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Otterbein Office of Social Justice and Activism Scholars hosting community conference

Otterbein Office of Social Justice and Activism Scholars hosting community conference

The Otterbein Office of Social Justice and Activism Scholars will be hosting the Sustaining Our Communities Conference from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at Otterbein University Campus Center Lounge. Wittenberg University Professor Julius Bailey, Ph. D., will be the keynote speaker.

The theme for the conference is "sustaining our communities,” an initiative for students to learn about ways in which they can contribute to their communities. Attendees will be presented ways to educate themselves on ongoing practices and issues. During the conference, breakfast and lunch will be provided, and it will feature breakout sessions on unity, self-care/mental health, flaws in the justice system and financial management. This event is FYE and INST approved.

Registration is open until Wednesday, Feb. 21, online

Keynote Speaker: Julius Bailey, Ph. D.
Julius Bailey was born on the south side of Chicago to a young mother. His father was a military man who also played professional football. Primarily mentored by his maternal grandfather, Reverend Emanuel Hoskins, a Baptist minister, Bailey expressed from a young age a strong sense of community responsibility.

As a seventeen year old first-year student at Howard University, he was influenced by the awesome presence of Ras Baraka, son of poet Imiri Baraka, and April Silver, both of whom served as political mentors to this sponge-like student activist. After serving Congressional Internships and receiving a Fulbright fellowship to study abroad, in 1991 he went to serve 12 months in the House of Commons, London, England, in the Office of Bernie Grant, then the senior black member of the British Parliament. Upon his return to D.C., Bailey worked for Jesse Jackson’s newly established Rainbow Coalition and became more actively involved in campus politics. His public speaking acumen was birthed under the training of fellow student, and former first hip-hop ambassador to the U.S. State Department, Toni Blackman. Renowned activist, author and Harvard professor Cornel West helped coordinate an opportunity for Bailey to attend Harvard as a graduate student and be a teaching assistant under West. West soon entrusted Bailey to follow as a Head Teaching Fellow within the W.E.B. Dubois Institute of African American Studies at Harvard. Bailey would later graduate from the University of Illinois with his Ph. D. in Philosophy and Education in 1999.

In the fall of 2010, Bailey began teaching and researching at Wittenberg University in the Department of Philosophy. As a self-affirmed Christian Existentialist, Bailey realizes and teaches that “to seek excellence is to abide by a determination to BE… I just want BE. My being is what gives voice to those who are weakened but not surrendered to life’s circumstances”