GRC promotes inclusion with StaND Against Hate Week

first_imgLucy Du Members of the Notre Dame community are coming together for StaND Against Hate Week, which aims to raise awareness of the prevalence of hatred both on and off campus. Maureen McKenney, assistant director for LGBTQ initiatives for the Gender Relations Center (GRC), said StaND Against Hate Week was originally oriented around the LGBTQ community but has evolved in recent years to become more inclusive and holistic.“It was originally and intentionally around support for LGBTQ students within our community,” she said. “When it came here, we broadened it to really being about promoting the message of human dignity for all.”StaND Against Hate Week is sponsored by the Gender Relations Center (GRC), as well as Campus Ministry, Multicultural Student Programs and PrismND. Events are scheduled for every day from Monday through Friday. Free T-shirts will be distributed at North Dining Hall, South Dining Hall and LaFortune Student Center on Monday from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. McKenney said the T-shirts should be worn Friday.Tim Brown, former Notre Dame football and NFL player, is this year’s keynote speaker. Tuesday at 7 p.m. in DeBartolo Hall 141, Brown will talk about faith, masculinity and racism in his keynote speech and sign books afterward. “Tim [Brown] is coming back to Notre Dame to talk about many of the same topics in his book “The Making of a Man,” such as faith, how he defines himself as a man, the intersection of masculinity and faith, but also some of his experience with racism within the NFL and how that shaped him as an individual,” McKenney said. Wednesday night, there will be an ethics and leadership workshop called “Making Choices for Social Justice.” The workshop will be from 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. in the Coleman-Morse Lounge. McKenney said a large part of the workshop will be devoted to talking through hypothetical situations and examining how ethics determine actions. “It’s being run by Art Munin, who is a diversity consultant and administrator at Illinois State,” she said. “He brings different diversity workshops around the country, specifically for college students. The purpose of the workshop is to challenge those who attend to consider ways in which values and ethics drive the decisions they make and why they make them.”There will be a documentary screening Thursday at 7 p.m. in DeBartolo Hall 140. “Forget Us Not” explores the persecution of the non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust.Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., there will be hot apple cider and donuts at Fieldhouse Mall to close out the week. Participants are encouraged to wear the free T-shirts from Monday to this event. McKenney said the week serves as a reminder that hate and discrimination affect those in our community in many different ways. “It’s really a way for students to dialogue about ways in which hate and discrimination have a negative impact on people within our community but also the community at large,” she said. “We use hate and discrimination as a very broad category: class, race, religion, socioeconomic situation, sexual orientation, gender identity – really any aspect of one’s personhood is how we define it.”Tags: Gender Relations Center, GRC, PrismND, StaND Against Hate Weeklast_img read more

Organic learning

first_imgSales of organic foods have exploded, moving the industry from a niche market to a nationwide phenomenon. In 1989, organic foods accounted for $1.25 billion in U.S. sales. By 2005, that number had jumped to $14 billion.This booming industry needs a steady stream of skilled, educated workers like Erica Mehan. Mehan has graduated from the University of Georgia, but wanted a few more classes before entering the job market. She plans to work toward a certificate in organic agriculture, a UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences program that starts this fall.Before changing her major to horticulture, Mehan was studying sculpture. “I took a course in sustainable agriculture that resonated within me so deeply that I began to plot my future with agriculture as the foundation,” said Mehan of her dramatic shift.Organic farming is growing between 15 percent and 25 percent a year, said Alice Rolls, executive director of Georgia Organics. Food businesses typically grow 2 percent to 3 percent annually.“Go to Kroger or Wal-Mart and see how many products they now offer that mention organic,” said CAES horticulturist David Berle. “Students are interested in this subject for many reasons and need somewhere on campus to get science-based information.”The UGA certificate will work like a minor program. Students with majors in science-related fields or who have completed enough science classes can tack this certificate onto their course of study. To earn it, students must complete a research project and classes such as organic agricultural systems, said Emillie Skinner, a UGA horticulture research technician. She and CAES horticulturist Marc van Iersel are helping launch the program.“A lot of students are really interested in organic agriculture,” van Iersel said. “And until now, they haven’t had the chance to study it here.”The CAES plant pathology, agricultural and applied economics, crop and soil sciences, agricultural and biological engineering, animal and dairy sciences, poultry science and entomology departments all add to the program. The UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, contributes through the anthropology department, and the UGA College of Environment and Design through their ecology department.Carl Jordan, a professor in the Institute of Ecology, has been teaching a summer-semester organic agriculture class for several years. “My class generally is filled up by March,” he said. “And by April, I begin turning away applicants for the course.”Before the UGA program starts up in the fall, the only option students had for studying organic agriculture was to transfer to schools like University of California at Davis, North Carolina State and Colorado State. UGA’s program differs from the others because it’s the only one that teaches students about the unique problems that affect Georgia agriculture, such as the state’s humid climate. Georgia’s climate intensifies pest and disease pressures.The certificate program is two-fold. In addition to teaching students about organic agriculture, the students’ coursework includes conducting research that could benefit Georgia growers. Once the program starts, students and researchers will grow plants organically and conventionally in the same greenhouses. They will then compare them for nutrients, growing practices and other factors. Growing more organic vegetables may be a way for Georgia growers to receive a premium for their products.“The principles of organic agriculture such as reducing inputs, reducing environmental impact and adding value to agricultural products are something we work on every day with all our clients,” said Mike Lacy, CAES poultry science department head. The college has “contributed more in this area than the general public knows. Bringing research-based knowledge to this area will benefit consumers and farmers.”Only UGA students can take the certificate of organic agriculture program. To learn more, visit www.uga.edu/organic/ or contact van Iersel at (706) 583-0284 or [email protected]last_img read more

Justices find time for work in the classroom

first_img Justices find time for work in the classroom Hands were raised as high as their little fingers could reach — the students were jumping up and down in their seats with total enthusiasm. What was so exciting in this fifth grade classroom? The students were participating in an exercise on the U.S. Constitution, and they had even given up their recess to meet with Justice Fred Lewis.No stranger to Florida’s public schools, Justice Lewis was visiting Beauclerc Elementary in Jacksonville with Annette Boyd Pitts, executive director of The Florida Law Related Education Association, Inc., and Sonya Hoener, a local attorney. Julie Hayden, a fifth grade teacher at Beauclerc, hosted the visit.The activity centered around the U.S. Constitution, “a topic most Americans are woefully deficient in,” Pitts said, adding, however, that in this classroom, “interest was high and minds were alert.”The presentation was lively, filled with interactive questions, historical situations, and contemporary issues. The fifth grade students had to “think constitutionally” and determine how much they valued each of their rights, Pitts said.“The students had to imagine themselves as adults in the year 2030,” Pitts said. “Then in groups, the students had to reach a consensus for the country. They had to decide which rights to keep in a challenging scenario where some of their rights would be lost.”Pitts said the exercise helps students understand how important it is to know their rights and how they impact their lives.“All of our rights are related,” one fifth grade student said. “You shouldn’t want to give up any of your rights.”The students also received pocket Constitutions which the guests autographed.Michael, another student, said: “When I get home, I am going to put my Constitution in my special drawer. I am going to save it and take it out when I become a lawyer and remember this special day when I met a Supreme Court justice.”Another student, Rade from Croatia, recited the preamble to the U.S. Constitution and part of the Declaration of Independence for Justice Lewis.“I love living in this country,” he said.This is but one snapshot from a multitude of schools visited by the Supreme Court justices each year. The justices take to the classrooms during Constitution Week and beyond to teach students about the courts and the Constitution using effective law related education teaching techniques.“This is one of my greatest joys,” said Justice Lewis, who visits schools three or more times a month. While in Jacksonville recently, Justice Lewis visited two high schools, one elementary school, and assisted Pitts with a teacher training session. This year, during Constitution Week, the justices visited elementary, middle, and high schools as well as juvenile justice facilities. Constitution Week is celebrated nationally to engage youth in better understanding the nation’s constitutional history, governmental processes, and the democratic principles which bind Americans together.Justices Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince visited with Florida’s female juvenile offenders at the Florida Institute for Girls. The students shared their experiences in the judicial system with the two justices. Many of the young girls had spent multiple years behind bars for offenses ranging from carjacking and kidnapping to manslaughter. The facility served as their final stop before adult prison.The tables were turned this day as the girls became the judges in a Fourth Amendment search and seizure exercise, Pitts said. They participated in a healthy debate about balancing the safety and protection of society with the rights of the individual.Justice Pariente also visited Jupiter High School and the Middle School for the Arts in West Palm Beach.Chief Justice Harry Lee Anstead visited a class of students at Leon High School in Tallahassee, where the students explored a real case and simulated a Supreme Court conference activity. Asked to come back with a unanimous decision on the case, the students could not.“They were able to roll up their sleeves and tackle some of the difficult issues faced by the courts in this country,” said Pitts, who accompanied Chief Justice Anstead during the visit. “We didn’t expect them to bring back a unanimous decision; we wanted them to experience the process thoroughly and discuss the issues.”Chief Justice Anstead also shared his personal story about his humble beginnings in Jacksonville and how he grew up to serve as a Supreme Court justice.Justice Charles Wells visited his alma mater, Boone High School in Orlando, and his presentation took place in a courtroom on the high school campus that had been dedicated in his honor earlier in the year.“A lively, substantive program was delivered with ninth through 12th grade high school law students participating,” Pitts said. “Justice Wells autographed personal Constitutions for the students.” Justices find time for work in the classroomcenter_img January 15, 2003 Regular Newslast_img read more