Office of Multicultural Affairs

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Earth Day Presentation Features Native American Author, Environmentalist Winona LaDuke

Native American author and environmental activist Winona LaDuke explores how connections to the land can help move societies and economies forward to a better environmental future in a Lawrence University Earth Week presentation.  LaDuke’s address, Tuesday, April 23 at 7 p.m. in Youngchild Hall 121, is free and open to the public.

Winona LaDuke
Winona LaDuke

A  member of the Mississippi Band Anishinaabeg who lives and works on the White Earth Reservations in Northern Minnesota, LaDuke has written extensively on Native American and environmental issues, including 2011’s “The Militarization of Indian Country,” “Recovering the Sacred: the Power of Naming and Claiming” and “All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life.”

LaDuke is the co-founder of Honor the Earth, a Native American-led organization that seeks to break the geographic and political isolation of Native communities and increase financial resources for organizing and change.

Time Magazine named LaDuke one of America’s 50 most promising leaders under the age of 40 in 1994 and Ms. Magazine honored her as its 1998 “Woman of the Year” for her work with Honor the Earth.

A graduate of Harvard and Antioch Universities, LaDuke served as Ralph Nader’s vice presidential running mate on the Green Party ticket in the 1996 and 2000 presidential elections.

Her appearance is sponsored by the student organization Greenfire and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Annual Community Celebration Honors Martin Luther King Jr.’s Life, Legacy

Dorothy Cotton, the only female member of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s, executive staff and one of his closest confidants, delivers the keynote address at the 21st annual community celebration of the late civil rights leader Monday, Jan. 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.  The event is free and open to the public.

Dorothy Cotton

With the theme “Martin Luther King Jr.:  This Life and Legacy,” the celebration is presented by Lawrence University and Toward Community: Unity in Diversity with the support of numerous Fox Valley organizations, churches and individuals. The Post-Crescent is a media partner for the event.

The community celebration is in conjunction with Lawrence’s annual Martin Luther King “Day of Service,” which offers volunteer opportunities for students, faculty and staff.  Part of this year’s activities includes a report on the recent “Life Study of the Fox Cities” at 11:30 a.m. in the Warch Campus Center.

“Everyone wants to leave his or her own mark on the world as we strive to live a meaningful and purposeful life,” said Pa Lee Moua, assistant dean of students for multicultural affairs at Lawrence.  “Once we are gone, we hope to be remembered as heroes. In my opinion, there is no greater hero than someone who fights for the rights of others. Martin Luther King Jr. is truly a hero who continues to teach us the true meaning of love, peace and social justice.

Moua credits her father for instilling in her many of the values embraced by Dr. King.

“As a very influential man in my life, my father told me, ‘Respect and reputation doesn’t come from being too rich, educated, or powerful; it comes from being a humanitarian. You will never regret giving your time to someone in need. And as you grow older, you will look back and forever cherish these experiences because you will have already made your mark on the world.’”

Cotton began making her mark in the early 1960s as the education director for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, where she provided training for the disenfranchised on the importance of political participation, voter registration and nonviolent protest. In 1964, she accompanied King to Oslo, Norway, where he was presented the Nobel Peace Prize. Following King’s assassination, she served as the vice president for field operations for the Dr. M.L.K. Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta and became Southern Regional Director for ACTION, the federal agency for volunteer programs.

A native of North Carolina, Cotton has addressed issues of race relations, multiculturalism/diversity, personal development and nonviolence education around the world. Following more than 20 years engaged in civil rights activities, Cotton spent 10 years as director of student activities at Cornell University. She also is one of the founding members of the National Citizenship School, which focuses creating publicly accountable institutions that reflect high democratic ideals and support individual capacity to live a meaningful life.

“Having Ms. Cotton as our keynote speaker is a rare and rich opportunity for the Fox Valley,” said Kathy Flores, chair of the MLK Planning Committee and diversity coordinator for the city of Appleton. “While many people participated in marches during the Civil Rights era, Ms. Cotton had the honor of working side-by-side with Dr. King as a member of his staff. We hope many members of the community take advantage of her appearance and come hear her share her real-life experiences with us.”

In addition to Cotton’s remarks, the King celebration will feature the presentation of the annual Jane LaChapelle McCarty Unity in Diversity Award. Given by Toward Community, the award honors an area individual who has made great strides in bringing different people in the community together.

The celebration also features readings by area student winners of the annual Martin Luther King essay contest and musical performances led by Tim and Ezra Dorsey and 2008 Lawrence graduate Erica Hamilton.

A sign language interpreter will be present for the program and a reception for all in attendance follows the event.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries. For more information visit or follow us on Facebook.

Gender, Sexuality Issues Explored in Lawrence University Conference

Former high school librarian Debra Davis, now the executive director of the Gender Education Center, a Minnesota-based advocacy and education organization that promotes understanding, acceptance and support for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities, will deliver the keynote address at a day-long conference examining gender identity and sexuality issues Saturday, April 3 at Lawrence University.

The conference, “Who are the People in Your Neighborhood? Recognizing the ‘T’ and ‘B’ in GLBTQ,” will feature Davis’ address, a series of workshops, a documentary film and a drag show/dance.

Attendance at the conference is open to the public, however registration is required to attend the workshops. Interested participants can register the day of the conference ($15), beginning at 8:30 a.m. April 3 in the Science Hall Atrium on the Lawrence campus. Registrations will be accepted throughout the day until 5:30 p.m. The conference is open to Lawrence faculty, staff and students free of charge.

Highlighting the conference will be Davis’ keynote address, “Reading Rainbows: An Evening with a Transgendered Librarian,” at 7:30 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium. Unlike the rest of the conference, there is no charge to attend Davis’ lecture.

The conference will feature morning and afternoon workshop sessions conducted in Briggs Hall and Wriston auditorium led by Lawrence University faculty and students. Workshop topics scheduled include:

• Gender 101, led by Davis.

• What a Lesbian Looks Like: The Problems and Promise of Picturing Identity, led by Alexis Boylan, assistant professor of art.

• Rejecting Labels, Embracing Ambiguity: Challenging Gender and Sexual Binaries, led by Lawrence seniors Courtney Doucette and Erin Knapp.

• Boys in Skirts: Cross-dressing and Fluidity of Desire in Shakespeare, led by Gina Bloom, assistant professor of English.

• Putting a Queer Cast into a Straight Past, led by Edmund Kern, associate professor of history.

• Connecting the Personal, the Political and the Academic, led by Monica Rico, assistant professor of history.

• Conceptualizing No Gender: Buddhist Views of Sexual Identity, led by Dirck Vorenkamp, associate professor of religious studies.

• What Does Biology Have to Do With It?, led by Nancy Wall, associate professor of biology.

Other conference activities include a screening of Joelle Ruby Ryan’s documentary film, “TransAmazon: A Gender Queer Journey” at 3:30 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium and a drag show/dance at 9 p.m. in Riverview Lounge of the Lawrence Memorial Union. Additional conference information can be found at

The conference is sponsored by the student organization GLOW, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Class of 1965 Student Activities Grant.