Calendar of Upcoming Events
This Spring, our programming is shaped by our current context, one full of discussions around race, inequity, disparate outcomes, and racial tensions. Throughout this semester, we invite participants to think about how we arrived at this very predictable time in history, how our silence abdicated our moral responsibility, how our literature can inform and shape our social justice lens, and how our commitment to a more just and equitable world begins with each of us understanding our place in a world full of both privilege and oppression.
A Book Discussion of the New York Times Bestseller, "Begin Again" by Princeton Professor, Eddie Glaude. In his latest book, “drawn partially from newly uncovered interviews—with history, memoir, and trenchant analysis of our current moment, Begin Again is Glaude’s endeavor, following James Baldwin, to bear witness to the difficult truth of race in America today. It is at once a searing exploration that lays bare the tangled web of race, trauma, and memory, and a powerful interrogation of what we all must ask of ourselves in order to call forth a new America.” To read a review, click here.
A Brown Bag Virtual Discussion, "The Myth of American Innocence" by Brent Staples, facilitated by Professor Ron Picard. To read, click here.
The Peabody-nominated 14-part Scene on Radio Series, "Seeing White" with Professor Kathy Taylor and Tim Magee, Bridge to College Director. The podcast tells stories exploring human experience and American society and in Season 2, "Seeing White," explores the history and meaning of whiteness. By looking directly at the elephant in the room, participants will examine the American conversation about race and the stories we tell ourselves about it. To listen, click here.
Commentary from NVCC’s Founding Co Chair, Kathy Taylor, J.D.:
This semester’s theme, Highest Ideals, Deepest Demons, will examine the lies America tells itself about race that prevent it from achieving its lofty aspirations. Through book discussions and reading challenges, the Center will engage in a critical exploration of the historic, ongoing, and tangled web of noble values, contradictory racial realities, and the original sin that stunts and destabilizes the core of American identity. We will not simply look to the events of January 6th; instead, we will also consider long ago planted seeds of hate, greed, and hypocrisy that led to our predictable and precarious present. Most significantly, we will ask questions that we all must answer to make our America, our state, and our college community a more perfect union.
More than 240 years ago, our constitution enshrined principles of justice, democracy, equality, and freedom in a document that continues to guide our governance, inform our courts, protect our freedoms, and inspire the United States of America to live up to its highest ideals. Community colleges, often called the “people’s college” or “democracy’s college” reflect our pivotal role in equalizing opportunity and doing the work of democracy. At NVCC, we teach with the full knowledge that democracy is neither free nor does it magically sustain itself; instead, each generation must acquire a deep and earnest commitment to the advancement of and love for our brothers and sisters, respect for the dignity of every person, and a communal spirit that undergirds a constitutional democracy. These democratic habits must be nurtured, cultivated, and protected. When we see them attacked, as we did on January 6th, we must courageously decry the desecration, call for fidelity to our rule of law, condemn the violence, and commit to resisting the dangerous propagation of disinformation, for domestic terrorists and rioters must never be emboldened by our silence.
At Naugatuck Valley Community College’s Center for Racial Dialogue and Communal Transformation, we decry this assault on our American democracy. We join with others who raise their voices and condemn threatening attacks on our political freedoms. We reject violence of any sort as a disgrace to our country, our college, and ourselves. Instead, we recommit to our work of reasoning together, examining our country’s worst demons, purposefully bending the arc of moral justice, and striving to live up to our noblest values. We will continue to be a vehicle for dialogue, action, and the propagation of justice, freedom, and equality, speaking out against injustice, racism, and any threat to our beloved country.