Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Press Release/PSA: Co-Founder of the National Black Lives Matter Movement Visits C-U

Press Release/PSA
For Immediate Release
January 27, 2016


For media inquires, please contact:
Megan Flowers, University YMCA Communications Director
[megan@universityymca.org; 217-337-1500]


#BlackLivesMatter
Opal Tometi, Co-Founder of the
National Black Lives Matter Movement Visits C-UTometi O-Photo (High Res HEADSHOT) Credit Hank Willis Thomas (1).JPG


[Champaign-Urbana, IL] The University YMCA hosts Opal Tometi, Co-Founder of the National Black Lives Matter Movement on Friday February 19, 2016. Opal Tometi introduced the world to the Twitter hashtag and launched the Black Lives Matter Movement, along with Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors.


With personal perspective as a first generation American and an experienced community organizer, Tometi reveals raw insights on the adversities inflicted by social injustice, anti-black bias and uninformed views on immigration, educating and inspiring audiences to organize and stand together to transform society into a world where the lives and contributions of all individuals are recognized equally.

A Conversation with Opal Tometi will begin at 12:00pm in Allen Hall (1005 W. Gregory Dr., Urbana, IL) on the UIUC campus will begin at 12pm. This event is free and open to the public.

The Lunch Reception with Opal Tometi and members of the local chapter of Black Lives Matter will follow her talk at 1:30pm at the University YMCA, 1001 S Wright St., Champaign. Available by registration only, the lunch reception with Opal Tometi is an opportunity for people to learn more about the state of the movement and how the movement is playing out in Champaign-Urbana. Tickets for the lunch reception with Opal Tometi are available for purchase for $50 at http://www.universityymca.org/blacklivesmatter/ or by calling 217-337-1500. Community members are encouraged to sponsor a student ticket at $25. Space is limited. Please RSVP by February 15, 2016. Note: A limited number of sponsored tickets will be available for free; please contact kasey@universityymca.org or call 217-337-1500 to ask about sponsored tickets by the RSVP deadline of Monday, February 15, 2016.


WHEN & WHERE: Friday, February 19, 2016

12:00pm
A Conversation with Opal Tometi: Allen Hall, 1005 W. Gregory Dr., Urbana, IL
(Free and open to the public) 
Follow the event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1690005827882685/

1:30pm-3:00pm
Post-Lecture Lunch Reception with Opal Tometi: University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright St., Champaign, IL 
(Purchase tickets at universityymca.org/blacklivesmatter or by calling 217-337-1500) 


WHO: A dedicated activist working at the intersection of racial justice and immigrant rights for more than a decade, Opal Tometi was incensed by the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin—and inspired to take action. Starting the Twitter hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter, Tometi (with Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors), prompted activism nationwide and introduced the banner under which this generation’s civil rights movement marches.
An established immigration rights advocate and community organizer, Tometi’s passionate interest stems from experience as the child of Nigerian immigrants. Recognized as a rising leader in the movement, she was named a “New Civil Rights Leader” by the Los Angeles Times for her work building movements that bridge immigrant and human rights initiatives to the ever-growing black liberation movement. In 2015, Tometi and her fellow Black Lives Matter co-founders were honored with inclusion on The Root’s Top 100 List for the movement’s social and political impact.




Additional Information: Opal Tometi’s visit is a part of the Spring 2016 Friday Forum lecture series, “Breaking Down Down Racism: Fighting Racial Injustice in the U.S.” Her visit marks the third event in the series that builds upon discussions of young people’s experiences with racism by highlighting specific tools, campaigns, and changes necessary to combat racism and break down the institutional barriers to equality. 

Opal Tometi's visit is sponsored by Black Lives Matter: Champaign-Urbana, Bruce Nesbit African American Cultural Center, Central Black Student Union, and the University YMCA. Funding by SORF.




The Friday Forum lecture series is a program of the University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright St, Champaign.​ The views expressed by the speakers do not necessarily reflect the views of the University YMCA, co-sponsors, or the Friday Forum committee. A sign language interpreter is available with a 72 hours notice (contact Carol Nunn at 217-337-1500). All forums are radio broadcast at 6:00 p.m. on WEFT 90.1 the Monday following the lecture. You may also find archived Friday Forum lectures on the Y's YouTube channel.

All Friday Forum lectures at the University YMCA are free and open to the public.


The Spring 2016 Friday Forum lectures series, “Breaking Down Racism: Fighting Racial Injustice in the U.S.” is sponsored by: Anne Robin, Atmospheric Science, Black Lives Matter: Champaign-Urbana, Bruce Nesbitt African American Cultural Center, Center for African Studies, a National Resource Center under the U.S. Department of Education's Title VI Program, Central Black Student Union, Channing Murray Foundation, The Chapel of St. John the Divine Episcopal Church, College of Fine and Applied Arts, Counseling Center, C-U AAUW, Department of Recreation, Sport, and Tourism, Diversity and Social Justice Education, First Mennonite Church, First Presbyterian Church of Monticello, Friedman Law Group, LTD, Human Development and Family Studies, League of Women Voters of Champaign County, LGBT Resource Center, McKinley Presbyterian Church and Foundation, New Covenant Fellowship, Prairie Research Institute, The School of Social Work, Social Action Committee of the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Urbana-Champaign, University of Illinois Speech and Hearing Science Department, UC Books to Prisoners, Urbana-Champaign Friends Meeting, Wesley Foundation of the University of Illinois, Wesley United Methodist Church, YWCA of the University of Illinois. Funding by SORF.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Press Release/PSA: Friday Forum Series Connects Community To Racial Justice Activism


Press Release/PSA

For Immediate Release
January 12, 2016

For media inquiries, contact:
Megan Flowers, University YMCA Communications Director
[megan@universityymca.org; 217-337-1500]


BREAKING DOWN RACISM

Friday Forum series organizes community discussions with racial justice activists, provides opportunities for action 


In response to the building public awareness of racial injustices in the United States with the gaining momentum of nation-wide grassroots movements to combat racism, the Friday Forum committee of the University YMCA has organized a year-long discussion with opportunities for action with this year’s Friday Forum program theme, “Breaking Down Racism.” The Spring 2016 series builds on the Fall 2015 series by highlighting specific tools, campaigns, and changes necessary to combat racism and break down the institutional barriers to equality. Throughout the series, the audience will be offered opportunities to learn how to fight back against inequalities.

The YMCA of the University of Illinois is pleased to announce the full line up of the Spring 2016 Friday Forum lecture series, Breaking Down Racism: Fighting Racial Injustice in the U.S. The series will be headlined by A Conversation with Opal Tometi, one of the original founders of the Black Lives Matter movement on Friday February 19. Recognized as a 'New Civil Rights Leader For The 21st Century' by the LA Times, Opal Tometi introduced the world to the Twitter hashtag and expanding network, #BlackLivesMatter, along with Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors. For the full list of series speakers please visit, universityymca.org/friday_forum.

When & Where: All lectures unless otherwise noted are on Fridays at 12:00pm in Latzer Hall of the University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright Street, Champaign, IL 61820. Please note that on February 19, A Conversation with Opal Tometi, will take place at Allen Hall Main Lounge, 1005 W Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL. The event will begin at 12:00pm.

Additionally, the University YMCA invites the public to learn more about how communities are taking a stand. Please mark your calendars for Thursday, January 28; Art @ the Y hosts the exhibition opening of the “Unforgotten: Humanizing the Tragic Consequences of Gun Violence." On view in the Y’s Murphy Gallery through February 2016. For more information, please visit: universityymca.org/art.

The Spring 2016 Friday Forum lecture series sponsors include: Anne Robin, Atmospheric Science, Black Lives Matter: Champaign-Urbana, Bruce Nesbitt African American Cultural Center, Center for African Studies, a National Resource Center under the U.S. Department of Education's Title VI Program, Central Black Student Union, Channing Murray Foundation, The Chapel of St. John the Divine Episcopal Church, College of Fine and Applied Arts, Counseling Center, C-U AAUW, Department of Recreation, Sport, and Tourism, Diversity and Social Justice Education, First Mennonite Church, First Presbyterian Church of Monticello, Friedman Law Group, LTD, Human Development and Family Studies, League of Women Voters of Champaign County, LGBT Resource Center, McKinley Presbyterian Church and Foundation, New Covenant Fellowship, Prairie Research Institute, The School of Social Work, Social Action Committee of the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Urbana-Champaign, University of Illinois Speech and Hearing Science Department, UC Books to Prisoners, Urbana-Champaign Friends Meeting, Wesley United Methodist Church, Wesley Foundation at the University of Illinois, YWCA of the University of Illinois. Funded by SORF.

Friday Forum is a weekly lecture series held during the fall and spring semesters that strives to raise awareness about national and international trends and events. Friday Forum has been continuously running for over 80 years at the University YMCA, continually adapting to the times while remaining committed to providing talks that address topics of relevance and urgency in our society.

Additional Information: The views expressed by the speakers do not necessarily reflect the views of the University YMCA, co-sponsors, or the Friday Forum committee. A sign language interpreter is available with a 72 hours notice (contact Carol Nunn at 217-337-1500). All forums are radio broadcast at 6:00 p.m. on WEFT 90.1 the Monday following the lecture. You may also find archived Friday Forum lectures on the Y's YouTube channel.

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Art @ the Y presents the "Unforgotten: Humanizing the Tragic Consequences of Gun Violence"

Press Release/PSA
For Immediate Release
January 7, 2016

For media inquiries, contact: 
Megan Flowers, University YMCA Communications Director

Meet the UNFORGOTTEN
Art @ the Y presents the “Unforgotten: 
Humanizing the Tragic Consequences of Gun Violence"

On view in Murphy Gallery of the University YMCA
from January 28, 2016 through February 2016

Art @ the Y is pleased to present the Unforgotten–Humanizing the Tragic Consequences of Gun Violence at Murphy Gallery of the University YMCA from January 28, 2016 through February 2016. Curated by the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, the Unforgotten remembers all gun violence victims by focusing on the stories of eight people who lost their lives. The jarring installation features life-like statues created by working closely with each of the victims’ families. Dressed in the victims’ personal clothing, they represent the image and absence of their fallen loved ones.

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Art @ the Y will host the exhibition opening of the Unforgotten on Thursday, January 28, 2016 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at Murphy Gallery. Viewing will begin at 5:00pm followed by a gallery talk with Colleen Daley, Executive Director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence at 5:30pm. Attendees will learn about opportunities to help keep guns out of the wrong hands, and help keep the lives of those lost Unforgotten. Light refreshments will be served. All Art @ the Y events are free and open to the public.

The Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV) is making a plea to end gun violence with this innovative and powerful public awareness campaign titled the Unforgotten. The campaign includes a traveling art installation that memorializes the lives of victims of gun violence, shares their personal stories, and offers solutions to help end to gun violence. The statues and campaign website are intended to raise awareness of the problem of gun violence across Illinois and the gaps in gun laws that enable deadly firearms to be easily obtained. Foote, Cone & Belding (FCB) is ICHV’s creative partner in the creation of this powerful exhibit.

After the exhibition opening of the Unforgotten, the University YMCA invites the public to learn more about communities taking a stand. On Friday, January 29, 2016 at 12:00pm, Tamar Manasseh, Chicago activist and founder of Mothers Against Senseless Killings (M.A.S.K.), will give a talk at the University YMCA about the work of M.A.S.K. in preventing gun violence in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago and in changing the dialogue about gun violence on a national level. This is event is free and open to the public.

About The Illinois Council against Handgun Violence: ICHV is the oldest and largest statewide organization in the U.S. working to prevent the devastation caused by firearms. Founded in 1975 by four suburban Chicago women concerned about the tragic consequences of handgun proliferation and availability, ICHV works on a variety of fronts to educate, raise public awareness, and build coalitions to enact change in laws and behavior. For 41 years, ICHV has been a leader among state gun violence prevention groups.

About Art @ the Y: Some of the most profound insight, critique, and creative thinking around the issues which comprise the mission of the Y happen in and around the arts. Art @ the Y is an initiative of the University YMCA that seeks to engage issues of social justice, international understanding, environmental activism, faith and cultural understanding through quality public arts programming. Art @ the Y includes a revolving exhibition space in Murphy Gallery, featuring artists whose work speaks to the mission of the Y and performing arts events throughout the year.

Murphy Gallery:
Hours: Mondays-Thursdays from 9am to 9pm
Fridays from 9am to 5pm
Location: 1001 S. Wright St., Champaign, IL 61820
Admission: Free and open to the public
Bus Lines: Yellow, Navy, Blue, Silver, Brown, Illini
Nearby Bus Stops: Transit Plaza, Wright & Chalmers, Armory & Wright

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