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Social Justice Block Party

Fostering Community Through Creativity

Mission Statement

Social Justice Block Party Mission Statement

The Social Justice Block Party is intended to unify the Adler community around our social justice mission.

The “Block Party” theme was chosen to symbolize solidarity and joy. The Online booths are concurrent sessions where departments and campus organizations/committees hosts an activity or workshop, focusing on a creative and social justice-centered topic such as Joy & Community, Writing to Heal, and Health & Wellness. The goal of the online booths are to introduce participants to any aspect of culture, history, movement-building, health, etc., that illuminates, education, joy, and community.

Social Justice Block Party Sessions

April 27th Social Justice Block Party

Please see below for the Social Justice Block Party schedule and presentation topics. Clicking each session title will take you to the registration link. Registration is encouraged to ensure you will have a space reserved in the sessions of your choice. Times listed below are in U.S. Central time.

2:30-3:30 p.m.: Opening Session

Opening Session: Social Justice Verzuz

Presented by: Dr. Michelle Dennis and Kyra Lobbins
Moderated by: Dr. Sheri Lewis

Join us in an opening session listening to Dr. Michelle Dennis and Kyra Lobbins’ favorite social justice-centered songs. Following the format from the popular internet musical competition, “Verzuz”, started by Hip hop producers Swizz Beats and Timbland, Dr. Dennis and Kyra will share musical inspirations that have shaped their experiences around joy, community, creativity.

3:45-4:30 p.m.: Joy and Community

Please click the session you would like to attend and complete the registration page.

Let’s Talk Super Powers! Uncovering the Super Strength In YOU!

Presented by: Adler University Admissions

Exploring the questions: What makes you powerful? In what ways do your unique abilities contribute to success for yourself and others? Join the Online Admissions Team to unlock the superpowers you have and how to harness them. As human beings we all have Super Strengths to help us navigate daily through life’s twist, turns, ups and downs. Let’s uncover some of those superpowers that we all possess that can best help us to grow as individuals, support our immediate family, and those communities that we serve or need our services. At our booth, we will host superhero trivia, discuss why superpowers are important, how to determine the superpowers you have, and how to use your powers for the greater good. In this session, you will be able to have an open discussion on how you amaze others, the times when you are fearless, what you can see more clearly than others, and what feels effortless to you that could be useful in supporting someone else’s struggles.

Learning About Money

Presented by: Student Accounts

The objective of our booth is to share resources that are available in the Student Accounts department, as well as to provide students with an opportunity to address financial concerns.

Finances can be a scary topic to discuss openly, and can make us feel vulnerable. In our session, we want to push through that fear by identifying useful ways to be more financially aware and secure. Through discussion and a game of money bingo, we hope to empower students to embrace financial literacy and become more confident about their relationship with money.

Art and Culture for Social Justice

Presented by: Dr. Ashley Marshall

The objective of the session will be to educate participants about the role of art and cultural activities to further the work of social justice. Participants will go through a self-reflective exercise where they can write or draw responses to a poem about where they are from, bringing to the forefront, where they were born, their family ancestry, and generational legacies. Through the exercise, we will discuss how art is a medium through which individuals can learn, experience, and express themselves. To participate in the session participants will need paper, markers, pens, colored pencils, or crayons.

Acknowledging Men’s Stories in Public Health and Public Administration

Presented by: Dr. Jeffery Bankhead and Dr. Eddie Gordon

In our session, we will share our experiences, as Black men, navigating disparities within public health and public administration. Centering storytelling, this session will share personal accounts and visions of improvements, innovation, and creativity from those on the front line. The presenters will engage participants with a trivia game, with the chance to win a $40 Amazon Gift card. We encourage attendees to think of ways they can contribute to the fields of public health and public administration and reimagine what health care spaces could be for men, and more specifically for men of color.

Building Community through Sports Talk

Presented by: Department of Student Experience & Academic Advising

Sports bring communities together through uniting cities or individual fans across the globe. Whether it be the love of competition, the pride for your city or hometown, an inspired passion from your favorite players, an admiration of the sport itself, or the search for belonging, sports go hand-in-hand when thinking of joy and community. And through that, people can find reprieve and happiness among friends, family, or even strangers with the same love for their team. Furthermore, the community mentality doesn’t stop with the fans, but spreads through individual athletes and their contribution to their own communities in notable ways: they raise awareness surrounding social justice issues; educate the mass about topics that may otherwise go unacknowledged by many, such as mental health, or politics and policies; and speak to the importance of perseverance and perspective through failures. Join us in conversation about our connection with sports.

4:30-4:45 p.m.: Break
4:45-5:30 p.m.: Writing to Heal

Please click the session you would like to attend and complete the registration page.

Sharing collection of poems and music undefined

Presented by: Jalini Paramsothi

This session creates space for BIPOC folks to write, recite, and express the art form of poetry and music. I have been writing poetry for many years without publishing. I hope this session can be a place to empower folks to publish and share their creative works within the academy and beyond.

5:30-5:45 p.m.: Break
5:45-6:45 p.m.: Health and Wellness

Please click the session you would like to attend and complete the registration page.

**Reducing Stress to Improve Mood and Health (6:00 – 6:50 p.m.)

Presented by: Donna DiMatteo-Gibson and Tricia Mazurowski

In our session, we will explore different options for fitness at every level and how to create time to work on fitness and wellness. We will go through some yoga poses that has proven to reduce stress, improve our mood, and overall health. We want to ensure participants know how to make wellness a priority, even in challenging times.

Instituting Self Care With And For Black And POC Women

Presented by: Michelle Dennis and Irene Jones

In our booth session, we will focus on self-care for Black and POC women. We will lead a meditation, discuss self-care strategies, and illustrate the importance of self-care as acts of resistance, joy, sustainability, and community.

Celebrate Your Disabilities

Presented by: Elle Tivine and Christena Gunther

Too often, disabilities are seen as limitations or mere pathologies. Society doesn’t celebrate the beauty, uniqueness and perspective that having a disability can bring. This session will be about celebrations. What makes you unique? What perspective do you have on the world that others could learn from? What would you like people to know about your disability? Come hear the stories of the moderators and the stories of other participants who have found cause to celebrate their disabilities. We hope that everyone who comes to the session has a better understanding of how disabilities can be accommodated, appreciated and celebrated.

Mental Health from the Christian Perspective

Presented by: Dr. James Halbert

We often find ourselves in situations or circumstances that we don’t understand. This session will deal with challenging circumstances and decisions that may be beyond our control.

We will ask ourselves:

  • What steps can I take to relieve this burden?
  • How am I supposed to feel or act during this challenging circumstance?
  • How can I have peace in a world like this?

Addressing these questions through a biblical perspective using the scripture, we will touch on these topics and focus our attention on the importance of spirituality.

6:45-7:00 p.m.: Break
7:00-8:00 p.m.: Music

Please click the session you would like to attend and complete the registration page.

Adapt! Improvise! Overcome! Musical Metaphors and Military Psychology

Presented by: Dr. Barton Buechner

Music of each era carries the meaning or “zeitgeist” of the age. Members of the military and veterans are a part of this musical journey, bringing their own songs to get them through hard times, and composing new ones to describe feelings and experiences that sometimes transcend mere words. Songs arise from all aspects of the experience of war, from the close bonds shared by soldiers to the anguish of the loss of comrades and the ever-present yearning for home. Protest songs are their own genre, too – helping to give form to the hope that someday war will be no more. Music also carries home the magic of faraway lands and cultures, serving as a medium for collaboration and the creation of new forms of culture and celebration!

Come into our circle and bring your music! I will offer some examples of the way that music has intertwined with the military and veterans experience, and some positive ideas for social justice from genres such as folk, jazz, and more. Imagine a jam session or “open mic” night, where everyone is welcome to find their place in creating music together!

We will challenge the pervasive belief (on both sides) that the military and veterans’ communities are closed to others who do not share their experience. In this session we want to think of more ways to use music to bridge those gaps! We want to think about ways to use improvisational skills to create “intercultural agility” in building community, working across diversity, and preventing (or transforming) conflicts; tapping into ideas from musical composition and structure to create more qualities of equality, openness, and creativity.

This is an open-mic Jam session! All are welcome to come and bring your curiosity and love of music!

Yo DJ! Turn Up The Volume: How Music Shapes Perspectives on Social Justice and Emotional Intelligence

Presented by: Jessica Thompson

This will be an opportunity for participants to engage in an interactive musical journey. Music has always been an outlet of expression for joy, suffering, and support. During our time together, we will take a deep dive through various musical styling throughout the years and make personalized connections aligned with specific social justice and emotional intelligence themes.

As a facilitator, I will lead participants through various genres and musical stylings, offering lyrical videos and ask them to determine which themes they associate the song with and drive discussion based on the analysis provided.

The booth’s goal is to expose participants to a new way of engaging with music and build community through a shared experience inspired by the alignment that music brings to all.

Hip Hop Music Videos As Embodiments Of Social Justice

Presented by: Center for Civic Learning & Community Action

This session will survey Hip-Hop, R&B, and Reggae music videos to explore and identify the creative ways artists advanced acts of social justice in musical forms. This session will feature videos by Public Enemy, Outkast, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliot, and many others, where facilitators will host group dialogue on music and image-making and its visual significance within expressive Black culture.

Protest Songs Through the Decades

Presented by: Tene Gray

From the days of slavery through the Civil Rights Era to the BLM movement, Black music has emboldened American protests with songs so intertwined with events that they’ve become part of the country’s history themselves. Songs that raised fists in solidarity in the 60’s found a rebirth during racial justice uprisings of the last decade. Every generation brings new anthems about strife in justice. In this session, we will listen to protest songs from each decade exploring the messaging from each decade while comparing/contrasting the relevant issues of today to the issues from that decade. We’ll also discuss ways in which music inspires us to become change agents today!

8:10 p.m.: Closing Session

Closing Session: Reflections and future possibilities of joy, community, and creativity at Adler University

Presented by: Dr. Sheri Lewis, Tene Gray, and Elle Tivine

As we close out the Block party, we want to reflect on the significance of joy, creativity and community. How can we continue to center joy in our work? What can institutional leaders do to help make space for creativity, joy and community? Who are we becoming without these themes part of our everyday lives? Addressing these questions, in a open dialogue, we will close out the block party with new possibilities and commitments to self actualization, healing, and acts of liberation.