Though our presidential candidates are new, the issues they're debating are certainly not! Join us to get some historical perspective on today's hot topics; we have four engaging topics and speakers and think it's very likely you'll come away from these programs with a better understanding of a few of today's pressing social issues. All programs begin at 7 p.m. and all are completely free to the public. Locations vary. (See brief presenter bios below.)
March 4 - Teddy Roosevelt joins us for this introductory program that will give us an overview of all our month's issues, "Everything Old is New Again." Darrel Draper portrays Roosevelt at the African American Museum of Iowa.
March 11 - "Bound for the Promised Land," presented by Dr. Robin Clark-Bennett at the Hiawatha Library. Join us for an engaging, interactive workshop that explores contemporary and historical debates about U.S. immigration policy and its intersection with labor rights. Through discussions, hands-on exercises, and film clips, participants will discuss how U.S. immigration policy has changed over the past 100 years, review current immigration trends and policy debates, and learn about grassroots initiatives in which recent immigrants are joining with labor, faith, and civil rights groups to promote social and economic justice.
March 18 - "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now," presented by Attorney Paul Iverson at the African American Museum of Iowa. Across the United States many laws have been passed or proposed to limit the rights of persons to vote. These attacks on voter rights can only truly be understood when viewed in the historical context of the struggle to expand voter rights in the United States that began with the earliest days of the U.S. Constitution. This session will explore the history of voter rights struggles in the United States to assist participants in understanding current voter rights attacks and advocating for greater voter rights and participation.
March 25 - "Hard Knock Life," presented by Dr. Derek Buckaloo at the Marion Public Library. Dr. Buckaloo subtitles his program "Income Inequality and the Fading of the American Dream and Century." Many people, on both sides of the political spectrum, feel that the “country is on the wrong track.” At the base of this feeling are economic anxieties in an age of growing income inequality, inequality that is quite real and has developed over the past four decades. By contextualizing these developments in post-World War II history, one can more clearly see the rise of inequality, the anxieties that this has produced, and the ways in which these feed into our contentious politics.
Teddy Roosevelt, aka Darrel W. Draper, is a 5th generation descendent of Nebraska Territorial pioneers and uses his talents as storyteller and actor to educate and entertain. You can learn more about Mr. Draper in his online biography.
Robin Clark-Bennett is an educator with the University of Iowa Labor Center. She designs and conducts non-credit adult education courses for working Iowans on a range of topics, such as: workplace legal rights; communication in a diverse workplace; the intersection of race, class, and U.S. immigration policy; and challenges accompanying the rise of low-wage work. Learn more about Robin's background in her biography at the University of Iowa's website.
Paul Iversen joined the Labor Center staff as a Labor Educator in January, 2011. The Labor Center designs and conducts continuing education seminars for union members and other working people across the state of Iowa. As a labor educator, Paul has researched and provided education on understanding current challenges to voter rights in the context of the history of voter rights in the United States. Paul has made presentations on the subject in Iowa, Illinois Florida and Michigan. Before becoming a Labor Educator, Paul was a labor lawyer representing unions in Minnesota for 22 years, and was an adjunct professor of Labor Law for William Mitchell College of Law, in St. Paul Minnesota, from 2008-2010.
Derek Buckaloo was born and raised in Washington State by transplanted Midwesterners. After completing his B.A. in International Relations at Stanford University, he attended Emory University, where he received his Ph.D. in United States History in 2002. That same year, he joined the Department of History at Coe College, where he is presently the William R. and Winifred Shuttleworth Associate Professor of History, as well as the department chair. A specialist on the American War in Vietnam, he teaches a variety of courses on twentieth-century politics, culture and history, foreign relations, Native American history, Latin American history, and film.