Illumination, Shedding Light on Diversity

FSU PC is committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion through a comprehensive calendar of events, workshops and forums throughout the year that celebrate diverse cultures and encourage the community to engage in meaningful conversations and educational opportunities. The Illumination series provides opportunities to hear different viewpoints and learn from the unique experiences that belong to the minority. 

OUT IN THE SOUTH, OCT. 8, 2022: Out in the South aims to educate and affirm the experiences of LGBTQ+ communities. Keynotes speaker, Nadine Smith, is the co-founder and CEO of Equality Florida, the state's largest organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Earlier this year, Nadine was named to the 2022 TIME100, the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
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   PALESTINIAN-AMERICAN ACTIVIST & RUTGERS PROFESSOR NOURA ERAKAT, 6 P.M. SEPT. 23, 2022: Noura Erakat is a human rights attorney and associate professor at Rutgers University, New Brunswick in the Department of Africana Studies and the Program in Criminal Justice. She is a co-founding editor of “Jadaliyya” and author of the award-winning “Justice for Some:  Law and in the Question of Palestine.” Erakat serves on the boards of the Institute for Policy Studies, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, and Arab Studies Institute; and she is a policy advisor to Al Shabaka. She also serves on the Editorial Committee of the Journal for Palestine Studies and is a founding board member of the DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival.
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ARTIST RICKY STEELE, 5 P.M. AUG. 30, 2022: Tri-state legend Ricky Steele will talk about the challenges he’s overcome during his career spanning more than 40 years. He has had tremendous success painting Black historical figures, including portraits of the former U.S. Rep. John Lewis, which is displayed at the Panama City City Hall. Steele will debut his new artwork at this premier viewing at the Holley Academic Center. Admission is free.
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RESEARCHER IEVA BIRKA: ‘HARNESSING THE POTENTIAL OF THE DIASPORAS’, 6 P.M. MAY 31: Dr. Ieva Birka, who is completing a project at the University of Latvia titled “Harnessing the Economic Potential of the Diaspora,” returns to her hometown of Panama City to take part in the series. Her talk, focused on her five-year long research project into developed country relations with their expatriate populations, or diasporas, will be multidisciplinary, offering insights into the fields of migration studies, political science, economics, geography, policy planning and psychology. As the global competition for a workforce increases and individuals become more globally mobile, the governments of not only developing but also developed countries have taken notice and are eager to harness the knowledge, skills, networks, investments, and political influence of the diaspora. Further, the diffusion of western values through diaspora circular or return migration can do much to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in countries coming to grips with such issues. 
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THE KINSEY AFRICAN AMERICAN ART & HISTORY COLLECTION, APRIL 22-JULY 28: The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection, organized by The Bernard & Shirley Kinsey Foundation for Arts & Education and KBK Enterprises Inc., will be exhibited in the Allan Bense Atrium at the Holley Academic Center from April 22 through July 28. Shirley and Bernard Kinsey have cultivated the collection over more than 40 years. Their son, Khalil Kinsey, now serves as chief operating officer and curator. The collection conveys a significant part of the American story through African American paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, rare books, and documents — from a bronze bust of Frederick Douglass to letters by Malcolm X and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Primary source historical objects and artifacts date from 1595 to the present day, and artwork dates to 1865. 
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AUTHOR & HISTORIAN DALE COX, 6 P.M. APRIL 12: Award-winning author and historian Dale Cox’s presentation covers “The Fort at Prospect Bluff,” the title of his latest book. Cox re-examines the history of the British Post at Prospect Bluff on the lower Apalachicola River during and following the War of 1812. This outpost was built by the British and offered protection, security, and freedom to hundreds of Black and Native American refugees until U.S. forces destroyed the community. Cox will discuss new research into those who lived there and present details about the survivors and their descendants. He will also discuss how the terrible destruction of the fort and the return of many of its occupants to slavery helped ignite the abolition movement that led to the end of slavery in the United States. The site of the fort is a National Landmark and recently was added to the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.
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AWARD-WINNING DIRECTOR IMAN ZAWAHRY, 6 P.M. MARCH 30: FSU PC will screen the romantic comedy, "Americanish," made by diverse American Muslim women about Muslim women, followed by a Q&A with award-winning director Iman Zawahry. "As a filmmaker, I embrace my truth in an unwavering compulsion to share my authentic story as an American Muslim woman,” said Zawahry, a Panama City native and FSU Film alumna.
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AUTHOR & SPEAKER DUMISANI WASHINGTON, 6 P.M. MARCH 22: Dumisani Washington, founder and CEO of the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel (IBSI) and the former Diversity Outreach Coordinator for Christians United for Israel (CUFI), is the author of “Zionism & the Black Church.” His presentation will explore the history of collaboration between the Black and Jewish American communities. 
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PBS-POV: ‘MAYOR,’ 2 P.M. FEB. 8: The Northwest Florida Regional Library System is partnering with FSU Panama City for the PBS-POV viewing of “Mayor” from David Osit, an Emmy Award-winning documentary film director. The film follows Musa Hadid, the Christian mayor of Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinian Authority. Following the film, a two-person panel of local Palestinian individuals will engage in discussion.
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BLACK HISTORY MONTH, 10 A.M.-1 P.M. FEB. 1: The Black History Month event rolls out FSU Panama City’s Illumination series. Bernard, Shirley and Khalil Kinsey of the nationally recognized Kinsey Collection of African American Art & History are the keynote speakers during the cultural celebration. The event also includes performances from NuGulf Coast Choir and selected readings from Gulf Coast State College students.
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