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Get to Know Our Northern Colorado Immigrant Community
Immigrant & Refugee Center of Northern Colorado
This presentation is an overview of immigration and refugee resettlement in Colorado that addresses broad themes and includes compelling stories. You'll have a chance to hear perspectives from some of our community members about how they came to live in Northern Colorado and how you can be an ally to our immigrant neighbors.
African-American Culture Through Story and Song
African-Americans, like all Americans, kept their culture alive through story and music. We’ll share some Br’er Rabbit and other traditional tales, along with some work songs, spirituals, rhythmic songs and games. These are things that are African and distinctly American.
On the 200th Anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail: Marriages Made in Heaven?
The Santa Fe Trail was the first of America's great non-Indian overland trails. The birth of the Santa Fe Trail trade is often described as simply a group of Missouri merchants leaping blindly into trading with citizens of a territory of Mexico. In reality, the trail came about through a set of unbelievable coincidences that involved vast animal and human migrations, American failures in breeding work animals, ethnic intermarriages, national foreign policies and selective amnesia, international financial crises, and the growth of American industry. This workshop will also look into these coincidences, into how multiple nationalities benefited from the Santa Re trade, and into the sudden and tragic end of most of that trade.
Irony Is The Driving Force of the Universe
Mary Harris Jones spent her adult life organizing miners and factory workers, demanding work conditions and wages that honored workers and enabled them to make a life worth living rather than a shortened one dedicated solely to the profits of industry owners. With hindsight we now understand that the tons of coal these men risked their lives to bring from beneath the earth are a part of the fossil fuel extravaganza that our industrializing nation wanted and needed. It also contributed mightily to the greenhouse gasses now threatening to warm and suffocate our planet. During our time together we will explore the unintended consequences of our relentless march towards a “modern” society. This session will be a discussion rather than a lecture or performance. The objective is to enable participants to use their knowledge of past and present to try and understand how discoveries that appeared like nirvana can unravel and bring us to the edge of our extinction.
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Three Sisters - A Native American Perspective
Brian “Fox” Ellis
Brian “Fox” Ellis is part Cherokee and has studied with Native Elders from several tribes. He has performed at Powwows and Native Gatherings across Turtle Island. In recent years he was invited to perform at the Apple River Fort for their commemoration of the Black Hawk War and for a group of Sauk and Fox Elders at the Black Hawk Museum in Rock Island. He has presented at the Trail of Tears Museum in the foothills of The Smokey Mountains and at the Assiniboine Reservation for a conference on Seeing the Prairie Through Native Eyes. The following programs give voice to the Native American view of American History, including much that is left out of your history books.
Tesla in Colorado
Tesla spent a year in Colorado (and then three other years in Long Island) sending lightning bolts (called “streamers”) into the skies, the streets, and even more than a few kitchen faucets as he tried to create the first wireless transmission of phone and electricity. This quixotic man was intent on creating a method for all people around the world to control their own lives with cheap and abundant power and communication. This is one of Tesla’s greatest stories.
Votes for Women: The 72-Year Struggle to Gain Women’s Suffrage
At a time when voting can feel more like an obligation than a privilege, we can easily forget that it took 72 years for American women to win the right to vote. This illustrated slide lecture examines the movement from 1848, when the first call was issued in Seneca Falls, New York, to 1920, when women finally gained the vote. In the ensuing years, women organized conventions, gathered petitions, gave speeches, lobbied lawmakers, marched in parades, and persevered in the face of strident opposition. Some were jailed and went on hunger strikes. Learn the story of this remarkable civil rights movement and the leaders who pioneered new forms of social activism.
Avery Tractor, John Deere, and Caterpillar: The stories of farm implements and industrial pioneers as told by Robert H. Avery
Brian “Fox” Ellis
Born in Galesburg in 1840, Robert Avery was an early industrialist and inventor who founded one of the big three manufacturers of Midwestern farm machinery. Come spend an hour with this brilliant designer who pioneered a lot of what modern industry now takes for granted. Though the program will focus on Avery Tractor, these insights will shed light on his competitors. He will also share stories of the Civil War and how time spent in the notorious Confederate prison camp of Andersonville lead to the foundation of Avery Tractor Company. Storyteller and author Brian “Fox” Ellis will step into Avery’s shoes to allow listeners to step back in time.
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Tuesday, August 3
Why 1955? Why Montgomery?
The Montgomery Bus Boycott was the first and last time that such a large number of African-Americans presented a united front against Jim Crow in the United States over such a long period of time. We can look at some of the circumstances that finally prompted the black citizens of Montgomery, AL to act – the growing influence of the NAACP, the Supreme Court decision Brown v Board of Education, Topeka, KS, the lynching of Emmett Till, emerging leadership, etc. - and imagine what it would take to gain the courage to boycott.
The Trouble with Genius
The question of what is genius and how it is culturally perceived, valued, and sometimes dismissed. We will explore the genius of Tesla, Picasso, Einstein, and even Musk and others today, as we explore how a society and culture built on democratic equality handles the exceptional “genius,” who often does not fit into the normal rules.
The 1910s: Model T Fords, Ragtime, and the New Woman
America in the 1910s moved at a dizzying pace. It was the decade of automobiles, nickelodeons and ragtime music. And it was also the era of child labor reform, the sinking of the Titanic, and World War I. In this illustrated lecture, we’ll take a look at the 1910s, exploring how America confronted modern times in unimagined and occasionally violent ways. Imagine yourself riding a Model T Ford. Watch a clip from a Charlie Chaplin movie. Peek inside a textile factory. Learn why it was in the 1910s, more than the 1920s, that American women changed their place in society forever.
Indian Battles or Indian Massacres?
The question of whether certain violent encounters between American citizens and American Indians were "battles" or "massacres" (or both) remains one of the most hotly argued topics in American history. This workshop will consider the precise definition of a "battle" versus a "massacre" and look at how ethnic as well as military considerations have been important in how each term has been defined. It will also consider ways in which the rise of international law with the Nuremburg war crimes trials, the civil rights and Indian rights movements of the 1960s, and America's changing treatment of Vietnam war veterans may have changed the debate. Seven or so of the most controversial events of the Indian Wars--with emphasis on Colorado's "Sand Creek Massacre"--will provide a focus for discussion.