Leadership Lecture Series
The Center sponsors a series of lectures on campus that explore dimensions of leadership in line with the mission of the Center. These lectures are free and open to the larger Houston community.
A partnership with student organizations Rice Creative Society and ACE@Rice to host the first screening of "Black Girl Church” in this region. Over 200 guests joined us at the Moody center for the Arts to view this short film about black beauty and a panel with the creators: Audrey Williams, Marissa Pina, Joe Schaefer, and cast member and former editor of Nylon Mag and Refinery29, Sesali Bowen.
Black Lives Matter: Reimagining the Black Future
Panel discussion, organized by students in the “Religion and Black Lives Matter” course, with Houston-based Black Lives Matter activists, including students from Rice’s campus, artists, educators, and organizers from around the city. Featured dance performance choreographed by panelist Harrison Guy.
Discussion with Genesis Blu
A RELI 157/311 - Religion and Hip Hop Culture Course Public Event. Genesis Blu, native Houstonian and self-proclaimed Raptivist, was named “The Blue Haired Matron” of hip hop by Texas Monthly. Genesis tabled her psychotherapy Ph.D for a career in music and advocacy. In addition to her music career, Genesis devotes time to facilitating change in her community.
Discussion with Greydon Square
A RELI 157/311 - Religion and Hip Hop Culture Course Public Event. Greydon Square, is an American West Coast hip hop emcee, producer and sound engineer from Compton, California. He is a U.S. Army soldier and Iraq War veteran who is also an outspoken atheist.
Jonestown 40 Year Anniversary
In 1978, over 900 members of the predominantly African American Peoples Temple church died in the Jonestown Guyana massacre. In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the tragedy, CERCL hosted a screening of Sikivu Hutchinson’s film short, White Nights, Black Paradise, followed by a panel discussion with black women survivors, Leslie Wagner Wilson and Yulanda Williams on the black experience in the Jonestown diaspora.
Toward an Aesthetic Philosophy of Religion of Underground Hip-Hip Culture
Jon Ivan Gill, Visiting Lecturer in Africana Studies in Religion at Pomona Collegeand Lecturer in Philisophy at California State University provided a working definition of “underground hip-hop,” within the current scholarship on hip-hop studies and hip-hop and religion and introduced his concept of “Aesthetic Religion.”
OutKasted Conversations: Searching for Contemporary Southern Blackness via Hip Hop
With a focus on the pioneer rap duo OutKast, Regina N. Bradley, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, English and African Diaspora Studies at Kennesaw State University, explored how southern Black people use hip hop culture to update the narrative(s) surrounding race and identity in the contemporary American South.
The Shock of the Old: The Challenges and Possibilities for Archival Praxis After the Digital Turn
Dr. Maria Cotera is a scholar of Latina/o Studies whose work focuses on women of color feminist genealogies, social movements, digital studies, and public humanities.
Moods and Modes of ‘Slave Anastácia,’ Afro Brazilian Saint
Dr. Paul Christopher Johnson is a scholar of religion who focuses on theories of religion, ethnography, history of the study of religion, religion and race, and the modern history of Brazil. Dr. Johnson was a guest of CERCL's African American Religious Studies Forum.
Panel discussion to discuss the work of SLFEMP and Mike Frost, a photographer and graphic designer who has defined the image and branding of rap and hip hop albums in Texas and beyond and to celebrate his participation in CERCL's Hip Hop Archival Collection. The event will featured a 1000 photo slide show documenting Houston's underground rap culture.
Belief Materialized in Deeds - Engaging Sylvia Wynter
Dr. Mayra Rivera is a scholar of religion who focuses on the ethical dimensions of Christian thought, including how religion informs contemporary conceptions of race, gender, and coloniality. Her approach integrates the study of philosophical and literary texts, with particular attention to Latina/o and Caribbean sources. Dr. Rivera was a guest of CERCL's African American Religious Studies Forum.
En-gendering Violence: Hip Hop, Monstrous Bodies, and the Promise of the Diva
Dr. Joseph Richard Winters' research and teaching interests lie in African-American Religious Thought, Religion and Critical Theory, Af-Am Literature, and Continental philosophy. Overall, his project is concerned with troubling and expanding our understanding of black religiosity and black piety by drawing on resources from Af-Am literature, philosophy, and critical theory. Dr Winters was a guest of CERCL's African American Religious Studies Forum.
I'm NOT that Hungry: Black Queerness, American Neoliberalism, and the Capitalist Family
Dr. Thelathia "Nikki" Young, Assistant Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at Bucknell University joined us to discuss ethical issues of race, gender, and sexuality and how black queer communities possess, embody, and enact moral excellence. Dr. Crawley was a guest of CERCL's African American Religious Studies Forum.
The Lonely Letters (Or Blackness, Mysticism and the Flesh)
Dr. Ashon Crawley, Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies at University of California, Riverside joined to share his research and teaching experiences are in the areas of Black Studies, Performance Theory and Sound Studies, Philosophy and Theology, Black Feminist and Queer theories. Dr Crawley was a guest of CERCL's African American Religious Studies Forum.
Pimp C: A Trill Legacy
Panel discussion to discuss the legacy of Chad "Pimp C" Butler and celebrate his participation in CERCL's Hip Hop Archival Collection. Pimp C was a founding member of UGK along with Bernard "Bun B" Freeman in Port Arthur, Texas. The archive contains several documents and paraphernalia of the artist, including handwritten song lyrics on loose leaf paper and cardboard, a Grammy nomination, a copy of his obituary from his funeral, and several forms of artwork featuring Pimp C.
Atheism & Sexuality
Atheist blogger, speaker and author, Greta Christina discussed how the sexual morality of traditional religion tends to be based, not on solid ethical principles, but on a set of taboos about what kinds of sex God does and doesn’t want people to have. And while the sex-positive community offers a more thoughtful view of sexual morality, it still often frames sexuality as positive by seeing it as a spiritual experience. What are some atheist alternatives to these views? How can atheists view sexual ethics without a belief in God? And how can atheists view sexual transcendence without a belief in the supernatural?
Entrepreneurship… The DNA of Achievers: Developing Your Skills and Talents Seminar
Consistent with CERCL’s mission to enhance critical thinking skills and effective communications through engagement with Houston, this seminar with Professor Mathew Knowles provided an opportunity for the Rice community to enhance their talents and skills and develop ways to use them in a professional environment.
BLMHTX: Citizens Without Citizenship
On the campus of Rice University, CERCL in partnership with BLMHTX, presented an art exhibition and panel discussion that brought together Houston-based artists and academics. The aim was not only, or even primarily, to discuss the specific inequities that fundamentally ground our political, social and economic systems, but to imagine together alternative systems that seek, for instance, forms of community accountability beyond the existing criminal “justice” system, standards of educational achievement that hinge on creativity and critical thinking instead of excessive standardized testing, and neighborhood economic development that extends out of community collaboration instead of predatory capitalist models.
Religion, Artificial Intelligence, and Race: Being Human in the Age of Intelligent Machines
Dr. Sylvester Johnson, Associate Professor of African American Studies and Religious Studies and Director of the Center for African American History at Northwestern University joined to discuss religion, artificial intellegence and race. Dr Johnson was a guest of CERCL's African American Religious Studies Forum.
Havikoro 17th Anniversary - Panel Discussion
A panel discussion as part of a 3-day city-wide celebration recognizing Houston based Bboy crew Havikoro’s 17th Anniversary in partnership with CERCL. The weekend included a City of Houston Proclamation acknowledging March 4th as “Havikoro Day”, a Bboy competition with over 100 contestants from across the country, and a concert. Havikoro was inducted into CERCL's Hip Hop Archival Collection housed at the Woodson Research Center Special Collections and University Archives in Rice’s Fondren Library.
Enfleshing Love: Another Reading of Toni Morrison's Beloved
Beloved interrogates the soul murder or de-creation of black being human; at the same time, it moves toward possibilities of life and love, toward enfleshing love. In this lecture, I read Beloved from decolonial and theological perspectives to explore the significance of flesh, in particular, black flesh, and enfleshing love. Dr M. Shawn Copeland, professor of Theology at Boston College, was a guest of CERCL's African American Religious Studies Forum.
Secular Social Justice Conference
CERCL hosted the conference which addressed the lived experiences, cultural context, shared struggle and social history of secular humanist people of color and their allies. Topics such as economic justice, women of color beyond faith, LGBTQ atheists of color, African American Humanist traditions in hip hop, racial politics and the New Atheism and more were covered.
BLMHTX: Imagine a World Where Black Lives Matter
The College of Liberal Arts and Behavioral Sciences (COLABS) at TxSU and the Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning (CERCL) at Rice University invited the Houston community to join BLMHTX at TxSU for an experience of art, creative expression and critical dialogue about creating communities where ALL black lives matter.
Still Dreaming: Black Lives Matter, Hip Hop, and MLK’s Legacy
Award-winning artist David Banner, Houston legend Bernard “Bun B” Freeman, musical ambassador Toni Blackman, and author and Rice University professor Dr. Anthony Pinn discussed the intersection of music and civil rights; Lone Star College professor Dr. Aundrea Matthews moderated the dialogue. How has hip hop contributed to the conversations on racial justice, including the Black Lives Matter movement? Do artists have a responsibility to MLK’s legacy?
World AIDS Day: Houston's Response 34 Years Later
In 2013, SwishaHouse, became the first Houston recording label to be archived by CERCL at the Woodson Research Center Special Collections and University Archives at Rice University’s Fondren Library. We launched the archive with a panel discussion about the history of the label at Rice University's Grand Hall. On World AIDS Day, CERCL, SwishaHouse and CCM Foundation teamed up to bring artists, including Bernard "Bun B" Freeman, CERCL Distinguished Lecturer, to Rice to discuss 34 years of World AIDS Day and Houston's response.
BLMHTX: Imagine a World Where Black Lives Matter
In the wake of recent violence and brutality against black lives that continues to sweep the nation, this symposium brought together Houston artists, academics, activists and religious leaders to consider ways to respond locally. Our aim is simple: to concretely envision what it takes to create communities and a world where black lives matter. Through critical dialogue along with displays of art and film that confront issues of racism and justice this symposium provided a space for members of the Houston community to think in sustained ways about how to contribute to the valuing of black lives through their own areas of interest and influence.
Stand Your Ground: A Theological Response
Kelly Brown Douglas, Professor of Religion at Goucher College discussed her book as a guest of the CERCL's African American Religious Studies Forum.
Make the Magic Happen: Leading Others to Believe in the Impossible
Entrepreneur Marcus Davis, Chief Steward, tbk Holdings, Inc., Parent Company of the breakfast klub and Reggae Hut Café lectured on leadership in business and in life.
Malcolm X as Religious Peripatetic
Willam Hart, Professor and Head, Religion, Ethics, and Politics at University of North Carolina Greensboro lectured on Malcolm X as a guest of the CERCL's African American Religious Studies Forum.
Framing Matter & Embodying Words: The Plasticity of Sacred Things in Shifting Taxonomies
David Morgan, Professor & Chair, Department of Religious Studies at Duke University lectured as a guest of CERCL's African American Religious Studies Forum.
The Influence of Gandhi and King on Hip-Hop Culture
The panel discussion at the Menil Collection which featured Anthony Pinn, Bun B, Monica Miller, Talib Kweli, and Menil Director Josef Helfenstein explored the nature and significance of hip-hop's contribution to nonviolence and social justice.
The Posse Foundation: Preparing the Next Generation of Leaders
Posse is one of the most comprehensive college access and youth leadership development programs in the United States. Founding President, Deborah Bial, developed a model to identify promising students from urban backgrounds using an alternative set of measures as predictors of success in college. Selected students attend college in multicultural teams—or ‘Posses’—and receive financial, academic and social support throughout their college careers. These students end up persisting and graduating from elite colleges at very high rates and go on to become leaders in the workforce.
Black Blood Crying Out and the Birth of Black Theology
James Cone, Charles A. Briggs Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary is the preeminent constructive and political theologian, Dr. Cone’s talk provided a riveting memoir of the intellectual and personal contexts out of which his work has emerged, and he argued that America has yet to reckon with the black blood spilled in and through social institutions like slavery, Jim and Jane Crow segregation, and lynching. Dr Cone was a guest of CERCL's African American Religious Studies Forum.
To Make A Difference: Leadership in the Time of Globalization
Dr. Ahmed Samatar, James Wallace Professor, International Studies & Founding Dean, Institute for Global Citizenship at Macalester College discussed why leadership is imperative in any community, explored and defined the concept of leadership in the age of globalization and concluded with brief reflections on varied (e.g. academic and civic) personal experiences with leadership.
The Four Facets of Vision and Their Role in Leadership, Enterpreneurship, and Life
Marcus Davis is Chief Steward, tbk Holdings, Inc., Parent Company of the breakfast klub and Reggae Hut Café. The entrepreneur and Houston native discussed his guiding principles in business in life.
I Have A Dream...! Martin Luther King's Reception as Theologian and Civil Rights Leader in Germany
Dr. Haspel is a Professor at Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. This lecture explored the different reception of King in West and East Germany: In West Germany he is seen mainly as political activist, in East Germany in turn as theologian and church leader. Dr. Haspel was a guest of CERCL's African American Religious Studies Forum.
Deification, Demonization and Reconciliation in South Africa: Will the Centre Hold? -
Dr. Allan Boesak is a visiting Professor at Butler University and Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. He is deeply and passionately involved in global struggles for human rights, social, economic and ecological justice, gender and sexual justice across the world.
Liberal Arts and Leadership in Higher Education
Michael McPherson, President of the Spenser Foundation discussed the current assault on liberal education by many university leaders, why it matters, and what can be done about it.
Overcoming the Legacy of Slavery: A Challenge for Religion
Bernadette J. Brooten, Kraft-Hiatt Professor of Christian Studies, of Women's and Gender Studies, of Classical Studies, and of Religious Studies at Brandeis University, is founder and director of the Brandeis Feminist Sexual Ethics Project. This project aims to create Jewish, Christian, and Muslim sexual ethics rooted in freedom, mutuality, meaningful consent, responsibility, and female (as well as male) pleasure, untainted by slave-holding values.
Developing New Leaders: The Future of Public Education
Terry Grier is currently superintendent of Houston Independent School District where his contract was recently extended through June 2016. During his time as superintendent, dropout rates have decreased to all-time lows while graduation rates have increased to an all-time high.
Culture and Politics - Reflections on the Necessity of Recognition and Ethics of Leadership in Today's Germany
Prof. Dr. Jurgen Manemann is Director of the Research Institute for Philosophy Hanover, Germany. Until 2009 he was professor of Christian belief, religion and cultural theory at the catholic-theological faculty of the University of Erfurt. He is a student of Johann Baptist Metz and one of the most prominent representatives of the "new" political theology. Dr Manemann was a guest of CERCL's African American Religious Studies Forum.
Martin Luther King Jr. The Organic Scholar: Engagement at the Intersection of Theory and Practice
Dr. Virgil Wood, church leader, educator, and civil rights activist, served with Martin Luther King, Jr., as a member of the National Executive Board of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for the last ten years of Dr. King’s life and work, and Coordinated the State of Virginia in the Historic March on Washington, April 28, 1963.
Toni Morrison's Trouble in Paradise: A Complex Site of Contestable Ethics in Womanist Work
Dr. Katie Cannon is a founding figure in womanist scholarship. The first African-American woman ordained in the United Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Cannon focuses her work in the areas of Christian ethics, Womanist theology, and women in religion and society. She has lectured nationally on theological and ethical topics and is the author or editor of numerous articles and seven books including Katie’s Canon: Womanism and the Soul of the Black Community and Black Womanist Ethics. Dr. Cannon was a guest of CERCL's African American Religious Studies Forum.
The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True
Richard Dawkins was the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford until his retirement in 2008. He is the author of eleven books. His title, The God Delusion has sold more than two million copies in English, and is being published in 30 other languages. In 2008, Dawkins edited The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing. To promote the values of education, science, and critical thinking skills, he established The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (RDFRS) which has branches in both the UK and USA.
Discussion with Russell Simmons
Rice Campus was invited to a special session of the HERE Project Sponsored Religion and Hip Hop Class for a public discussion as Russell Simmons and Professor Bun B had a dialogue on Yoga and the Principles of Simmons book SUPER RICH: A Guide to Having It All.
Hearts, Hands & Heritage:The Patchwork Soul of Women Panel Discussion
This panel discussion was part of the bi-annual Hearts Hands and Heritage quilt exhibit. Speakers included Aundrea Matthews (Moderator) - PhD Student, Department of Religious Studies - Rice University; Michelle Barnes - Executive Director, Community Artist' Collective; Bob Ruggiero - Director of Publications and Public Information, International Quilt Festival; Dr. Tracy L. Vaughn - Distinguished Senior Lecturer and Asst Director of Graduate Studies, Dept of African American Studies - Northwestern University; Auian Ward - Quilt Practitioner and Member, Blue Triangle Quilt Guild; Jerona Williams - Founder and President, Blue Triangle Quilt Guild.
Co-sponsored by the Department of Visual @ Dramatic Arts
The Future of Houston's Former Suburbs: A View from Sharpstown - infrastructure, education, quality of life
A panel discussion featuring Alexander X. Byrd (Moderator) - Associate Professor of History, Director of Undergraduate Study, Rice University; Bill Calderon - Executive Director, Greater Sharpstown management District; Anita Lundvall - Principal, Pat Neff Elementary School; M.J. Khan - Member of Houston City Council; Mimi E. Ortiz - Sales Manager, Vonnie Cobb Realtors; Milton Winebrenner - President, Sharpstown Civic Association
Leadership in Crisis: Guiding Houston through the Storm
Exactly six months to the day after Hurricane Ike struck Houston, Mayor White and Judge Emmett will discuss the leadership challenges they had to overcome to guide Houston through the storm.
Co-Sponsored by Leadership Rice
Being Ridiculous in an Era of Gradualistic Thinking
Dr. Benjamin L. Hall, III is a Harvard-trained lawyer who founded The Hall Law Firm in 2000. Hall was the City Attorney for the City of Houston during the administration of Mayor Bob Lanier. He has received numerous honors and accolades for his services in the legal field and has received many scholastic honors. Hall has been an ordained minister since 1975 and has served the congregation of the Progressive Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ since 1974.
Texas and the Presidential Election
A panel discussion featuring, Stephen Klineberg (Moderator) - Professor of Sociology, Rice University / Director, Houston Area Survey; Ada Edwards - Deputy Chief of Staff of Neighborhoods, Harris County; Sylvia Garcia - Harris County Commisioner, Precinct 2; Michael Lindsay - Assistant Professor of Sociology, Rice University / Assistant Director, CORRUL; Robert Stein - Lena Gohlman Fox Professor of Political Science, Rice University
Leadership in Service
Ann Best is the Executive Director of Teach For America in Houston. Ann has a passion for ensuring that children growing up in low-income communities have the opportunity to attain an excellent education. Her work with Teach For America in the Houston community allows her to work toward making that vision a reality on a daily basis.
Dr Edith Irby Jones
Edith Irby Jones, M.D., M.A.C.P, Chief of Medical Staff, Riverside General Hospital. Dr. Jones was the first black graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Medicine. Based on her outstanding contributions to medicine, she was elected the first female president of the National Medical Association and was the first black woman resident at Baylor College of Medicine Affiliated Hospitals. Dr. Jones founded the Edith Irby Jones Foundation to fund scholarships for the needy and has achieved local and national recognition through her many contributions to civil religious and political issues
Preparing for a Lifetime of Leadership
Pastor Kirbyjon H. Caldwell, Senior Pastor at Windsor Village United Methodist Church discussed his personal journey as a religious and community leader in Houston.
Co-Sponsored by Leadership Rice
A panel discussion focusing on the unique challenges facing the education system in Houston, Texas. Featuring: Siva Kumari - Advisor to the Provost, K-12 Initiatives, Rice University; Julia Dimmitt - Executive Principal, Central Regional Office, Houston ISD; Rafael Alvarez - President, Genesys Works; Dan De Leon - Principal, Chavez High School; Ronald L Mumphrey - Principal, Cullen Middle School; Cynthia Wilson - Regional Superintendent, Houston
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