Coming up this weekend in the Salt Lake metro area:
by Kufre Ekpenyong
Bill Cosby stand-up show (University of Utah)
Interfaith conference on women and religious leadership (SLC Library)
Freedom Riders documentary film and Q&A panel with local civil rights leaders (SLC Library)
“I Am Jane” play about early black Mormon pioneers (BYU campus)
(1) What: Bill Cosby speaking at University of Utah. 8 pm on Friday Feb 28
Why you should go: He’s famous, and hilarious! Best known for The Cosby Show, Bill Cosby has been a professional actor for decades. His stand-up comedy shows won several awards, including Grammys.
No seriously, why?: Bill may be funny, but he also has a serious side, speaking out on important social issues like race and education. If you go to his show, you’ll come away with not only a laugh but also a few good things to think about longer-term.
Other Details: Venue is Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah. For tickets call 801-581-7100.
(2) What: “We Will Sing and Not Be Silent”: interfaith conference on women and religious leadership. SLC Library. 12:30 to 6 pm on Saturday March 1
Why you should go: Guest speakers include female leaders from Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, and Mormon backgrounds. The conference will explore the role that women play in these different religions–whether in home life, sacred rites, or positions of congregational leadership.
No seriously, why?: With thousands of new sister missionaries and with Mormon feminism growing popular on the Web, our Church is in a time of serious discussion right now about the need to hear women’s voices in the Church. Some are simply excited about the changes that have already happened, and others want to see even more change.Wherever you stand on Mormon feminism, it’s a good idea to get informed about women’s roles in other religions for context about what is happening in our own church.
Other Details: You can read the full event program at this link: http://www.slcpl.lib.ut.us/events/view/2789/
(3) What: Free film screening of “An Ordinary Hero,” the story of the Freedom Rider Joan Mulholland. Friday Feb 28, 6:30 pm, at the SLC Library.
Why you should go: We all know about Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, but what do you know about the Freedom Riders–black and white college students who bravely rode desegregated buses into the segregated South during the 1960s? These young adult risked life and limb to make their lives a physical protest of segregation. At times, hostile Southerners set the buses on fire or otherwise violently resisted the college activists.
No seriously, why?: After the film, there will be a panel of local community leaders who had roles in the civil rights movement. The list of speakers includes: Darius Gray, a black Mormon civil rights activist and speaker, Gloria Wilkinson, senior Vice President for community relations at Zions Bank, and Jeanetta Williams, president of the Utah NAACP.
Other Details: Reception at 6:30 pm. Screening at 7 pm. RSVP is preferred by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
(4) What: “I Am Jane,” the story of the first black Mormon pioneers. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 7:30 pm. Saturday matinee at 2 pm. Education in Zion Theater, BYU campus.
Why you should go: This play has gotten media coverage from the Salt Lake Tribune, the Provo Herald, and KSL TV and radio news. It’s celebrated as an inspiring and award-winning story about the untold story of black Mormons.
No seriously, why?: BYU is showing this play in response to the Church’s December 6, 2013, statement on the origins and end of the priesthood ban. This statement, approved by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve, says that the Church officially “disavows” past racial theories such as the curse of Cain, stigma toward interracial marriage, etc. BYU is holding this play as a way to honor the contributions that black Mormons, past and present, have made. (You can read the full Church statement here:www.lds.org/topics/race-and-the-priesthood)
Other Details: Tickets are $3 for singles and $5 for couples. They recommend you buy tickets in advance, “will call” option, by calling801-422-4313. Tickets are expected to sell out soon.
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