Gloria S. Duclos Convocation

Past Events

Past Gloria S. Duclos Convocation Events

(includes promoted and co-sponsored events)

Curious about what events you might have missed during the 2017-2018 Gloria S. Duclos Convocation on Race and Participatory Democracy or the 2018-2019 Gloria S. Duclos Convocation on Race and Trauma? Below you will find a list of past events:

Fall 2017 Events


Life as a Muslim Girl in Maine: A Panel Discussion (September 7th, 2017)

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 (September 7th, 2017)

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

The Uncondemned: Screening and Talk Back (September 11th, 2017)

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

2017 Annual Constitution Day Lecture (September 18th, 2017)

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 (September 18th & 20th,  2017)

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

Speaking Truths (September 19th, 2017)

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

Convocation Opening (September 29th, 2017)

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: University of Southern Maine Office of the President

Waking Windows: Page Burner Reading Series and Concerts (September 29th & 30th, 2017)

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

Partnership: SPACE Gallery


Every Big Dream Starts Somewhere (October 2nd, 2017)

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: University of Southern Maine Foundation

#ReviveCivility (October 6th, 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

National Council of Jewish Women Panel (October 12th, 2017)

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

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

Descendants of Henrietta Lacks Speak Back (October 13th, 2017)

Over 500 attendees from around Maine and beyond gathered in USM’s Hannaford Lecture Hall to hear from descents 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, University of Southern Maine School of Nursing, University of Southern Maine Center for Collaboration and Development, University of Southern Maine College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, University of Southern Maine College of Science, Technology, and Health, University of Southern Maine History Department

(Mis)Conceptions of Black Fatherhood (October 17th, 2017)

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

Closing Maine’s Hunger Gap (October 18th, 2017)

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: University of Southern Maine Food Studies Program

Where Do Jews Fit in America’s Culture of Race? (October 19th, 2017)

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.

Iranian Film Festival (October 20th-November 17th, 2017)

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: University of Southern Maine Honors Program

The University of Maine School of Law Presents: Frank M. Coffin Lecture on Law and Public Service (October 25th, 2017)

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


Equality, Democracy, and Higher Education (November 1st, 207)

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, University of Southern Maine Educational Partnerships Beneficiary

First Light: Film Screening and Interactive Discussion (November 2nd, 2017)

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

The 2nd Annual W. E. B. Du Bois Lecture on Race and Democracy (November 6th, 2017)

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: University of Southern Maine Department of History and Political Science

A Poetry Reading by USM Student Shaman Kirkland (November 7th, 2017)

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

Racial Equity, Nonprofit Programming & Implicit Bias (November 7th, 2017)

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: University of Southern Maine Muskie School of Public Service, The Data Innovation Project

Maine Stands with Puerto Rico (November 10th, 2017)

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

Partnership: SPACE Gallery

Open Forum with President Cummings and the Intercultural Diversity Advisory Council (IDAC) (November 13th, 2017)

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 Discussions (November 13th & 15th, 2017)

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

Closing Maine’s Hunger Gap: Exploring Myths, Realities, Solutions (November 15th, 2017)

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

Partnership: University of Southern Maine Food Studies Program

Think & Drink: Biddeford and Lewiston (November 16th, 2017)

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

Partnership: Maine Humanities Council

Is the Press Being Fair to President Trump? (November 17th, 2017)

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

Partnerships: University of Southern Maine College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Camden Conference

Painting Democracy at FoX (November 20th, 2017)

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

The Fire This Time Book Discussion (November 21st, 2017)

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

From Away: Stories of Entrée, Immigration, and Change (November 27th, 2017)

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: University of Southern Maine Honors Program, University of Southern Maine Lewiston-Auburn College, Intercultural and Diversity Advisory Council (IDAC)

99 Problems… one of which is not fully understanding my constitutional rights (November 28th, 2017)

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 (November 28th, 2017)

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

Partnership: University of Southern Maine Women and Gender Studies Program

Welcome to Leith: Film Screening and Discussion (November 28th, 2017)

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


2017 Global Awareness and Responsibility Conference (December 2nd, 2017)

A conference which sought to bring 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

Voices of Maine: An Exploration of Freedom of Expression in Maine (December 6th, 2017)

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

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

Poverty Inc.: Who really benefits from the business of poverty? (December 7th, 2017)

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

Partnership: University of Southern Maine School of Business

Spring 2018 Events



The Task Before Us: A Public Dialogue on Liberty and Race in America (January 12th, 2018)

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

Theatre Ensemble of Color Presents: Representation, Resistance, and White Racial Fantasies (January 26th, 2018)

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.

Race & Justice in America book discussion series (January 30th-April 17th, 2018)

A 5-book discussion series around the theme of Race and Justice in America, facilitated by Dr. Leroy Rowe. Find a full list of books and more about the program here:

Partnership: USM Libraries, Maine Humanities Council


Seeing White: That's Not Us, So We're Clean (February 10th, 2018)

Is one region of the US 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

Exploring Maine/Wabanaki History (February 13th, 2018)

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

The Poets and the Assassin: A play about women in Iran and Islam (February 14th, 2018)

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.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Movie Screening (February 15th, 2018)

A follow up to the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks events in 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.

REACH Presentation (February 20th, 2018)

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 (February 20th, 2018)

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

Does/Has Participatory Democracy (Ever) Exist(ed)? (February 27th, 2018)

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: USM History and Political Science Departments

Decolonization (February 27th, 2018)

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.

Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America (February 28th, 2018)

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.


Shauna Shames: A Lecture on Women, Minorities, and Millennials in Politics (March 6th, 2018)

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

2018 Maine Jewish Film Festival Presents: I (March 12th, 2018)

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

Race, Power and Difference: A Symposium for Maine Educators (March 27th-28th, 2018)

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

The Civil Rights Era: Origins of Today’s Mortal Threat to Participatory Democracy (March 28th, 2018)

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 1950s’ resistance to integration by Virginia segregationists, 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

Maine Law Justice for Women Lecture (March 29th, 2018)

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


No No Boy Multimedia Concert (April 4th, 2018)

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: USM Student Activities & Involvement

Haunted By Hitler: The Fight Against Fascism in the United States (April 5th, 2018)

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.

Truth & Denial: Killing Orders of the Ottoman Government (April 6th , 2018)

The Story Behind “The Smoking Gun”: A Presentation of Never-Before-Seen Documents by Dr. Taner Akçam
Armenian Cultural Association of Maine and USM School of Social Work, History, Political Science, Sociology, & Economics

"Reproductive Justice in the Age of Trump" with Loretta J. Ross (April 13th, 2018)

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

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

Marathon For Justice: Film Screening and Discussion (April 19th, 2018)

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

Walk Out, Teach In, Speak Up! (April 20th, 2018)

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: USM Thinking Matters, Maine Gun Safety Coalition


Anastasia Antonacos, piano: Celebrating Convocation (May 4th, 2018)

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

Artist Talk: Amos Paul Kennedy Jr. & Screening of "Proceed and Be Bold" (May 16th, 2018)

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 and the American Cultural Studies Program at Bates College

Fall 2018 - Spring 2019

The Constitution in the Era of Trump (September 17th, 2018)

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

Waking Windows Concert at USM! (September 21st, 2018)

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

Partnership: SPACE Gallery

3rd Annual W.E.B. DuBois Lecture (October 17th, 2018)

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), the Women and Gender Studies Program, Department of History and Political Science, and College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

The Stories We Carry (October 18th, 2018)

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: MECA

Feminist Perspectives on Trauma (October 20th, 2018)

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

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

Fierce Compassion, Well-Being, and the Reclamation of our Shared Humanity (October 26th, 2018)

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.

Crime + Punishment Film Screening (November 27th, 2018)

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

Dawnland Film Screening Event (December 5th, 2018)

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, and Maine-Wabanaki REACH

Farming While Black: Uprooting Racism, Seeding Sovereignty (February 28th, 2019)

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, USM Food Studies Program, Maine Initiatives, John Merck Fund and Cultivating Community

Undoing Racism in the Food System Workshop (March 1st, 2019)

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, USM Food Studies Program, Maine Initiatives, John Merck Fund and Cultivating Community

Memory, Trauma, and the Generations of Genocide (April 3rd, 2019)

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 twentieth and twenty-first 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, and NAACP Maine, USM offices of the President & Provost