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Reorienting Ourselves to the Reality of Not Yet | 2023 Symposium Week
October 23, 2023 at 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm CDT
As part of Symposium Week (October 23–25), United is hosting a public-facing event on Monday, October 23. This panel, titled “Reorienting Ourselves to the Reality of Not Yet,” will be facilitated by Rev. Dr. Gary F. Green II, United’s director of anti-racist initiatives and assistant professor of pastoral theology and social transformation.
“Reorienting Ourselves to the Reality of Not Yet” is a public event that officially launches the second wave of United’s Anti-Racist initiatives, which includes a focus on student formation and public engagement. This evening features a curated panel conversation that highlights the unique contributions of two scholars-activists who are engaging in the work of anti-racism through comedy and the Arts, and who will engage each other in a way that offers a unique angle of vision into the nurture of white supremacy and the possibilities for life in its wake.
The panel and public conversation will be preceded by an original production that presents United’s vision for this work, explains the unique approach we are taking, and features the voices of faculty speaking to their commitment and creative engagements with anti-racism in their teaching and scholarship. This public panel conversation officially launches United’s second wave of Anti-Racist Initiatives, kicking off a programmatic reorientation focused on student formation and a series of public panel conversations that creatively disrupt white supremacy and collectively envision life in its wake.
Keep reading to learn more about our panelists!
Dr. Danielle Fuentes Morgan
Dr. Danielle Fuentes Morgan is an associate professor at Santa Clara University. She specializes in African American literature and culture in the 20th and 21st centuries and is interested in the ways that literature, mass media, popular culture, and humor shape identity formation. In particular, her research and teaching reflect her interests in African American satire and comedy, the arts as activism, and the continuing influence of history on contemporary articulations of Black selfhood. As a professor at Santa Clara University, she teaches courses in the Department of English and the Department of Ethnic Studies. Danielle has written a variety of both scholarly and popular articles and has been interviewed on topics as varied as Black Lives Matter, race and The Twilight Zone, Black sisterhood in sitcoms, the satiric reappropriation of negative tropes, laughter as revolution, race and sexuality on the Broadway stage, and Beyoncé. Her book, Laughing to Keep from Dying: African American Satire in the Twenty-First Century (published Fall 2020 by University of Illinois Press as a part of the New Black Studies Series), addresses the contemporary role of African American satire as a critical realm for social justice. She is currently co-editing The Oxford Handbook of African American Humor Studies (Oxford University Press) with Dr. Brittney Michelle Edmonds in addition to working on her second monograph.
Dr. Green writes, “Danielle’s engagement with comedy and satire as a form of social justice makes her the perfect conversation partner for this event, particularly because comedy is a centerpiece to the design of Anti-Racist Initiatives at United. Her book Laughing to Keep from Dying: African American Satire in the Twenty-First Century has received public acclaim and will also be an important part of our conversation.” Click here to learn more about Dr. Morgan’s work. >
Terresa Moses is a proud Black queer woman dedicated to the liberation of Black and brown communities through art and design. As a designer and illustrator, her work focuses primarily on race, identity, and social justice. She advocates for positive change in her community using creativity as tools of community activism and organizing like her solo intersectional exhibition, Umbra, and her community distro project, Stop Killing Black People. Terresa is the Creative Director at Blackbird Revolt, a social justice-based design studio. She is also an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design and the Director of Design Justice at the University of Minnesota’s College of Design. As a community engaged scholar, her design research interests include; Project Naptural, which creates spaces to educate, connect, and empower Black women about their natural hair and self-identity, and Racism Untaught, a curriculum model that reveals ‘racialized’ design and helps students, educators, and organizations create anti-racist concepts through the design research process. She has multiple publications including two books set to publish in October 2023 through MIT Press, Racism Untaught and An Anthology of Blackness.
Dr. Green writes, “Terresa’s focus on embodying anti-racism through art is brilliant and will be featured, but it is her attention to design—how white supremacy lives in the details and/of design—that I want to invite her to unpack for the public to hear and engage. She also has a forthcoming book entitled, Racism Untaught: Revealing and Unlearning Racialized Design, is set to release October 3rd and will be a focus of the conversation.” Click here to learn more about Terresa’s work. >
Dr. Gary F. Green II
Rev. Dr. Gary F. Green II is United’s assistant professor of pastoral theology and social transformation and director of anti-racist initiatives at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. He earned his PhD from Brite Divinity School, where he focused on issues related to young African American men through the lens of public pastoral theology. His dissertation, “Playing the Game: Unmarking ‘Beast’ from the Bodies of Young Black Men,” is a project that seeks to humanize young black men by allowing their voices to challenge stereotypical scripts that cast them as “beasts” for public consumption. His broader research interests involve raising consciousness to issues of race, masculinity, and power, particularly when these issues are uniquely disclosed in spaces that are often overlooked by the Church and the Academy. Gary is committed to highlighting neglected sources in his research as a way to prioritize the revolutionary potential of voices that have gone unheard. His ultimate goal is to contribute to theological perspectives that can more adequately undergird sociopolitical redress for oppression in marginalized populations in the United States. Click here to learn more about Dr. Green. >