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Westminster/Wesleyan University: Fall 2021 Schedule

Constitution Day Event

The DNA of the United States: The U.S. Constitution
Thursday, September 23, 11:00 a.m. - Noon
Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center, Virginia Wesleyan University

WC Transportation Leaves at 10:15 a.m. – Sign-up Sheet will be Posted on the Excursion Board when we get closer to the date.

Presented by: Eric W. Claville, J.D., M.L.I.S., serves at Norfolk State University as the Interim Executive Advisor to the President for Government Relations and as the Director of the Center for African American Public Policy (CAAmPP). The Center focuses on how public policy affects African Americans and communities of color.

Course Description: So many founders of the United States saw slavery as ethically immoral—many even wrote and spoke of that—but other factors, particularly economic ones, influenced them to embrace the institution of slavery. It is no surprise that the Constitution they created has shaped economic and social structures, laws, and public policy in ways that have disadvantaged different groups of people. The Constitution they created is our DNA. It has shaped us both in important and meaningful ways, but also in ways in which we have fallen short of our highest ideals, as in issues relating to race and gender. This lecture focuses on how the Constitution frames our understanding of American democracy.


Nexus Interfaith Dialogue

Exodus in America: Exploring Coastal Virginia’s Racial Legacy of Place and Displacement
Monday, September 27, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Jane P. Batten Student Center, Pearce Suite, Virginia Wesleyan University

WC Transportation Leaves at 6:15 p.m. – Sign-up Sheet will be Posted on the Excursion Board when we get closer to the date

Course Description: Intense issues in our community's history relate to race and displacement. How can such issues be approached thoughtfully and creatively?  This evening is part of an open play-making process, which shows how the arts can be effective in reflecting on the history of social challenges and exploring their connections to today. The In[HEIR]itance Project is a national arts organization that creates space for communities to navigate challenging civic conversations through collaborative theater projects inspired by sacred texts.  Participants in Coastal Virginia will be co-creators in a play that explores the racial dynamics of the region's legacy of place and displacement in relationship to the Book of Exodus.  The finished play premieres at the 2022 Virginia Arts Festival. This evening's interactive salon – facilitated by In[HEIR]itance Project Co-founders Chantal Pavageaux, Jon Adam Ross, and Ariel Warmflash - is the first step in the process.


Nexus Interfaith Dialogue

Exodus in America: Faith Perspectives on Why Exodus Matters in Coastal Virginia
Thursday, October 7, 2021, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Jane P. Batten Student Center, Pearce Suite, Virginia Wesleyan University

WC Transportation Leaves at 6:15 p.m. – Sign-up Sheet will be Posted on the Excursion Board when we get closer to the date.

Presented by: HUBB Co-leaders Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg (Ohef Sholom Temple), Rev. Dr. Sharon Riley (Faith Deliverance Christian Center), and The Rev. John Rohrs (St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church) discuss - through the unique lens of their respective faith traditions - the historical significance of the Book of Exodus and its enduring importance in their faith. They each highlight specific passages and themes from Exodus that continue to inspire, ground, and guide them as pastors. 

Course Description: In the book, America's Prophet, Bruce Feiler claims that no figure has inspired Americans more than Moses and that no book of the Bible has influenced Americans more than the Book of Exodus. In Exodus, Black Americans have found hope and inspiration, Jews have found identity and an origin story, and Christians in general have found deeper appreciation for both freedom and the kinds of responsibilities created by the ten commandments.  But--on a personal and religious level--why else does Exodus matter?

Hands United Building Bridges (HUBB) is an interfaith, interracial network of clergy, congregations, and community leaders in Coastal Virginia. The Nexus Interfaith Dialogue series is sponsored in partnership with HUBB and the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC).


Catharine Cookson Lecture

How Shall We Remember?: Changing Narratives around Early Virginia, Slavery, and the Confederacy
Thursday, October 14, 11:00 a.m. - Noon
Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center, Virginia Wesleyan University

WC Transportation Leaves at 10:15 a.m. – Sign-up Sheet will be Posted on the Excursion Board when we get closer to the date.

Presented by: Christy Coleman grew up in Williamsburg and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Hampton University. Currently she serves as the Executive Director of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. She also has served as CEO of the American Civil War Museum in Richmond, where she was instrumental in furthering discussion on the Civil War, its legacies, and its relevance to our lives today.

Course Description: In recent decades, museum collections and interpretations reflect that American history and culture have been undergoing considerable transformation. Lessons that were learned a generation ago have been challenged by new or expanded narratives that include the voices and experiences of previously marginalized people. Join Christy Coleman as she discusses questions on the presentation of Jamestown and early Virginia history, on the display of Civil War symbols in public spaces, and on issues of historical memory.