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CCOM Happenings

Upcoming Events

Past Events

Headshot of Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza

Butler University's Communication and Media Studies Department Presents: 

Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza: "How Queer Justice Could Dissolve White Supremacy Culture" 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020  |  6:00 PM  |  Virtual Event via Zoom Webinar  |  BCR Credit 

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Made possible by the generous support of Andre Latia and Chuck Bright and the NEH/Frederic M. Ayres Fund  |  Cosponsored with Indy Pride, Inc.

What is queer justice? When we imagine a transformational path toward accountability and healing, we often need to look to alternative ways of being. Queerness offers ways of being that allow for wholeness and complexity; methods distilled from living on the margins. When we leverage queer ways of thinking, doing, and being, we can create conditions for healthy, relational modes of justice making and equity to emerge. Queer justice opens up more possibilities and points us away from the harms of white supremacy culture. When we learn this kind of justice work, we build and steward new realities in which transformation and resilience are central. 

Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, PhD, is a non-binary Transgender and queer Latinx activist scholar. Their dynamic and inspiring presentations explore the Intersections of queer justice and anti-racism, working to dismantle supremacy cultures and displace the toxic culture of whiteness. They are passionate about gender justice as human rights work, and bridging differences within our communities, campuses, and churches. Dr. Robyn is the author of Activist Theology, published by Fortress Press (2019), in its second printing, and is also available on Audible. This searing and personal book bridges the gap between academia and activism, bringing the wisdom of the streets to the work of scholarship, all for the sake of political liberation and social change for marginalized communities. Robyn is currently at work on their second book, Becoming Embodied: a Vision for Democracy. Trained as an interdisciplinary scholar, they are the founder of the Activist Theology Project, a collaborative project based in Nashville, TN, working to incubate sustainable change for social healing. They are also a Visiting Scholar at the Vanderbilt University Divinity School and Visiting Professor at Duke University Divinity School. Robyn was named one of 10 Faith Leaders to Watch in 2018 by the Center for American Progress. 


Jerry Mitchell: "The Power of the Press"

Tuesday, September 12, 2020  |  7:00–8:30 PM  |  Virtual Event |  BCR Credit

Headshot of Jerry MitchellBCR Credit IconThe stories of investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell have helped put four Klansmen and a serial killer behind bars. His stories have also exposed injustices and corruption, prompting investigations, state reforms, and the firings of boards and officials. He is a Pulitzer Prize finalist, a longtime member of Investigative Reporters & Editors, and a winner of more than 30 other national awards, including a $500,000 MacArthur “genius” grant.

His memoir for Simon & Schuster, Race Against Time, follows him on his journey as he pursues unsolved murder cases from the Civil Rights Era. The book, which reads like a detective story, has already drawn the praise of Pulitzer-winning historians and others. Author John Grisham raved after reading Race Against Time,“For almost two decades, investigative journalist Jerry Mitchell doggedly pursued the Klansmen responsible for some of the most notorious murders of the civil rights movement. This book is his amazing story. Thanks to him, and to courageous prosecutors, witnesses and FBI agents, justice finally prevailed.”

After working for three decades for the statewide Clarion-Ledger, Mitchell left in 2019 and founded the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting, a nonprofit that exposes corruption, malfeasance and injustices, investigates cold cases, empowers citizens and raises up the next generation of investigative reporters. This event is free and open to the first 500 attendees. 


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...

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...