, 2022, 7 p.m.: Youth panel: “Performative Activism: Youths Reckoning with Racial Justice,” The Bay — Emerging youth leaders within the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and Lincoln communities will come together to discuss racial justice — what they’ve done, what they do and how to move forward. The discussion is presented in partnership with the University Honors Program.

Walter Echo-Hawk

  • April 6, 7 p.m.: Walter Echo-Hawk, “Reckoning and Reconciliation on the Great Plains,” Lied Center — Echo-Hawk is a Native American attorney, tribal judge, author, activist and law professor. He represents Indian tribes on important legal issues, such as religious freedom and treaty, water, prisoner and repatriation rights. His career spans the pivotal years when tribes reclaimed their land, sovereignty and pride in a stride toward freedom. As a Native American rights attorney since 1973, Echo-Hawk was instrumental in the passage of landmark laws such as the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and the American Indian Religious Freedom Act amendments. He is also the author of “In the Courts of the Conqueror: The 10 Worst Indian Law Cases Ever Decided.” This event is presented in partnership with the Center for Great Plains Studies.

Event summaries and full biographical information on each speaker is available here.

Events are streamed on the E.N. Thompson Forum website and available on NET, LNKTV City and LNKTV Education. Events are also accessible on campus channel 4 and KRNU radio 90.3 FM. All talks are interpreted or will have closed captioning for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Pre-forum salons will be hosted for select talks in the week before the event. A schedule with locations will be available on the Thompson Forum website.

The E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues is a cooperative project of the Cooper Foundation, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Lied Center and University Honors Program. The series was established in 1988 with the purpose of bringing a diversity of viewpoints on international and public policy issues to the university and people of Nebraska to promote understanding and encourage discussion.

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