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Ex-Skinhead’s Crusade Against Prejudice Launches Lecture Series

The first speaker in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Spring 2000 Lecture Series was a hate-group member by the age of 13. At 18, he roamed the country as a Skinhead leader and Neo-Nazi recruiter.

After a stint in prison, during which he befriended men of other races, his perspective changed, and now he speaks out against the hate groups whose ideals he once embraced. The speaker, whose name is being withheld for contractual purposes, will describe his amazing turnabout on Thursday, Jan. 20, as the lecture series gets under way at the Klump Academic Center auditorium at 8 p.m.

The series, which is coordinated by the College’s Student Activities Office, runs through Tuesday, April 25, and features six lecturers who will discuss topics ranging from the proliferation of guns in America to rock music in the video age. There is no admission charge for the events.

Other programs in the Spring 2000 Lecture Series are:

Civil Rights for the 21st Century Carl Upchurch 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, Academic Center Auditorium Upchurch, who grew up in Philadelphia, dropped out of school at age 9 to hang out with street gangs in the inner city. With scant direction or parenting, Upchurch wound up spending much of his youth in juvenile detention facilities. As an adult, he spent 13 years in the federal prison system for armed robbery. Now, Upchurch speaks out against gang-related violence. In an enlightening program, he will examine his troubled past and explore what can be done to further the civil rights movement in the United States.

Sex Under the Influence Joel Goldman 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 14, (Sexual Awareness Week) Penn’s InnWeaving humor, personal experiences, interactive exercises and video into his presentation, Goldman will illustrate how sexual decisions made under the influence of alcohol can dramatically affect people’s lives. Goldman, who is living with HIV, traces the types of behavior that led to his becoming infected with the virus during his college days.

Living in Love With Yourself Doc Robin 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, Penn’s InnAre you an introvert or an extrovert? Are you passive or aggressive? Robin believes that a person’s self-esteem is shaped by circumstances beyond his or her control, but she believes we can change how circumstances affect and control our lives. As she takes a look at self-esteem and interpersonal relationships, Robin will provide participants with a sense of well-being and the tools to respect and enjoy their own uniqueness.

Gun Nation Zed Nelson 8 p.m. Thursday, April 6, Academic Center Auditorium Nelson, a London-based photographer who doesn’t shy away from conflict, crisis or controversy, has covered everything from Cambodian elections and wars in Angola Afghanistan, Somalia and El Salvador, to the Ku Klux Klan. His program will focus on guns in America, a nation in which 40 percent of all households report owning at least one gun. Nelson’s work appears regularly on the pages of such publications as Time and Life, as well as other magazines.

’80s Rock: Music in the Video Age Barry Drake 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, Penn’s InnAs the ’80s began, there was a much-needed burst of energy in rock ‘n’ roll, as the 25-year-old music form reinvented itself with new musical styles, artists and attitudes. MTV and compact discs gave us a new way to experience the music of Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, U2, Run DMC, Michael Jackson, Tom Petty, The Go-Gos, the Police, Prince, Aerosmith, R.E.M. and others. Featuring hundreds of slides, videos and artist interviews, this program will lead participants on a musical journey through rock’s fourth decade.

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