Jan Term 2017 Speaker Series to Feature Author Richard Lemieux, Dance, Theater Pioneers Anna Halprin, Rhodessa Jones, Idris Ackamoor and Algorithm Bias Activist Safiya Noble

Saint Mary's announces the exciting lineup for the 2017 January Term Speaker Series. The annual series, which is free and open to the public, features an eclectic mix of presenters, including homeless advocate and author Richard Lemieux, search engine bias researcher and UCLA Professor Safiya Umoja Noble, anti-human trafficking activist Holly Joshi and modern dance pioneer Anna Halprin. Cultural events include performances by social justice musicians Diane Ferlatte and Erik Pearson and Cultural Odyssey's Rhodessa Jones and Idris Ackamoor. The series includes the launch of Radius; a new arts festival featuring creative works by nationally known guest artists and Saint Mary’s talented faculty and students.

The Speaker Series begins Jan. 11 and runs through Feb. 2, 2017 at Saint Mary’s College, 1928 St. Mary’s Road, Moraga, Calif. 94575.

Speaker Series Schedule

Holly Joshi, Executive Director, MISSEY (Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting and Serving Sexually Exploited Youth).1 - 2:30 p.m. Wednesday Jan. 11, 2017
Hagerty Lounge, De LaSalle Hall
"Slavery in 2017: It's in Your Life!"
Holly Joshi, executive director of the victim services organization MISSEY (Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting and Serving Sexually Exploited Youth), is joined by Contra Costa County Assistant District Attorney Chad Mahalich and anti-trafficking activist, and Saint Mary’s Masters in Leadership alumna, Patrice Young in a discussion about human trafficking. The panel members will discuss the realities of domestic trafficking and how certain consumer decisions can either help foster or hinder profits in the trafficking industry.


Singer, storyteller Diane Ferlatte with musician Erik Pearson.7 - 9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017
Soda Center, Moraga Room
Diane Ferlatte and Erik Pearson
"Penny for Your Thoughts: Exploring Personal Stories of Crossing Cultural and Racial Barriers"
An award winning, Grammy nominated and celebrated performance artist and storyteller, Diane Ferlatte brings to life the African American experience through stories and songs. A "Penny for Your Thoughts: Exploring Personal Stories of Crossing Cultural and Racial Barriers," a creative collaboration with musician Erik Pearson, explores personal and historical stories of overcoming cultural and racial barriers to illuminate racism and hopefully to bridge racial divides.


Jan Term "Death and Dying" Professors Grete Stenersen and Emily Hause.1 - 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017
Hagerty Lounge, De LaSalle Hall
Profs. Emily Hause and Grete Stenersen
"Before I Die... An Interactive Event"
A special interactive event based on the popular Jan Term offering Death and Dying, taught for the past eight years by Professors Hause and Stenersen. The professors use insights from the “Before I Die” public artwork installation by artist Candy Chang. Audience members will be invited to leave their personal bucket lists and life wishes on a temporary “Before I Die” wall installation in the College’s Dryden Hall.


Anna Halprin

1 – 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23, 2017
Chapel Lawn (Soda Center, Moraga Room, if it's rainy)
Anna Halprin (and the audience, including You!)
"Planetary Dance"
Choreographed and led, since 1980, by dance pioneer Anna Halprin, the Planetary Dance is intended as an all-day ritual of healing and community renewal. However, Halprin, along with Saint Mary’s community members, will present a condensed version of the all-day dance to the College community and the general audience to foster an appreciation of the powerful, and healing impact of dancing for a purpose.


UCLA Professor Safiya Noble1 - 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017
Hagerty Lounge, De LaSalle Hall
Prof. Safiya Umoja Noble
"Algorithms of Oppression: Field Notes From Critical Information Studies (And What We Can Learn From Digital #Fails)
It can be argued that technological advancements are never neutral. Critical information and geography scholars have written extensively about how hierarchies of power are reproduced and enacted through digital technologies. In her talk, Professor Safiya Noble, from the UCLA Department of Information Studies, will offer insights from her forthcoming book Algorithms of Oppression (w.t.), which explores thje presence of online racism and sexism, search engine biases and the importance of digitally literate and empowered individuals collaborating to identify and intervene in the replication of societal inequities on the internet and in other digital media spaces.

Richard Lemieux, author, Breakfast at Sally's7:30 - 9 p.m. Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Soda Center, Moraga Room
An Evening with Author Richard Lemieux
With homelessness a growing concern in the Bay Area and across the nation, the insights from author Richard Lemieux have the promise of timeliness and authenticity. Lemieux experienced losing everything as a successful businessman and wound up living out of his van as member of the nation’s homeless population. His 2008 book Breakfast at Sally's: One Homeless Man's Inspirational Journey was selected as the common reading text for all Saint Mary’s fall 2016 first-year-students. Lemieux is now an advocate for the homeless.


Rhodessa Jones and Idris Ackamoor7-9 p.m. Thursday, February 2, 2017
Soda Center, Moraga Room
Rhodessa Jones and Idris Ackamoor
"Performance Music: Growing Up In America!"
Rhodessa Jones and Idris Ackamoor, purveyors of the 20th Century African American performance art movement, are the creative muscle behind Cultural Odyssey, one of San Francisco’s most innovative performing arts companies. “Performance Music: Growing Up In America!” is the duo’s signature show that encapsulates close to 50 years of their performance practice into a single evening.


Cost: Free and open to the public

Where: Soda Center, Saint Mary's College of California, 1928 St. Mary's Road, Moraga, Calif. 94575 (All events, unless otherwise noted, will be held in the Soda Center)

Background: The January Term Speaker Series is an annual staple of the College’s intense month-long academic term where students are encouraged to step out of their comfort zones, explore new intellectual territory, and take classes that often embody the Lasallian tradition of social action. The innovative approach of Jan Term is one of the reasons Saint Mary's was recognized in the prestigious higher-ed guidebook Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Saint Mary's is the only Catholic college, the only California college, and the only Division I institution of higher education in the history of the 40-school list.

Each year, as part of Jan Term, the Speaker Series presents provocative guest speakers from the worlds of art, politics, science, and technology to the Saint Mary's campus. Guest speakers visit classes, engage in lively discussions with students, and present their ideas, or perform, for the entire community in the afternoon or evening.

For more information, contact the Jan Term office by phone at (925) 631-4771 or by email at janterm@stmarys-ca.edu. Visit the Speaker Series online at stmarys-ca.edu/january-term


Michael McAlpin, AVP / Director of Media Relations
(925) 631-4222 office. (925) 878-9535 cell

About SMC
The Saint Mary's College of California experience inspires learning that lasts a lifetime. For more than 150 years, the College has provided students with a rigorous education that engages their intellect and spirit, and awakens a desire to transform society. Guided by the Christian Brothers, the Catholic Church's oldest order dedicated exclusively to teaching, the College enrolls more than 4,000 students in undergraduate and graduate liberal arts and business programs. For more information visit Saint Mary's College at stmarys-ca.edu and just 23 miles east of San Francisco.