Gloria S. Duclos Convocation

Event Archive

This archive of events from previous Gloria S. Duclos Convocation events provides an overview of topics we covered related to each theme. This archive also includes promoted and co-sponsored events.

2020–2021: Indigenous Peoples: Recognizing and Repairing Harms of Colonized Systems

October 13, 2020

Panel Discussion — Indigenous Peoples: Recognizing and Repairing Harms of Colonized Systems

Panelists Katie Tomer, Jared Lank, and Dr. Rebecca Sockbeson discuss our 2020–2021 Convocation theme: "Indigenous Peoples: Recognizing and Repairing Harms of Colonized Systems" and the steps we need to take to educate ourselves about the lasting impacts of colonization on Native Americans, our systems, and our institutions.

View recording.

2018–2019: Race and Trauma

September 17, 2018

The Constitution in the Era of Trump

A panel discussion with Eliza Townsend from Maine Women's Lobby (addressed lifetime appointment of judges), Mark Dion Maine State Representative (addressed criminal justice reform), Amy Kuhn for the ACLU (addressed voting rights).

Partnership: Frances Perkins Initiative; Women & Gender Studies; Criminology; Honors; Geography-Anthropology's Social Justice Minor; Sociology; Political Science


September 21, 2018

Waking Windows Concert at USM!

Music from M.A.K.U Soundsystem, Ivy Sole, and Sabouyouma, and USM students.

Partnership: SPACE Gallery
October 17, 2018

3rd Annual W.E.B. DuBois Lecture

A lecture by, Dr. Nadine Strossen, professor at New York Law School, and widely recognized expert on constitutional law and civil liberties, on “why we should promote racial justice (and other good causes) through free speech, not censorship.”

Partnership: The Center for Collaboration and Development; Office of the President; Office of the Provost; Intercultural and Diversity Advisory Council (IDAC); Women and Gender Studies Program; Department of History and Political Science; College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.


October 18, 2018

The Stories We Carry

An exploration of the meanings of migration and the ways storytelling preserves our histories, reconnects us to our origins, and informs our lives and work. Stories were shared by Reza Jalali, Nyamuon Nguany Machar, and Keita Whitten, each of whom journeyed to Maine seeking a new life, as well as a screening of video shorts by filmmaker Allen Baldwin.

Partnership: Maine College of Art (MECA)


October 20, 2018

Feminist Perspectives on Trauma

with Director of Women & Gender Studies, Professor Rose Cleary as part of the IDAC Lunch & Learn Series.

Partnership: Women & Gender Studies Program; Intercultural and Diversity Advisory Council (IDAC)


October 26, 2018

Fierce Compassion, Well-Being, and the Reclamation of our Shared Humanity

A public talk by Dr. Kamilah Majied. This colloquy offered participants the opportunity to learn about and practice cultivating fierce compassion through contemplative practice. The goal was to develop sustainability in our efforts and ground our day to day perceptions and actions.

November 27, 2018

Crime + Punishment Film Screening

A highly intimate and cinematic experience, Crime + Punishment examines the United States' most powerful police department through the brave endeavors of a group of active-duty officers and one unforgettable private investigator who risk their careers and safety to bring light to harmful policing practices which have plagued the precincts and streets of New York City for decades. The screening was followed by a discussion with NYPD officers.

Partnership: SPACE Gallery

December 5, 2018 Dawnland Film Screening Event

A special screening of Dawnland — a film about the forced removal of Wabanaki children by Maine's child welfare system — and a concert featuring music from the award-winning documentary.

Partnership: Upstander Project; MPBN; Maine-Wabanaki REACH
February 28, 2019

Farming While Black: Uprooting Racism, Seeding Sovereignty

A discussion about becoming part of the movement for food sovereignty and helping build a food system based on justice, dignity, and abundance for all with Amani Olugbala.

Partnership: Soul Fire Farm; Cooperative Development Institute; For Us, By Us; Food Studies Program; Maine Initiatives; John Merck Fund; Cultivating Community
March 1, 2019

Undoing Racism in the Food System Workshop

A discussion with Amani Olugbala about successful food justice strategies used by frontlines communities to dismantle inequity and how we can uplift and augment these efforts.

Partnership: Soul Fire Farm; Cooperative Development Institute; For Us, By Us Fund; Food Studies Program; Maine Initiatives; John Merck Fund; Cultivating Community
April 3rd, 2019

Memory, Trauma, and the Generations of Genocide

A keynote presentation by Dr. Yael Danieli, which explored the psychological trauma that affects both survivors of genocides and future generations, followed by a panel discussion with representatives of communities who have undergone genocide during the 20th and 21st centuries.

Partnership: The Law Offices of Joe Bornstein; Marcus/Clegg LLC; Portland Harbor Hotel; Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine; Jewish Community Alliance; Armenian Cultural Association of Maine; Rwanda Community Association of Maine; USM Model United Nations; NAACP Maine; USM offices of the President and Provost

2017–2018: Race and Participatory Democracy

September 7, 2017

Life as a Muslim Girl in Maine: A Panel Discussion

A traveling photo exhibit created by a group of local Muslim women seeking to end the use of Islam to justify discrimination against women. Participants shared their thoughts, stories, and perspectives on life as a Muslim girl in Maine.

Partnerships: University of Maine School of Law; Justice for Women Lecture Series; SPACE Gallery


Courts Matter

An opportunity to learn about how our federal and circuit courts influence every person’s rights and freedoms and the courts' abilities to determine the future of our nation’s most pressing issues.

Partnerships: University of Maine School of Law; Alliance for Justice


September 11, 2017

The Uncondemned: Screening and Talk Back

An open talkback with the filmmaker of The Uncondemned — a gripping and world-changing story about a group of young international lawyers and activists who fought to make rape a crime of war, and the Rwandan women who came forward to testify.

Partnerships: University of Maine School of Law; Justice for Women Lecture Series; Portland Museum of Art


September 18, 2017

Annual Constitution Day Lecture

A lecture with Bussey Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Joseph William Singer, focused on what Americans need to know about Indian Nations and the Constitution.

Partnership: University of Maine School of Law


Whose Streets? Screening and Discussion

A screening of the film Whose Streets? — an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising after the death of Michael Brown — followed by a discussion with the filmmaker Sabaah Folayan.

Partnership: SPACE Gallery


September 19, 2017

Speaking Truths

A conversation on the lasting impact of the Maine child welfare system on Wabanaki people and ongoing efforts to heal through recognition and education.

Partnerships: Stonecoast MFA, Maine Media Workshop


September 20, 2017

Whose Streets? Screening and Discussion

A screening of the film Whose Streets? — an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising after the death of Michael Brown — followed by a discussion with the filmmaker Sabaah Folayan.

Partnership: SPACE Gallery


September 29, 2017

Convocation Opening

The official launch of this year’s Convocation theme of Race and Participatory Democracy. This kick-off event included a processional with faculty in academic regalia, recognition of some of USM’s top students, musical performances from the School of Music, and keynote speaker Dòwòti Désir.

Partnership: Office of the President


Waking Windows: Page Burner Reading Series and Concerts

100+ bands, writers, artists, comedians, thinkers, and more were showcased during this two-day event celebrating creativity and diversity.

Partnership: SPACE Gallery


September 30, 2017

Waking Windows: Page Burner Reading Series and Concerts

100+ bands, writers, artists, comedians, thinkers, and more were showcased during this two-day event celebrating creativity and diversity.

Partnership: SPACE Gallery
October 2, 2017

Every Big Dream Starts Somewhere

A presentation by Walgreens Chief Diversity Officer and Divisional Vice President, Steve Pemberton, depicting his sometimes horrifying life in foster care and how a college education gave him a pathway to hope.

Partnership: USM Foundation


October 6, 2017


An informative and interactive session that explored the state of civility today and what we can do about it together. Attendees engaged in hands-on activities designed to build a capacity for listening and understanding across differences.

Partnership: National Institute for Civil Discourse


October 12, 2017

National Council of Jewish Women Panel

A panel presentation about how the National Council of Jewish Women set out to help immigrants in the state of Maine.

Partnerships: Special Collections; Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine Judaica Collection; National Council of Jewish Women — Southern Maine Division


October 13, 2017

Descendants of Henrietta Lacks Speak Back

Over 500 attendees from around Maine and beyond gathered in USM’s Hannaford Lecture Hall to hear from descendants of Henrietta Lacks. Her cells — known to scientists as HeLa and taken without her knowledge in 1951 — became one of the most important tools in medicine. The Lacks family discussed their first-person experiences with the collision between ethics, race, and the commercialization of human tissue.

Partnerships: MeRTEC; School of Nursing; Center for Collaboration and Development; College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; College of Science, Technology, and Health; History department


October 17, 2017

(Mis)Conceptions of Black Fatherhood

An informal discussion on the topic of black fatherhood to the launch the Freedom of Expression Space (FoX) on the USM Portland campus.


October 18, 2017

Closing Maine’s Hunger Gap

Part 1: An examination of the fundamental causes of poverty and hunger. Donna Beegle, president of Communications Across Barriers, debunked myths, exposed realities, and offered solutions to Maine’s hunger gap.

Partnership: Food Studies Program


October 19, 2017

Where Do Jews Fit in America’s Culture of Race?

A lecture that charted the complicated history of Jews’ encounter with American racial culture from the beginning of mass Jewish immigration in the nineteenth century to the recent events in Charlottesville.


October 25, 2017

Frank M. Coffin Lecture on Law and Public Service

A lecture delivered by Ambassador Rick Barton, the first Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations. Barton discussed America’s role in international peacebuilding.

Partnership: University of Maine School of Law


October 20 – November 17, 2017

Iranian Film Festival

Ten feature films, made by Iranian directors, were screened as part of a "Cinema in Iran" course taught by professor Reza Jalali — the first Iranian film festival of its kind in Maine.

Partnership: Honors Program
November 1, 2017

Equality, Democracy, and Higher Education

An explanation of the significance of equality, its implications for democracy, and the obligations it imposes on colleges and universities by Campus Compact president, Andrew Seligsohn.

Partnerships: Maine Campus Compact; USM Educational Partnerships Beneficiary


November 2, 2017

First Light: Film Screening and Interactive Discussion

An interactive discussion surrounding the devastating effects on traditions/culture/identity of Native American children due to centuries of government removal from their tribes.


November 6, 2017

The 2nd Annual W. E. B. Du Bois Lecture on Race and Democracy

A lecture by, Dr. Brain Purnell, Geoffrey Canada associate professor of Africana Studies and History at Bowdoin College, about the origins and implications of racial segregation outside of the American South.

Partnership: Department of History and Political Science


November 7, 2017

A Poetry Reading by Shaman Kirkland

Poems including “I, Too” by Langston Huges and “Alabama” performed by a student, Shaman Kirkland, in the FoX.


November 7, 2017

Racial Equity, Nonprofit Programming & Implicit Bias

A lecture by Laura Ligouri, Lecturer at Bates College and Executive Director and Founder of Mindbridge, focused on implicit bias and how the brain guides the way we perceive others.

Partnerships: Muskie School of Public Service; The Data Innovation Project


November 10, 2017

Maine Stands with Puerto Rico

A night of music and art in solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Partnership: SPACE Gallery


November 13, 2017

Open Forum with President Cummings and the Intercultural Diversity Advisory Council (IDAC)

An opportunity to engage in a dialogue regarding the themes of Convocation and related issues at the FoX.


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Book Discussion

A book discussion on the issues brought to light in the internationally-successful book and New York Times bestseller, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.


November 15, 2017

Closing Maine’s Hunger Gap: Exploring Myths, Realities, Solutions

Part 2: An examination of the fundamental causes of poverty and hunger. Mark Winne, Executive Director of the Hartford Food System shared his knowledge about community food systems, food policy, and food security.

Partnership: Food Studies Program


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Book Discussion

A book discussion on the issues brought to light in the internationally-successful book and New York Times bestseller, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.


November 16, 2017

Think & Drink: Biddeford and Lewiston

A discussion about how to begin honest, and sometimes uncomfortable, conversations about race.

Partnership: Maine Humanities Council


November 17, 2017

Is the Press Being Fair to President Trump?

A panel of distinguished journalists discussed whether or not media is treating President Trump fairly in their reports.

Partnerships: College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Camden Conference


November 20, 2017

Painting Democracy at FoX

An opportunity to explore, expand, and paint ideas on canvas at the FoX.


November 21, 2017

The Fire This Time Book Discussion

A discussion of the book The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race — a collection of essays and poetry.


November 27, 2017

From Away: Stories of Entrée, Immigration, and Change

An interactional multi-media event that educated participants about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, climate refugees, undocumented immigrants, asylum seekers, migrant workers, and other various terms related to immigration.

Partnerships: Honors Program; Lewiston-Auburn College; Intercultural and Diversity Advisory Council (IDAC)


November 28, 2017

99 Problems… one of which is not fully understanding my constitutional rights

UMaine Law professor Anthony Moffa walked through the second verse of Jay Z’s song “99 Problems” and explained what he gets right and wrong about our 4th and 5th Amendment rights.

Partnership: University of Maine School of Law


Say Now: Report Back from Women’s Conferences

A sharing of ideas and tools from our Women and Gender Studies program focused on how we might learn from and support feminist movements building in our local communities.

Partnership: Women and Gender Studies Program


Welcome to Leith: Film Screening and Discussion

A screening and discussion of a film that explores what happens to democratic principles when they are pushed to the limit and how, in a free society, we confront people whose views we find abhorrent.

Partnership: SPACE Gallery
December 2, 2017

Global Awareness and Responsibility Conference

A conference which sought to bring a better understanding to current human rights violations in Africa, the resulting flight from the African continent, the realities of migrant’s lives while fleeing and what they now face when they reach a “safe” place, and how we can help.

Partnership: Ladder to the Moon Network


December 6, 2017

Voices of Maine: An Exploration of Freedom of Expression in Maine

An interactive event that invited participants to actively explore Freedom of Expression at USM and in our community.

Partnership: Lewiston-Auburn College (LAC 370 "Towards a Global Ethics" course)


December 7, 2017

Poverty Inc.: Who really benefits from the business of poverty?

A viewing of the film, Poverty Inc., followed by a community dialogue about race, poverty, and business.

Partnership: School of Business
January 12, 2018

The Task Before Us: A Public Dialogue on Liberty and Race in America

Stonecoast MFA faculty members Aaron Hamburger, Amanda Johnston, Porochista Khakpour, and guest JJ Amaworo Wilson led a participatory discussion that explored the essence of liberty in America through the lens of creative writing, and the artist's role in the community. 

Partnership: Stonecoast MFA


January 26, 2018

Theatre Ensemble of Color Presents: Representation, Resistance, and White Racial Fantasies

In this workshop, we explored how popular culture-through dominant social institutions, and within the ubiquity of everyday life-bolsters white supremacy as a global system. Three Scenes from Rachel were performed and ways dominant groups have deployed and engaged popular culture to naturalize and defend white power and racial domination were evaluated.


January 30 – April 17, 2018

Race & Justice in America book discussion series

A five-book discussion series around the theme of Race and Justice in America, facilitated by Dr. Leroy Rowe. Learn more about the program and see the full list of books.

Partnership: Libraries; Maine Humanities Council
February 10, 2018

Seeing White: That's Not Us, So We're Clean

Is one region of the U.S. guiltier of America's racial sins than the rest? This event dismantled the idea that racism is (or ever was) a distinctly Southern problem.

Partnership: Maine Community Foundation; Rising Tide Brewery; Sam L. Cohen Foundation; SPACE Gallery; Treehouse Institute


February 13, 2018

Exploring Maine/Wabanaki History

An interactive storytelling experience designed to increase our understanding of colonization. Events in the colonizing history of Wabanaki people (the Indigenous people of Maine) and Europeans and their descendants were shared.

Partnership: Maine Wabanaki REACH


February 14, 2018

The Poets and the Assassin: A play about women in Iran and Islam

A five-act play that offered historic and contemporary insight into the situation of women in Iran by challenging our assumption about a land that was once home to the powerful Persian Empire, and its women.


February 15, 2018

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Movie Screening

A follow up to our Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks events from October and November. Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne star in this film adaptation of Rebecca Skloot's critically acclaimed, bestselling nonfiction book of the same name.


February 20, 2018

REACH Presentation

An opportunity for non-native people to learn about the shared history between native and non-native people, the present-day impacts on Wabanaki communities, and what actions we can take in response to harms that have been done. This presentation provided information about what led to the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a summary of the Commission's findings, and a description of what is happening to implement the Commission's recommendations.

Partnership: Maine Wabanaki REACH


(De)Constructing Race, Equality, and Power

An interactive forum which addressed prevalent issues that we face in our local, national, and global communities today, such as economic inequality, race, and social hierarchy.

Partnership: SPACE Gallery


February 27, 2018

Does/Has Participatory Democracy (Ever) Exist(ed)?

A panel discussion of the history of participatory democracy from the ancient to the present with history professors Gary Johnson, Jie Zhao, and Lacey Sparks and political science professor Manuel Avalos.

Partnership: History and Political Science Departments



What does decolonization mean for you? How do we understand decolonization in this country in the context of the strategies and impacts of colonization? Using a circle process, participants heard one another's thoughts about decolonization, decolonization looks like, and how we move toward it — in our hearts, within USM, and in the larger community within which we live.


February 28, 2018

Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America

Conversations with Dr. James Forman Jr., Professor of Law at Yale Law School and former D.C. public defender, about why our society became so punitive and its implications for the future of race and the criminal justice system.

March 6, 2018

Shauna Shames: A Lecture on Women, Minorities, and Millennials in Politics

A lecture by Shauna Shames, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at Rutgers University.


March 12, 2018

Maine Jewish Film Festival Presents: I

In this big-hearted documentary from Jewish film director, we meet three friends who are politically active and assertive about their right to define their own identity. Told with honesty, intelligence, and humor, the complex story of an emerging LGBTQ community explores questions of nationality, citizenship, geography, religion, sexual orientation, emotional truth, and moral integrity.

Partnership: Maine Jewish Film Festival


March 27–28, 2018

Race, Power and Difference: A Symposium for Maine Educators

A symposium that provided teachers and other professionals with the skills they need to discuss the social construction of race in the classroom.


March 28, 2018

The Civil Rights Era: Origins of Today’s Mortal Threat to Participatory Democracy

The story of a Nobel Prize-winning economist who created the blueprints for a modern assault on American democracy and civil rights. James Buchanan is not a household name, but his work was influential in the resistance to integration by Virginia segregationists in the 1950s, and he later became a key intellectual architect for fascism in Chile and the drive by the infamous Koch Brothers to suppress American democracy in the 21st Century. Keynote: Award-winning Duke University historian Dr. Nancy MacLean.


March 29, 2018

Maine Law Justice for Women Lecture

A discussion of the struggle for human rights from Syria to Maine led by Mariam Jalabi, Director of the Syrian National Coalition Office at the United Nations in New York.

Partnership: University of Maine School of Law
April 4, 2018

No No Boy Multimedia Concert

A multimedia concert featuring the music of singer/songwriter Julian Saporiti. Taking inspiration from interviews with World War II Japanese Incarceration camp survivors, and his own family’s history living through the Vietnam War, as well as other archival stories that explore diverse aspects of the Asian American experience, Saporiti transformed his doctoral research at Brown University into folk songs in an effort to bring these stories to a broader audience. Performing these well-crafted songs alongside Erin Aoyama, a fellow PhD student at Brown, whose family was incarcerated at one of the 10 Japanese American concentration camps, No-No Boy aims to shine a light on experiences that have remained largely hidden in the American consciousness.

Partnership: Student Activities & Involvement


April 5, 2018

Haunted By Hitler: The Fight Against Fascism in the United States

Dr. Christopher Vials, American Studies Professor at the University of Connecticut, examined the ways in which anxieties about fascism in the United States have been expressed in the public sphere, through American television shows, Off-Broadway theater, party newspapers, best selling works of history, journalism, popular sociology, political theory, and other media.


April 6, 2018

Truth & Denial: Killing Orders of the Ottoman Government

The Story Behind “The Smoking Gun”: A Presentation of Never-Before-Seen Documents by Dr. Taner Akçam.

Partnerships: Armenian Cultural Association of Maine; School of Social Work; History Department; Political Science Department; Sociology Department; Economics


April 13, 2018

"Reproductive Justice in the Age of Trump" with Loretta J. Ross

A discussion of the strengths and challenges of contemporary activism as well as strategies for building the reproductive justice movement.

Partnership: Women & Gender Studies; Office of Enrollment Management; Student Affairs


April 19, 2018

Marathon For Justice: Film Screening and Discussion

A film and interactive discussion that explored past and present environmental inequalities in the United States.


April 20, 2018

Walk Out, Teach In, Speak Up!

In response to a National School Walkout related to gun violence, this "Walkout Teach-in" event facilitated open conversations about gun violence from a wide variety of disciplinary contexts and cultural perspectives.

Partnership: Thinking Matters; Maine Gun Safety Coalition
May 4, 2018

Anastasia Antonacos, piano: Celebrating Convocation

Music inspired by democratic ideals and political events, over the past 150 years, in America and beyond.

Partnership: School of Music


May 16, 2018

Artist Talk: Amos Paul Kennedy Jr. & Screening of Proceed and Be Bold

Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. is a man who is unafraid of asking uncomfortable questions about race and artistic pretension. At this event, we were joined by Mr. Kennedy for an evening of discussion paired with a screening of the film "Proceed and Be Bold" about his life and work.

Partnership: SPACE Gallery; The American Cultural Studies Program at Bates College