Annual Colby S.H.O.U.T. week focuses on “Writing Revolutions”

This week at Colby is S.H.O.U.T. week, an annual event hosted by the Pugh Community Board focusing on activism and social issues. The week begins Wednesday, March 1 and will continue through March 8. S.H.O.U.T. stands for Speaking, Hearing, and Opening Up Together.

Every year’s S.H.O.U.T. week has a theme, which influences the speakers, discussions and events of the week. This year’s theme is “Writing Revolutions,” and will focus, according to the Colby website, on “the power of writing in social movements, exploring how writing continues to be an act of defiance and revolution in our personal lives and society.”

This year’s keynote speaker will be journalist and activist Janet Mock, who has worked for People magazine, written a memoir (which will be raffled off this week), and produced a documentary for HBO called The Trans List, which will be shown in the Pugh Center with pizza on Monday, March 6 at 7 p.m. Mock’s keynote address took place on Wednesday, March 1 in the Lorrimer Chapel. Other scheduled events include several notable speakers, a concert, and raffles.

Other speakers include author Nathan Englander, who will give a speech on Thursday, March 2 at 7 p.m. in Ostrove Auditorium. Englander has written about Jewish issues, and his writings include short story collections, one of which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and a novel called The Ministry of Special Cases, which takes place in Argentina in the 1970s. Aquib Yacoob ’15, a recent Colby alumnus who works for Amnesty International, will speak on Wednesday, March 8 in the Pugh Center at 7 p.m. The concert will be held at 8 p.m. on Friday night at Page Commons. It will feature Blue Scholars, a hip-hop duo from Seattle known for their activism, particularly through  lyrics discussing immigration and race issues.

Last year, S.H.O.U.T.’s theme was “What is the Cost?” and the keynote speaker was Dolores Huerta, a champion of many causes, who spoke at age 85 after being arrested 22 times during non-violent protests over the years. Two years ago, the theme was “The Personal is Political.” George Takei was the keynote speaker, and he discussed how his activism and political work appeared throughout his career in the entertainment industry.

Past S.H.O.U.T. Keynote Speakers:

Dolores Huerta, 2016:

Dolores Huerta is a labor leader and civil rights activist. She cofounded the United Farm Workers, a labor union of United States farm workers, and has focused much of her work on social justice, especially for women, children, and minorities. Huerta presented on the theme “What is the Cost?” which explored the costs of activism across social groups.

George Takei, 2015:

George Takei gained popularity in the  through his portrayal of Hikaru (Lt.) Sulu on the Star Trek series and, more recently, his activity on social media, came to Colby in 2015. In addition to his roles on screen, Takei is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights as well as for the Asian American community. The theme that year was “The Personal is Political”.

Geoffrey Canada2014:

Geoffrey Canada was the president and CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone for 24 years. The Harlem Children’s Zone is “an organization devoted to helping underprivileged children in Harlem succeed, both inside and outside of the classroom.” The organization aims to help students succeed despite challenges they may face, according to the event posting on the Colby website.

Gloria Steinem, 2013:

A prominent journalist, Gloria Steinem became a leader in the American feminist movement during the late 1960s. She was a columnist for New York Magazine before co-founding Ms., a widely viewed feminist magazine. The theme during Steinem’s speech was centered on multiculturalism. Steinem was involved in the fifth annual S.H.O.U.T week.

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