Newberry College to host Diversity Series Oct 24-31

NEWBERRY — Newberry College will host the fourth annual Dufford Diversity and Inclusion Week from Oct. 24 thro9ugh Oct. 31 with lectures, music, plays and discussions to foster a community that understands and appreciates diversity and creates an environment of inclusivity.

“Diversity and inclusion is about giving value to all human beings, regardless of their differences,” said Dr. Peggy Barnes-Winder, director of Diversity Education and professor of Physical Education at Newberry College. “Dr. Bill Dufford, for whom this week is named, has made it his mission in life to support diversity, inclusion, social justice and equality for all.”


On Oct. 24, “Native American History in Story and Song” featuring Dr. Will Moreau Goins will be presented at 7:30 p.m. in Wiles Theatre.

Folklorist, cultural presenter, storyteller, chanter-singer, dancer, artist, educator and arts administrator, Goins uses music, poetry, legend, movement, visual imagery and drums to tell the ancient and contemporary stories of the American Indian.

Chief of the Cherokees of South Carolina, he was instrumental in supporting the call for change in the use of Indians as college mascots. Performances and discussion will be presented by the Eastern Cherokee, Southern Iroquois and United Tribes of South Carolina Cultural Arts Ensemble.

On Oct. 25, “Concerto for Violin, Rock Band and String Orchestra” featuring classical composer Robert McDuffie and rock musician Mike Mills will be presented at 8 p.m. at the Newberry Opera House.

Throughout his 25-year concert career, violinist Robert McDuffie has been a champion of the core repertoire and interpreter of the works of the most important popular classical composers of our time. McDuffie and Mills, of the rock band, R.E.M., began a new collaboration recently with the world premiere performance of Mills’ Concerto for Violin, Rock Band and String Orchestra.

On Oct. 26, “Down by the River: Gullah Geechee Culture in Song” featuring Ron Daise at 7:30 p.m. in Alumni Music Center Recital Hall. The Gullah Geechee are descendants of enslaved Africans who lived in the Lowcountry regions of South Carolina and Georgia.

Their rich cultural history has attracted both popular and scholarly interest for decades. Writer, performing artist and educator Ron Daise began offering productions about Gullah heritage after the publication of his book, “Reminiscences of Sea Island Heritage, Legacy of Freedmen on St. Helena Island” (1986), the first of five books he has published. Daise has received numerous civic and cultural awards, including the 1996 South Carolina Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest honor.

On Oct. 27, “Living with Dying: Writing ‘Ark’” featuring Gerding Author Series speaker Ed Madden is at 7 p.m. at the Newberry Opera House.

Madden is an award-winning poet, activist and associate professor of English at the University of South Carolina where he is director of Women’s and Gender Studies. He is the featured speaker for the annual Gerding Author Series at Newberry College.

Madden’s newest book of poetry, Ark, explores a son’s return home, a father’s death from cancer and the gifts of healing that can be found in the care of the dying. In January 2015, Madden was named the first Poet Laureate for Columbia.

On Oct. 31m “First-Hand Account of a Holocaust Survivor” featuring Marion Blumenthal Lazan is at 2 p.m. in the Alumni Music Center Recital Hall.

Lazan is the last of her generation to speak first-hand about the horrors of the Holocaust, the adversity she faced and the anti-Semitism that caused it. She has dedicated her life to sharing a message of racial and religious tolerance to audiences throughout the world.

Lazan will discuss her unforgettable memoir, Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story, which recalls the devastating years that shaped her childhood. Following Hitler’s rise to power, Marion and her family were trapped in Nazi Germany. They spent the next six-and-a-half years living in refugee, transit and prison camps, including the notorious German prison camp, Bergen-Belsen.

Dufford Diversity and Inclusion Week is made possible by Dr. William Dufford, who made history for his efforts in 1969 to integrate the Sumter school district. During a turbulent time of violent social unrest, Dufford pressed for peaceful integration.

He argued that desegregation focused on the idea of righting a major wrong, whereas integration emphasized inclusion, setting aside past injustices and looking toward the future. In 2014, he was the recipient of two humanitarian awards including the Governor’s Award in the Humanities, for his lifetime contributions as an educator and civil rights advocate.
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