WFU Multicultural male summit features playwright James H. Chapmyn

Wake Forest University’s third annual Multicultural Male Summit features a keynote performance by nationally-known playwright James H. Chapmyn of his original production “One Race, One People, One Peace” at 7 p.m. April 3 in Brendle Recital Hall in the university’s Scales Fine Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Chapmyn’s production, which has been described as a forum for understanding and dialogue, looks at racism, homophobia and terrorism through poignant monologues and poetic scenes. The one-hour show uses video, poetry, improvisation and moving theater to highlight the power of dialogue and the healing that comes from reconciliation.

“Even before September 11, we were a hurting nation,” Chapmyn says during the performance. “Torn by prejudice and poverty of spirit, we have become cynical in our prosperity. We have made racism normal. We have forgotten that we are one race, one human race.”

An expert in dialogue, Chapmyn received training from Bethel College, Trinity Lutheran Seminary and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. He has developed a technique that uses theater as an entry point to self-discovery, dialogue and understanding. He has been featured on National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross and on CNN.

In addition to Chapmyn’s performance, there will be a free, public screening of the film “SLAM” at 3:30 p.m. April 3 in Benson University Center’s Pugh Auditorium as part of the summit. The award-winning film features poet, singer, actor Saul Williams.

The Wake Forest Multicultural Male Summit brings more than 200 participants from public and private, predominantly white and historically black colleges and universities to be mentored by regional, national and international leaders of diverse leadership backgrounds and professions. The theme of the summit is “Focused Into-Me-See: Breaking Down Stereotypes through Cultural Exchange.”

The daylong summit starts at 9 a.m. April 3 with a lecture and workshop titled “Race Beyond Black and White” led by Eric Liu, founder of the “How We Teach Initiative” and the former Deputy Domestic Policy Advisor to President Bill Clinton. Liu is the author of “The Accidental Asian: Notes of a Native Speaker.”

The summit continues with a workshop by Ernie Panicciolo, an American Indian who has recorded the entire evolution of “Hip Hop” culture in his book and multimedia presentation “Who Shot Ya?” Panicciolo, who has been called the “Dean of Hip Hop Photographers,” has been the chief photographer for Word Up! Magazine since 1989.

In addition, there will be a workshop on “Refried Latino Pride: Cultural Expression” led by Joe Hernandez-Kolski, an accomplished Hispanic actor, poet and teacher.

The summit is sponsored by the Wake Forest Office of Multicultural Affairs in collaboration with the Wake Forest Multicultural Male Caucus. It is being offered as part of the university’s theme for the 2003-2004 academic year, “Fostering Dialogue: Civil Discourse in an Academic Community,” which is dedicated to exploring how free people with passionate interests and beliefs can communicate openly without turning dialogue into discord.

To register for the summit or to obtain more information on the events, contact the Wake Forest Office of Multicultural Affairs at 336-758-5864. Registration is free and the deadline is April 1; however, registration will be accepted on a space available basis after that date.

Categories: Arts & Culture, Events, Speakers