Everyone is invited to attended the public announcement today of the plan to create the Nelson Mandela Overlook on the grounds of the Tsongas Center of Lowell. The African American Alliance of Lowell, organized by community leaders including Bowa George Tucker, Janet B. Johnson, and Gordon Halm, in partnership with UMass Lowell, will launch the effort to create a permanent tribute to the acclaimed Nelson Mandela as a gesture from the city’s growing community of peoples of African origin. The event will include remarks by human-rights champion Albie Sachs of South Africa, a friend and colleague of Mandela’s who together with countless others struggled to end the injustices of apartheid. Also speaking will be Chancellor Marty Meehan and Bowa G. Tucker of the African American Alliance. Albie Sachs, former Constitutional Judge, is the 2014 Greeley Scholar for Peace Studies at UMass Lowell. The program begins at 11 a.m. in the Sage Bank Pavilion of the Tsongas Center and will conclude with a symbolic groundbreaking and placement of a ceremonial wreath at the future site of the Nelson Mandela Overlook along the Western Canal on the grounds of the Tsongas.
Such an incredible day at the Everett Mill today! The Lawrence History Center welcomed nearly 200 people for a full day of scholarship and dialogue about the new immigration into Lawrence and similar communities. We’ll report out with more photos and stories from the day, but here’s one of our wonderful Lawrence focused roundtable discussion after lunch with panelists (l to r): Professor Llana Barber, SUNY at Old Westbury; Atty. Zoila Gomez, Eliana Martinez, Lawrence International High School; Victor Martinez, Lawrence CommunityWorks; Professor Robert Forrant, UMass Lowell/Lawrence History Center board of directors (moderator). More soon! (Photo and caption , 4/5/14, courtesy of Lawrence History Center on Facebook and Bob Forrant)
Next week is a big one for the UMass Lowell Greeley Scholar for Peace Studies Program. Not only will the 2014 Scholar be here, Justice Albie Sachs of South Africa, but three past Scholars will be at events for a reunion—including 2011 Nobel Peace Prize-winner Leymah Gbowee of Liberia. Albie Sachs fought against apartheid along side Nelson Mandela, who appointed Sachs to South Africa’s Constitution (or Supreme) Court after being elected President of South Africa. For a schedule of events, most of which are free and open to the public, visit www.uml.edu/greeley and click on events for the schedule.
Angkor Dance Troupe at UMass Lowell (photo by Rosemary Noon)
Last night, more than 500 people attended an extraordinary performance of dance and music in UMass Lowell’s Durgin Concert Hall by the Angkor Dance Troupe, Flying Orb Productions, and UMass Lowell’s World Music Ensemble. The one-day festival included sculptor Yary Livan, who displayed ceramics and sculpture in the lobby of Durgin Hall, as well as a poetry reading and a panel discussion about post-traumatic stress in refugee communities.
Click on the poster to see a larger version. Don’t miss these events. This is a rare chance to hear from Justice Albie Sachs of South Africa (Nelson Mandela’s colleague in the struggle against apartheid), 2011 Nobel Peace Prize-winner Leymah Gbowee of Liberia, and other past Peace Scholars. These are inspiring individuals. All events are free and open to the public except the Wed. April 9 benefit event at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center ($75 per person).
From 1980 through 1993, community partners in Lowell, including the National Park Service and University, hosted 12 gatherings of scholars in the name of the Lowell Conference on Industrial History. At least three volumes of conference proceedings were published. The regular meeting of teachers, students, historians, architects, preservation advocates, sociologists, art historians, economists, elected and government officials, and others made Lowell a hub of research and dialogue on the process and consequences of industrialization in the nation and world.
From UMass Lowell University Relations Office
World-renowned humanitarians to convene at UMass Lowell: Peace scholars to unite for special events, engage community in their work
Four internationally acclaimed human-rights activists honored by UMass Lowell, including the recipient of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize – will come together at the university on Wednesday, April 9 for a once-in-a-lifetime event to share their work with the public, students, faculty and staff. “Reflections on Peace-Building” will include anti-apartheid champion Albie Sachs, UMass Lowell’s 2014 Greeley Scholar for Peace Studies, and past recipients of the honor in a free public program on how to transcend conflicts and unite people. Sachs is an influential member of the African National Congress, judge, author and teacher whose lifetime pursuit has been abolishing South Africa’s segregationist policies and in their place creating a free and just society. In 1994, then-President Nelson Mandela named him as a judge to the country’s first Constitutional Court, capping his work in the ANC to help establish South Africa as a democracy and draft its constitution. During nearly 15 years on the bench, he advanced South Africa’s recognition of human rights, legalizing same-sex marriage, striking down the death penalty and overturning laws that criminalized homosexuality, among other precedents.
Sharing in the conversation will be the following Greeley scholars: Leymah Gbowee (2011 honoree), who went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize that same year. Gbowee helped end the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. As a social worker, she organized Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, uniting Christian and Muslim women in a national sit-in to protest the war and pray and sing for peace, which eventually forced national leaders to create a peace process. Today, she is the executive director of the Women’s Peace and Security Network Africa, based in Ghana. In 2009, she and the women of Liberia received the Profiles in Courage Award by the Kennedy Library Foundation. The award-winning 2008 documentary “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” tells her story; Linda Biehl (2008 honoree), who co-founded and directs the Amy Biehl Foundation in the U.S. and the Amy Biehl Foundation Trust in South Africa. Both pay tribute to her daughter, Amy, an American Fulbright scholar who was murdered at age 26 amid political violence in South Africa in the early 1990s. Today, Linda Biehl has reconciled with two of the men convicted of Amy’s death and works with them to teach forgiveness and restorative justice. During her tenure as a Greeley Scholar, she received the Medal of the Order of the Supreme Companions of O.R. Tambo, South Africa’s highest honor for a foreigner. Recognized by the Restorative JusticeCenter, she has also received the Aline and Norman Felton Humanitarian Award; and Padraig O’Malley (2009 honoree), who has worked to resolve conflicts in Northern Ireland, South Africa and Iraq. An award-winning author, in 2009 he organized the international “Forum for Cities in Transition,” which brought together 35 leaders from divided cities with the aim of overcoming their differences and forging shared strengths. The 2010 recipient of Association for Conflict Resolution’s Peacemaker Award, he has also received the Liberal International’s Freedom Prize, the Peace Award of the International Association of University Presidents, the Eire Society Gold Medal Award and the Freedom International Award.
The April 9 event – which will be held at 12:30 p.m. in Comley-Lane Theatre in Mahoney Hall on the university’s South Campus at 870 Broadway St., Lowell – will be the centerpiece of a series of events during Sachs’ residency at UMass Lowell as the 2014 scholar. Other events include: Day Without Violence – Sachs will deliver an address on human rights and the preservation of dignity that is free and open to the public. Tuesday, April 8, 12:30 p.m., O’Leary Library Learning Commons, South Campus, 61 Wilder St., Lowell; Greeley Peace Scholars Benefit Reception – Sachs, Gbowee, Biehl and O’Malley will be the honored guests at a gala to benefit the Greeley Scholar endowment. The reception will include a discussion about peace and conflict resolution moderated by Marcellette Williams, University of Massachusetts senior vice president of academic affairs, student affairs and international relations. Tickets are $75 per person and sponsorship opportunities are available. For details, visit www.uml.edu/Greeley-fundraiser. Wednesday, April 9, 5 to 7 p.m., followed by a reception until 9:30 p.m., UMassLowellInn & ConferenceCenter, 50 Warren St., Lowell; Nelson Mandela Memorial Groundbreaking – UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan, Sachs, public officials and members of the local African American Alliance are scheduled to help break ground on a city of Lowell memorial that will pay tribute to Mandela, who was Sachs’ friend and colleague. The event is free and open to the public. Thursday, April 10, 11 a.m., western lawn, Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Lowell. A reception inside the TsongasCenter will follow.
Visit www.uml.edu/Research/PACSI/Greeley-Scholars for a full schedule of events and more information. The UMass Lowell Greeley Scholar for Peace Studies is selected annually in recognition of the honoree’s distinguished humanitarian achievements and ability to effectively promote peace and conflict resolution at the local, regional, national or international level. Honorees are chosen by the UMass Lowell Peace and Conflict Studies Institute, Greeley Scholar Advisory Committee and leadership of the Peace and Conflict Studies master’s degree program. The institute is co-directed by Robert Gamache, associate vice president of academic affairs, student affairs and international relations for the University of Massachusetts system and UMass Lowell professor of environmental, earth and atmospheric sciences, and Rev. Imogene Stulken, UMass Lowell’s campus minister. The Peace and Conflict Studies program is directed by Prof. Paula Rayman. The award is named in memory of Rev. Dana McLean Greeley, longtime leader of the First Parish in Concord. Others partnering to present Sachs’ visit to UMass Lowell include the university’s Office of Community Relations.
|Wednesday, April 9, 2014; Discussion, 5 to 7 pm; Reception, 7 to 9.30 pm|
|“Reflections on Peace-Building” is the first-ever gathering of distinguished leaders who have served as the UMass Lowell Dana McLean Greeley Scholar for Peace Studies. The scholars will engage in a panel discussion moderated by Marcellette Williams, UMass Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, Student Affairs & International Relations. Meet the Scholars at a reception with hors d’oeuvres and beverages.
Tickets are $75 per person and proceeds will benefit the Greeley Scholar Endowment.
Interested in becoming a sponsor? Contact Molly_Bresnahan@uml.edu.
This event is sponsored by UMass Lowell’s Peace and Conflict Studies Institute, the Greeley Scholar for Peace Studies Advisory Committee, and UMass Lowell’s Peace and Conflict Studies master’s degree program.
Today is officially Jack Kerouac Day in Massachusetts. It’s the author’s birthday, March 12 (1922). The Governor will issue a proclamation in recognition of the day. The legislature put this on the books in 2001, thanks to state Sen. Moore of Worcester, Lowell’s Statehouse delegation at the time, local citizen advocacy, and the backing of the Kerouac Estate. Here’s the 2012 proclamation by Gov. Patrick.
A new book by Kerouac containing a short novel, related writings, and letters is on the streets. Titled The Haunted Life, the collection of works was edited by Todd Tietchen, a professor of English at UMass Lowell.
The Guardian newspaper in England published a brief excerpt from the novel, which is set in Lowell in the early 1940s. Following is a passage from the excerpt:
Peter’s origins – the more recent ones – betrayed his intellectual convictions. Bent on lolling through the summer, he yet winced inwardly when passing by a group of workmen in the street, and avoided their eyes. His conviction was that history, as drama, was an unparalleled production – acted by the princes of destiny; directed by that brilliant, envious, and colorless crew that forever sat at the hem of greatness; financed – in terms of blood and labor – by the numberless, nameless masses who paused, only occasionally, to look up from their work and watch; and written by the reality of the hour, the reigning combination of cross-events that was supreme, final, and unalterable history.