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Wendi Thomas HeadshotWendi C. Thomas: "Pursuing Dr. Martin Luther King's Dream of Justice Through Journalism"

in Celebration of Black History MonthWith generous support from the NEH/Frederic M. Ayres Fund

Monday, Feburary 17, 2020  |  6:00 PM  |  Johnson Room  |  BCR Credit

Wendi C. Thomas is the editor and publisher of MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, a nonprofit newsroom in Memphis focused on poverty, power and public policy. As part of ProPublica’s 2019 Local Reporting Network, her investigation into a nonprofit hospital that sued thousands of patients led to the hospital erasing at least $11.9 million in debt for more than 5,300 defendants. She is also part of ProPublica’s 2020 Local Reporting Network. Previously she was metro columnist and assistant managing editor at The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal. She’s also worked for The Charlotte Observer, The (Nashville) Tennessean and The Indianapolis Star. Thomas was a 2016 fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. BCR Credit Icon

In 2019, Thomas received the National Association of Black Journalists’ Best Practices award. In 2018, she was named Journalist of the Year by Journalism and Women Symposium. She was inducted into the Scripps Hall of Fame for commentary in 2008. She’s a proud product of the Memphis City Schools and a 1993 graduate of Butler University. 

CCOM Distinguished Lecture

Marshall Curry Headshot with CameraMarshall Curry: “Telling Other People's Stories: Perspectives from a Documentary Filmmaker"

Butler Cultural Requirement LogoTuesday, October 29, 2019  |  7:00 PM  |  Reilly Room |  BCR Credit

Marshall Curry is a three-time Academy Award nominated documentary director, cinematographer, and editor. His work has won top awards at Sundance and Tribeca and has twice been nominated for Emmys. His films include Street Fight, If a Tree Falls: a Story of the Earth Liberation Front, Racing Dreams, Point and Shoot and A Night at The Garden

Film Screening

Racing Dreams Poster with Young Headshot of Helmet Wearing Pre-TeenRacing Dreams

Tuesday, October 15, 2019  |  7:00 PM  |  Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall 

Racing Dreams, winner of the Best Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival, is a coming-of-age story about two boys and a girl who dream of one day racing in NASCAR.

Academy Award® nominated documentary filmmaker, Marshall Curry, takes us into the lives of Annabeth (11 years old), Josh (12), and Brandon (13) who race go-karts that go 70 mph in the World Karting Association's National Championship— widely considered the Little League for professional racing.

As they race their way through the year-long championship series, they must also navigate the treacherous road between childhood and young adulthood. In intimate moments of young love and family struggle, this exciting and often humorous story has been fondly described as "part Catcher in the Rye, part Talladega Nights."

CCOM Distinguished Lecture

NPR’s Eric Deggans: “Building Bridges, Not Walls, Explaining the Media’s Confusing Coverage of Race, Gender and Difference"

Tuesday, April 2, 2019  |  7:00 PM  |  Shelton Auditorium |  BCR Credit

NPR's Eric Deggans HeadshotBorn in Washington D.C. but raised in Gary, Indiana, Eric Deggans is NPR’s first full-time TV critic, crafting stories and commentaries for the network’s shows, including Morning Edition, Here & Now and All Things Considered, along with writing material for  [BCR Credit Icon]  He also regularly appears on NPR podcasts such as Code Switch and Pop Culture Happy Hour. BCR Credit Icon In addition to his work for NPR, Deggans serves as a contributor and analyst dissecting media issues for MSNBC and NBC News. 

Andrew Cohn Presents Night School

Monday, February 20, 2017  |  7:00–9:30 PM  |  Schrott Center  |  BCR Credit

Co-sponsored by the Heartland Film Festival in collaboration with the Butler University College of Education

BCR Credit IconAndrew Cohn is an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker and screenwriter living in New York. His most recent film, Night School, premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and was supported by a MacArthur Grant. He is the Director of the documentary Kid Danny for ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 series. His first film, Medora, went on to win an Emmy for PBS’ Independent Lens series. He is currently directing a concert documentary about famed-Detroit rapper Danny Brown, entitled Danny Brown: Live at the Majestic. LEARN MORE...

An Evening with Filmmaker Stanley Nelson Jr.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017  |  7:00–9:30 PM  |  Schrott Center  |  BCR Credit

Co-sponsored by the Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series

BCR Credit IconStanley Nelson received the 2013 National Medal in the Humanities from President Barack Obama this past July, and is also a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow. Nelson’s latest film, Freedom Summer, premiered at Sundance in 2014 and was broadcast to rave reviews in June, 2014, the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Summer of 1964. His previous film, Freedom Riders, premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and aired nationally in May 2011 on PBS to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides, and received 4 Primetime Emmys. LEARN MORE...

Women in Sports

Thursday, February 23, 2017  |  NOON–2:00 PM  |  Johnson Room  |  BCR Credit

Co-presented in partnership with Butler Athletics 

BCR Credit IconVal Ackerman is the Commissioner of the BIG EAST Conference, a U.S. Division I intercollegiate athletics conference featuring 10 nationally prominent colleges and universities—including Butler University. LEARN MORE...

A Visit with Alumnus Brandon Gaudin: Voice of Madden NFL, Play-by-Play Broadcaster for Fox Sports/Big Ten Network

Thursday, February 23, 2017  |  6:00–8:00 PM  |  Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall  |  BCR Credit

Co-presented in partnership with Butler Athletics 

BCR Credit IconBrandon Gaudin ’06 is the Play-by-Play Voice of Madden NFL for EA Sports, beginning with the video game’s “Madden 17” rendition. On television, he broadcasts college basketball, football, and baseball for Fox Sports 1 and the Big Ten Network. On radio, he is the lead national college football announcer for Westwood One Sports. He also broadcasts select NFL games and the Men’s NCAA Tournament for the network. LEARN MORE...

Not Gay: The Homosexual Ingredient in the Making of Straight White Men

Monday, February 27, 2017  |  5:00–7:00 PM  |  Johnson Room  |  BCR Credit

Sponsored in part by the NEH/Frederic M. Ayers Fund and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Program

BCR Credit IconJane Ward is Associate Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at University of California, Riverside (UCR), where she teaches courses in feminist, queer, and heterosexuality studies. She is the author of Not Gay: Sex Between Straight White Men (NYU Press, 2015) and Respectably Queer: Diversity Culture in LGBT Activist Organizations (Vanderbilt University Press, 2008). LEARN MORE...

Blues Concert by Jason Ricci and the Bad Kind

Monday, February 27, 2017  |  7:00–9:30 PM  |  Duckwall Recital Hall  |  BCR Credit

BCR Credit IconJason Ricci has become known for his highly technical and progressive style of harmonica playing and for his activism on behalf of L.G.B.T. communities as well as those facing mental health and addiction issues. Whether on stage at the Rock and Roll hall of Fame for an audience of 12 million people or at Junior Kimbrough's juke joint in Holly Springs Mississippi for 30 locals, Ricci communicates a wide breadth of experience through his music and activism. LEARN MORE...

Diversity In the Media is Important But It Is Not Enough

Tuesday, February 28  |  5:00–7:00 PM  |  Johnson Room  |  BCR Credit

BCR Credit IconAs a producer and editor for CNN’s health, medical, and wellness unit and a writer/producer for Jen Christensen ’94 writes and produces stories and interactives for the web and helps manage the page and develop strategy for social media. As an editor she also helps shape the editorial direction of the unit vetting medical studies, doing in-depth data analysis and creating futures planning documents. She also works as a television producer creating segments and has worked on documentaries for Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Elizabeth Cohen. LEARN MORE...

Do I Sound Gay? A Film Exploring Identity

Tuesday, February 28  |  7:00–9:30 PM  |  Johnson Room  |  BCR Credit

BCR Credit IconDavid Thorpe is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker. His feature documentary, Do I Sound Gay? premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014 (Runner-up, Audience Choice Award). In 2015, IFC Films/Sundance Selects released Do I Sound Gay? to widespread critical acclaim. LEARN MORE...

Finding a Place for Justice in Journalism

Wednesday, March 1  |  6:00–8:00 PM  |  Johnson Room  |  BCR Credit

BCR Credit IconWendi C. Thomas ’93 is an award-winning independent journalist based in Memphis. Her work focuses on economic and racial justice. Thomas writes for The Christian Science Monitor, The Undefeated, and is a senior writing fellow with the Center for Community Change. LEARN MORE...

Keeping Hinkle, Hinkle

Thursday, March 2  |  5:00–7:00 PM  |  Johnson Room  |  BCR Credit

Sponsored in part by Indiana Landmarks and Storytelling Arts of Indiana 

BCR Credit IconSally Perkins performs stories of all sorts—historical, personal, folk, wisdom, and ghoulish—to audiences of all ages. She has received several commissions to create and perform historical stories on Hoosier characters like John Dillinger and May Wright Sewall, as well as Hoosier locations like the historic Indiana Landmarks Center. LEARN MORE...

Do You Hear What I Hear? Workplace Diversity and the English Language

Thursday, March 2  |  7:00–9:30 PM  |  Johnson Room  |  BCR Credit

Co-presented in collaboration with WFYI

BCR Credit IconMartha Barnette is co-host of the public-radio show A Way with Words, heard each week by listeners in 300 cities across North America, and worldwide by podcast. Locally, Barnette can be heard on WFYI. The show is about words and how we use them—word and phrase origins, slang, regional dialects, writing well, books and reading, and that weird thing Grandma used to say. LEARN MORE...