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Urban Studies Department News

January 17, 2014:  Dr. Kimberlee Johnson, Chair of the Urban Studies Department, Director of the Center for Urban Youth Development guest hosted the local TV talk show Del Val Now.  The show reflected on the issues and events of 2013, including predictions for the new year. View the video below:

 MA in Urban Studies Alumni and Faculty Member to Speak at Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) National Conference
This year, CCDA is holding its 25th annual conference, and the theme is Cultivate: to foster growth; to tend, prepare and improve.  This year, the conference will be September 11th-14th in New Orleans, Louisianan.  The Urban Studies Department will be well represented with several alumni and a faculty member speaking during in conference workshops.  Amy Tuttle, class of 2011, and Julia Crawford, class of 2012 will be speaking about art-based storytelling in their workshop My People, My Place: Storytelling through Dance and Visual Arts.  Andrew Miller, class of 2013, will be providing practical insight into effective practice for youth work in his workshops Creating and Maintaining an After-School Program that Will Keep Youth Coming Back and Peeking Over Walls: Learning to Mentor Youth Across Race and Class Lines.  Dr. Kimberlee Johnson, Program Director and Advisor of the Youth Development Concentration, will be speaking about the juvenile justice system in her workshop Trying and Sentencing Youth as Adults: Justice or Injustice?  To see a complete listing of pre-conference workshops, visit this link

An Arts-based Response to Youth Violence Free workshop on April 4th, 6:30pm-8:00pm
Learn practical ways one can use the Arts to guide youth in discovering the “why”; personal beliefs that move them toward violence, personal responsibility; how their choices to act out violently affect others and themselves, and personal transformation; how they can respond to situations without the use of violence. PRESENTER: Jamaine Smith, Eastern University class of 2012, MA in Urban Studies: Community Arts concentration. RSVP to urbanstudies@eastern.edu.

On Thursday, Feb 21, 8-10 AM Dr. Drick Boyd, Associate Professor in the Urban Studies Department, will present at the Fanconia Mennonite Pastor's Breakfast at the Mennonite Conference Center with Fred Kaufmann, of Mennonite Central Committee Philadelphia. Their presentation is entitled "Illegal Handguns and law of sin and death."

Dr. Kimberlee Johnson was the keynote luncheon speaker at this year’s Pennsylvania Black Conference on Higher Education Conference (PBCOHE). Conference theme: “PBCOHE, 43 Years and Holding Strong: Continuing Our Advocacy for Inclusion in Higher Education.”  The luncheon was onThursday, February 21, 2013 from 12:00-noon – 1:30 p.m.  Dr. Johnson addressed the necessity of an alliance between the university and city as well as mutually beneficial ways the university can reinvest in urban America  

Dr. Kimberlee Johnson Presenting at The Justice Conference
Dr. Johnson, Chair of the Urban Studies Department, will be presenting at The 2012 Justice Conference, which will take place in Philadelphia.   Eastern University is this year's the Host Institution!  The conference will take place February 22nd-23rd.  Learn more at http://www.eastern.edu/news/justice_conference.html

Dr. Drick Boyd Presents at Windows fo the World
Dr. Boyd has presented at two of Eastern University's fall Windows on the World.  The first presentation on September 14th was entitled The Gospel of Jesus and Gun Violence: Personal stories about faith and firearms.  The second presentation on October 12th was a faculty panel on justice and the future of the United State's healthcare. 

MAUS Alumni Travel to Haiti
Amy Tuttle (2012 M.A. in Urban Studies: Arts in Transformation), Jamaine Smith (2012 M.A. in Urban Studies: Arts in Transformation) and Laurie Williams (2001 M.B.A. in Urban Economic Development and 2012 Master’s in Multicultural Education) travel to Haiti to begin a six week BuildaBridge training project with UNICEF-Haiti. The team plans to train 90 community workers in three locations.  The locations are Artibonite, Port-au-Prince, and Jacmel. TheBuildaBridge team started training in Haiti on Monday September 17 and will continue through October 28. 

Dr. Kimberlee Johnson Publishes Article
Prisim magazine recently published an article written by Dr. Kimberlee Johnson, Chair of the Urban Studies Department, in the September/October 2012 edition. The article is entitled Kids Shouldn't Die in Prison, which discusses life-sentencing for juvenile offenders.  A copy of this article can be accessed at http://prismmagazine.org/.  Prisim is a publication of Evangelicals for Social Action.

Urban Studies Travel course goes to Bogota, Columbia
Students, mostly in the Arts in Transformation Concentration of the M.A. in Urban Studies, traveled to Bogota, Colombia August 1-14, 2012 in a special community partnership with BuildaBridge International and Comunidad Viva of Bogota. Working with a local community, the students provided training to 54 community workers learning about creative safe places for children and youth and then partnered with the trainees to conduct an arts camp for nearly 60 youth, including painting a community mural.

O, YES! Conference
On June 29th-30th, the Center for Urban Youth Development will host a special conference event entitled O, YES!  The purpose of the conference is to enlighten middle school and high school students from Philadelphia & vicinity on topics related to sex & sexual health. Our objective is to help youth make wise choices concerning their lives. The conference is presented from a Christian worldview.

Dr. Boyd makes presentation at Holy Family University
On March 30 Dr. Boyd participated in a conference at Holy Family University "A Just World: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Social Justice."  He presented a paper entitled "Anti Racist White Allies: A Need for Role Models" which puts forth the thesis that whites wanting to work for racial justice need to know the stories of whites in history and in the present who have sought to live for racial justice. In the context of the paper I then told the story of John Woolman, a Quaker in the 1700's who convinced Quaker slaveowners to release their slaves, and J.Waties Waring, a judge in Charleston, SC, who late in his 60's turned on his previous "Southern Way of Life" and issued several decisions assuring equal treatment for blacks in the segregated South. The presentations from the conference will be published in a book due to come out in early 2013.

Culture in Community Contexts Travel Trip
Community Fabric:  Broadening Community Capital in Bogota
Arts in Transformation students in the M.A. in Urban Studies will be fulfilling their annual international service/learning experience in Bogota, Colombia August 10-14, 2012.  The trip is coordinated through the international programs of Buildabridge International a community partner of Eastern University.  Partnering with Comunidad Viva, a small community-based church, the class will 1) participate in training of local artists, teachers and community workers, 2) conduct a catalytic Arts for Hope Camp based on the theme of social fabric, and 3) study the urban context of Bogota and the organizations that serve its people. We are working with Jorge and Virginia Enciso, two missionaries who have worked with the Comunidad Viva for more than four years. The church currently works with area congregations and associations that serve the children of the community, primarily those who have academic and social deficiencies. The trip is open to non-Eastern students based on approval.  Contact:  Dr. J. Nathan Corbitt ncorbitt@buildabridge.org.

Dr. Johnson to Present at Conference
Dr. Kimberlee Johnson will present at the annual conference of the American Baptist churches entitled Go to a New Land: Journeying toward God--A Ministry Conference.  The conference will be in Orlando, Florida from January 23rd-27th, and she will present on the topic, "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing," lessons about leadership integrity.

New Student, Ryan Uran, founded Advent Urban Youth Development organization, located in North Texas.  The mission of the organization is to transform underserved urban neighborhoods by providing its youth with tangible love, holistic resilience, and authentic community.  You can learn more about Advent by visiting their website: http://auyd.org/ or Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/OneBelovedCommunity.

Dr. Drick Boyd's article, Limited Access, has been published in The Christian Century magazine.  This article discusses mobilization for gun control.  It can now be viewed online it at this link.

Emily Jameson, Class of 2010, is currently working in advocacy at the Oregon Center for Christian Voices.  In May she hosted a screening at Oregon’s state capitol for legislators to show them stories collected regarding the need for Health Care Reform.  Read these stories by visiting www.thesestorieshavefaces.org.

Teyne is the CEO of Beyond the Exterior, a Philadelphia youth development and advocacy resource, and now she is additionally providing independent consulting services.  Some of those services include needs assessments, leadership and character development, mentorship, program and project development, youth development, ministry development as well as organizational and management skills.  Visit her website: http://www.teynecrum.com.
Seth Dorrell, Adjunct Professor with the Urban Studies Dept, is moving to Haiti

The Dorrell family is planning their move to Haiti in late April to join in the work of Mission Waco in the city of Ferrier.  They will officially leave Philadelphia close to April 1st to spend some time with family and prepare for their relocation.  Some of the things in which Mission Waco is doing in Haiti include: digging wells to access clean water, providing medical clinics, sponsoring education, developing partnerships with Haitian churches, and training Haitians leaders.  To learn more or donate, visit the Mission Waco website: http://www.missionwaco.org/.

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