Dispatches from Yellow Springs Save Antioch Group

 A handful of townies, students, faculty andstaff met in the Coretta Scott King Center on Thursday 27th September for what will now be a weekly meeting of organizing and information exchange. The two main items on the agenda were Founder’s Day and Homecoming preparation. Students planning Founder’s Day expressed their wish to have the Yellow Springs community participate to the event. “We wanted to make sure that everyone could participate so we made [the parade] start later in the afternoon’”  said Antioch student Molly Thornton, who helped organize the event. The parade will be leaving the stoop at 4:15 p.m. and its itinerary includes the main axes of Yellow Springs.

Group coordinator and alumna Judy Wohlert-Maldonado expressed concern at the potential lack of lodging for Homecoming weekend. The Board of Trustees Meeting of the weekend of the 26th/27th of October will be heavily attended by alumni, and in parallel the Peak Oil conference will take place, thus overbooking accomodations around the town of Yellow Springs. Though talks of opening South Gym to alumni and their sleeping bags are in motion, Wohlert-Maldonado called for all community members, especially college faculty and townspeople to open their homes to visiting alumni.

The next Yellow Springs organizing meeting will take place on Thurs. Oct. 4th  at 7 p.m. in the CSKC and is open to all community members who want to make signs for the parade and discuss the referendum.

Historian Paul Cook speaks at CSKC

“Youth change the world,” proclaimed Paul Cook, historian and author of “Segregation in Ohio”, “because youth are more inclined to take risks since they feel there is nothing to lose.”  Cook, the guest speaker at the Coretta Scott King Center’s Tuesday night gathering, sponsored in part by the ACLU, described how youth became a major catalyst for global and civil rights awareness and change.
Cook spoke about the ways in which youth participated in groundbreaking direct action. Youth played strong roles in the Montgomery bus boycott, the sit-ins at Wolworth’s and other white-only facilities, voter registrations, and the Plessy vs. Ferguson case.  Each of these events as well as the totality of their revolutionary progress ignited people across the nation to stand up against their fears.
A brief question and answer session followed Cook’s lecture. Unfortunately, few students attended this event. Instead several alumni and foreigners to Antioch’s familiar bubble were present. Yet Cook still encourages us in the words of Franz Fanon: “Every generation has its mission, and we have to decide whether to accept or reject it.”

CSKC brings Peace to Campus

On the sixth anniversary of the poignant event of September 11, 2001, which sparked the war the United States is currently fighting, many peaceful spirits united to reflect on the meaning of peace. The event, (Being) Peace in Our World, held at the Coretta Scott King Center, was enlightening, refreshing, eye-opening, informative, majestic, and, well, peaceful.  A table of light ’n’ splendid (non caf-affiliated) refreshments as well as a display of home-made thongs were readily available to all participants. The speakers included Jarens Banks, BarbaraO, Steve Fryburg, Sandra Piedrahita Sanchez of Colombia, and Ras Calhoun, each very well-versed in peaceful living and action.
The panelists were asked three main questions: Is world peace possible? How do you define peace? And, is it obtainable in your mind? BarbaraO took us off the beaten path and into our inner light to find the peace residing in our souls, enabling us to glow and illuminate others who are in the dark. With all the violence in today’s society, we could use some peaceful thinking, and according to Sanchez, Columbia desperately needs it.  “It’s hard for me to talk about peace because I’ve never experienced it before. In my country, we are so war-driven that people don’t dream of being poets, engineers, musicians etc., they only aspire to be military fighters,” she said.
One of the many causes of national militaristic mindsets is lack of peace education. The vast majority of schools in Colombia, the United States, and abroad only teach the history of was.  But when it comes to history of peace, the closest we get is learning about Gandhi and civil disobedience. War heroes such as Attila the Hun, Napoleon Bonaparte, Ulysses S. Grant, Genghis Kahn, and Alvin York get etched in history’s stone, yet “veterans like Desmond Doss (WWII), who refused to kill anyone because of religious views and thus received a medal of honor, are forgotten,” Fryburg informs.
The general consensus of the conference was that peace must first be wanted. “We have this view that violence is inevitable,” says Steve Fryburg. “All you have to do is say, ‘I want peace.’” Yet he realizes it’s not that easy. “If peace were easy, we would have world peace. The hard part is stopping yourself from strike-back violence and asking, ‘what caused this?’” he assures.  Before hypothesizing world peace, the word “peace” must be defined, and if the discussion came to any kind of conclusion, it was that peace is different for everybody. “Peace is coming together for some, for others it’s a spa, a butterfly fluttering by, or for some, it’s when your children stop fighting,” states Jarens Banks.  Even the smallest forms of peace are very important.  “It’s very essential to greet people with smiles, hugs, positive words and an overall peaceful demeanor,” advises Ras Calhoun.  “The small pieces together create the big picture,” says Sanchez. Banks builds upon this idea: “if you do one peaceful thing, other people will see it, feel more at peace, and in return perpetuate the peace chain.”
Peace manipulators cannot be forgotten though. In Colombia, the subject of peace has been manipulated by the president, Álvaro Uribe, who preaches peace but practices war. Sometimes the amount of disbelief of peace’s possibilities can overwhelm all hopes of its success. “Peace better be possible,” declares BarbaraO. “I believe it’s our purpose in life, so be as deep as you really are.”
If you missed the event and are interested in attending a similar one, there are a few to choose from. This Sunday, an Open Spaces Dialogue (Citizens’ Convention) is being held at the Dayton Convention Center, focusing on how to make Dayton an official City of Peace. Admission is free, and food is provided. For more info, call 937-227-3223 or visit  www.daytoncityofpeace.org. There is also a Peace One Day Festival next Friday from 4:00-9:00 p.m. at the Courthouse Square, 3rd and Main, downtown Dayton, featuring live music, speakers, and various booths. For more info, email info@daytonpeacemuseum.org.

CSK Center Candidate Visits Campus


In its search for a new director, the Coretta Scott King Center (CSKC) for Cultural and Intellectual Freedom conducted its first interview on campus last Tuesday with candidate Dana Patterson. Two more candidates are expected.

The director’s job description is ambitious. He or she must serve as a special assistant to the president on institutional diversity. He or she must also sit on the presidential staff group in order to ensure that when the cabinet discusses campus issues, the importance of diversity is a part of the conversation. In addition to that, the director must raise funds for the CSKC. Continue reading CSK Center Candidate Visits Campus

A New Acronym: CSKC Prepares to Open its Doors

By Madeline Helser 

Coretta Scott King once said, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members…? and it holds true today, especially when applied to our institution.

Construction is slated for completion on the Coretta Scott King Center for Cultural and Intellectual Freedom, designed to enhance knowledge and awareness about cultural identity in our community and beyond. It aims to educate future generations about cultural struggles and focus on how, as a community, to increase the unity among the different cultural identities.

The CSK Center was the notion of Bob Devine and Team 7. Team 7 was part of the renewal plan for Antioch College given to us by the Board of Trustees. The idea for the center was motivated by an essay written by Dr. Everett Freeman on some of Dr. King’s writings on community. Dr. Freeman was then on the Board of Trustees, and is now the President of the University of Indianapolis. It was in the renewal plan that Team 7 would articulate some sort of center for cultural and intellectual freedom. Out of the plan and the mind of Team 7 and Bob Devine, The CSK Center was born.

After a few weeks on the project, Bob Devine resigned, and Beverly Rodgers became the chair of Team 7. Team 7 was one of the most diverse teams working on the renewal. The team had good community representation; students, staff, and faculty were all represented in a very diverse manner. The team created job descriptions for Diversity positions within the administration.

The positions created were Director/ Diversity Advisor to the President of the College and Administrative Assistant/Diversity Advocate. “The position of Director is loaded with responsibilities, including fundraising, which will be important to the Center’s programming and future staffing. The new director will also need to be visionary, and carry out projects and ideas to better inform and engage the community. They will also serve as a special assistant to the president on institutional diversity; this is crucial to the retention and recruitment of faculty, staff, and students of color. We are a very white campus, especially in the upper-administrative positions, and the Director will hopefully be able to assist with this problem as they sit in the President’s staff group and bring in resources to support faculty, staff, and students of color.? Says Lauren Hind, an upperclassmen working for the Center. As of now, they are in the process of interviewing and hiring an administrative assistant and are in the last steps of hiring a director, which includes visits to campus and talks given by the three candidates in the Inn during Lunch.

When Steve Lawry was hired as President, things were not flowing together very smoothly, so Beverly Rodgers was asked to step in as Interim Director for the Project. Beverly’s job is to oversee the entire renovation of the building that used to be used and known as the G-Space and Security. From overseeing the installation of the carpet to the programs hopefully being set into place, Beverly deals with it all. The main part of Beverly’s job as Interim Director is to organize. She is to get all of the little things out of the way so when the Director starts in early January, the little things will be out of the way and the director will be able to start their job right away. She also has staff meetings with the people that are going to be occupying the new offices in the CSK. Until now, the groups to occupy those offices have had no direct supervision. She is also to get a handle on the budget for the CSK Center. The CSK Center, until just recently, has had no direct monetary support.

The As far as physical changes to the building, the laundry equipment was removed, which included the floor having to be leveled, the electricity taken out, and the walls needing to be repaired and painted. The rest of the building was carpeted and painted as well. It is now being wired for Computers and Internet Access. There are new doors on the front and main entrance and the fireplace is being replaced from a wood burning type to one with gas logs. There are going to be 8 offices set up. The director, the administrative assistant will occupy two of the offices. The other offices will be for the Bonner program, the Makeit program, Vista Americorps, and the community engagement office. The office furniture has already been ordered and should be in by the week of October 16. Once the furniture is in the building, everything should be set within 2 weeks. The Lounge furniture for the common room, formerly known as the G-Space, won’t be in, however, until the middle of November.

As far as programs in the future, Beverly has positive outlooks. “Antioch has a lot to offer our community. But sometimes we get very hidden under a bushel basket. Let’s look at how privilege plays out in the outside world. We need to continue dialogue about it. It’s an important facet of education.? A goal is to be able to have a good developed program for next term. A positive step was bringing Allen Johnson to campus, as he opened up the arena for discussion on topics of cultural identity on a new level.

She has in mind a program educating about Youth Urban Violence, specifically in the Dayton area. It would be for volunteer work or for co-op. Beverly believes that it would be a wonderful way to expand students’ ability to connect with the area.

Another possible program would be focused on immigration. “ I feel like immigration is something that people just do not know much about,? said Rodgers, “we have so many opportunities to interact and focus on what we already have.? The aspects of things like availability of healthcare, work, and ESL courses are important to the immigration issue. There are so many struggles associated with it that it is very much linked to cultural and intellectual freedom. Beverly remarked, “Allen provided good grounds for discussion of that once again. To be able to express culture freely and respectfully, you have to be empowered. It doesn’t necessarily have to be regional or national, but we can look at it on a smaller level, because in some way, it all connects.?

Overall, The Coretta Scott King Center for Cultural and Intellectual Freedom is headed in the right direction. “I went to Atlanta to talk to Mrs. King, and I feel we have a serious responsibility that we do honor her name. She expanded on Dr. King’s ideology with the fight for the rights of women and gay’s as well as supporting HIV research. She was courageous and forceful, yet elegant. A truly amazing person,? said Beverly.

There will be an opening celebration for the center sometime in the spring of next year. The orchestra will play and alumni will flood Kelly Hall. It will be a celebration of cultural freedom and diversity. As Beverly said, “We may be small, but we’re pretty mighty!? We can accomplish anything we put our minds to, and the King Center is solid proof of that.