Orlando, FL – Valencia College’s Peace and Justice Initiative launches its annual weeklong Conversation on Justice on Saturday, Jan. 24 from 5 to 7 p.m., with a celebration of Native American teachings, music and dance.
Valencia’s guest for the evening will be Joe Iron Eagle, a medicine man and member of the Chiricahua Apache, a Southwestern tribe whose best-known leader was Cochise. A traditional Sun dancer, Joe Iron Eagle studied medicine under Bear Paw, an Apache medicine man, and Two Tree, a Lakota medicine man.
The public is invited to the Saturday evening event. Bring a blanket or lawn chair, as well as a flashlight, to the event. Wear comfortable shoes for walking through the gardens. Children and families are welcome.
The event will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at Mead Botanical Garden in Winter Park. Mead Gardens is located at 1500 S. Denning Drive, Winter Park.
During the week of Jan. 24-30, the Conversation on Justice will touch on many of today’s hot-button issues, ranging from violence, immigration and economic inequality to food insecurity, race and sexual orientation. Workshops and panel discussions will be led by Valencia College faculty members and community experts, and are designed to inform students and the public.
Free film and documentary screenings will be held Jan. 26-Jan. 29 on the East and West Campuses, located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail and at 1800 S. Kirkman Road in Orlando. The film screenings – which will occur each day at 6 p.m. — will highlight the daily topic and be followed by a panel discussion.
On Monday, Jan. 26, the East Campus will discuss gender issues, including a 1 p.m. workshop about stereotypes in media, followed by a 2:30 p.m. workshop on masculinity. At 6 p.m. audience members are invited to watch and discuss “Tough Guise,” a documentary that examines the “tough guy” popular culture and how it has led to an epidemic of violence by men.
On Tuesday, Jan. 27, the East Campus will focus on “silenced histories,” including Japanese internment camps, the Rwandan genocide and the Holocaust. The day’s activities will culminate with a 6 p.m. showing and discussion of “The Soap Myth,” a film version of a play in which a young reporter investigates the rumor that the Nazis made soap from the body fat of Jews. Also on Tuesday, students at the Lake Nona campus will stage a mock sit-in, along with members of the NAACP, at 2:30 p.m. Meanwhile on the Osceola Campus, Sister Ann Kendrick, a Catholic nun who works with farmworkers in Apopka, will lead a 9 a.m. discussion about immigration in Central Florida. At 6 p.m., the Osceola Campus will host a viewing of the documentary, “A Place at the Table,” a moving documentary about low-income Americans who struggle to put healthy food on the table, despite the fact that they have jobs.
On Wednesday, Jan. 28, the West Campus will tackle the subject of poverty, with a 10 a.m. workshop on access to health care, a 2:30 p.m. workshop on child trafficking and a 6 p.m. screening of the film, “Every Three Seconds,” which examines the stories of five everyday people who stepped up and took action in the fight against hunger and poverty, and who ended up transforming themselves and the world. Also on Wednesday, the Lake Nona campus will host a lunchtime workshop about the police and the community, led by the Orlando Police Department. The workshop will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
On East Campus, Wednesday’s discussions will center on sexual orientation. Among the highlights is a 10 a.m. workshop titled “Transgender 101.” The day’s activities will culminate with a 6 p.m. showing of the film, “Too Cold Out There Without You,” a documentary about a transgendered Episcopalian priest who tries to take care of everybody else – from his two teenagers to the members of his congregation, many of whom have developmental disabilities.
On Thursday, Jan. 29, the West Campus will examine the topic of violence. One of the day’s highlights will be an 11:30 a.m. workshop about incarcerated veterans, led by Capt. Malik Muhammad of the Orange County Corrections Department. At 6 p.m., the public is invited to West Campus to view “Living for 32,” a documentary about the 32 victims of the Virginia Tech massacre and the 32 people killed by gun violence every day. After the film, audience members will participate in a discussion of gun violence, led by the League of Women Voters.
On Friday, Jan. 30, each campus will wrap up the week with a closing ceremony featuring Joe Iron Eagle.
For more information about the weeklong calendar of events, please visit www.valenciacollege.edu/PJI