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Penn College Spring 2002 Lecture Series Gets Under Way Jan. 29


Racism, acquaintance rape and whether to legalize marijuana are among the topics to be explored during Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Spring 2002 Lecture Series, which begins Jan. 29.

The lectures, with one exception, will be presented at Penn’s Inn on the second floor of the Bush Campus Center at Penn College. The March 13 program, “Heads vs. Feds,” featuring a debate between the editor of High Times magazine and a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, will be presented at the Klump Academic Center. All of the programs will begin at 8 p.m.

The lectures, which are sponsored by the Student Activities Office at Penn College, are free and open to the public. The Student Government Association is co-sponsor for the March 13 lecture.

The series begins Jan. 29, when Maxine Maxwell presents “Echoes of the Past,” a dramatic performance examining what it’s been like to be black and female in the past 150 years. Maxwell, a graduate of Webster University Conservatory of Theater Arts, will weave in and out of history to explore turning points in the lives of five African women of remarkable strength and courage. Maxwell will portray Henrietta King, an elderly slave woman; anti-slavery activist Sojourner Truth; journalist Ida B. Wells; 15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford, one of the “Little Rock Nine” who integrated Central High School in Arkansas in 1957; and Winnie Mandela, who relives the courageous battle of South African children in the Uprising of Soweto.

On Feb. 26, Preacher Moss, a writer, community activist, comedian and film maker, will present “End of Racism.” In this program, Moss, a former teacher of the emotionally disturbed, will tackle multiculturalism and diversity issues. “No matter how unflattering or funny it is, we must investigate to find truth in the world,” Moss says. “I believe that we are all one family, but ignorance and indifference make it seem like some of us were adopted.” Moss has been a writer for Damon Wayans and “Saturday Night Live.” Of Moss, Wayans says, “Delivering some of the most important things you’ll ever hear about diversity, he gives you the uncut truth, and, boy, is it funny the way he does it.”

On March 5, Ann Poston will present, “It Can Happen to You.” Poston will discuss a brutal acquaintance rape she experienced at the University of Richmond. The program features advice on the dangers of cyber-dating, a short video presentation, Poston’s personal story of acquaintance rape and educational information. Poston, who now works full-time and attends college at night, formerly led the University of Richmond’s largest campus volunteer organization, which paired inner-city youth with college students and promised a free college education to all students graduating from high school.

On March 13, Steve Hager, editor-in-chief of High Times magazine and Robert Stutman, a former special agent for the DEA, will present “Heads vs. Feds,” a debate on the legalization of marijuana. Hager created the Freedom Fighters, a national marijuana-legalization group, as well as the Cannabis Cup, the “academy awards” of marijuana. Stutman retired as a special agent after a 25-year career as a high-profile drug-buster. He has received numerous awards from law-enforcement agencies around the country. In 1990, he founded Employee Information Services Inc., a consulting firm specializing in the design and implementation of substance-abuse-prevention programs.

On April 23, the lecture series concludes with a program presented by Chad Pregracke, who founded the nonprofit Living Lands and Waters organization after spending two summers cleaning up a stretch of the Mississippi River. In 1997, relying on community donations and a corporate grant, Pregracke collected and recycled over 45,000 pounds of debris from the shoreline of the Quad Cities area. He expanded the project in 1998 to include 435 miles of the river. Pregracke continues his work by encouraging community groups to adopt a mile of the river. He has also launched efforts to clean up the Illinois and Ohio rivers.

For more information about the Spring 2002 Lecture Series, call (570) 327-4537.

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