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The Fierce Urgency of Now
Climate & Context for Social Unrest and Community Healing

November 16, 2017 • 5 PM
UCI Student Center, Pacific Ballroom C

Free Event • Limited Space. Register early!

About the Program

Participants will embark on a journey through flashpoints of social conflicts, connect the dots on a timeline of the legacy of exclusion, hear and join voices with community leaders on strategies to create inclusive and empowered communities.

PRESENTER: Thomas A. Parham. Ph.D.

Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs
Thomas A. Parham, Ph.D. is the vice chancellor for Student Affairs and an adjunct faculty member at UCI. For the last 30 years, Dr. Parham has focused his research on the area of psychological nigrescence, identity development, African psychology and multicultural counseling. He has authored seven books and over 45 articles and book chapters, and has produced videos titled Counseling African Americans, Youth and Violence, and Innovative Approaches to Counseling African Descent People. He has also served as chair of UCI’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium for 10 years, helped charter the Orange County chapter of the 100 Black Men of America, and is the past president of the National Association of Black Psychologists and the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development. He has been recognized as a “Distinguished Psychologist” by the Association of Black Psychologists. As Vice Chancellor, Dr. Parham prides himself in heading a Student Affairs team dedicated to supporting the academic mission of the university, enhancing the co-curricular aspects of student learning, assessing learning outcomes and promoting opportunities for leadership development and character building among students.

Thomas A. Parham, Ph.D.

PANELISTS: Mike Hamel

Mike HamelChief of Police, Irvine Police Department
Recipient of multiple PD commendations and awards, Chief Mike Hamel is a 24-year law enforcement veteran who has come up through the ranks of Irvine PD to serve as its chief. Through his tenure, he has served in investigations, training, recruitment, crime, traffic and quality of life issues in his geographic region and in his department. He has and continues to serve as liaison to schools, businesses, community organizations and the public. Chief Hamel is deeply knowledgeable about this region, its needs and vulnerabilities. Highly respected, he is also involved with the OC Solidarity Coalition to strengthen community cohesion against bigotry and racism.

Sabrina Strings, Ph.D.

Sabrina Strings, Ph.D.Assistant Professor, Dept. of Sociology, UCI School of Social Sciences
Sabrina Strings, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine. Her research examines how race, sex(uality), and class are inscribed on the body, such that the body itself can be marshaled to maintain social hierarchies. Her articles and essays are featured in venues including Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Feminist Media Studies, Truthout independent news media, and The Feminist Wire. Her forthcoming book, Thin, White, and Saved: Fat Stigma and the Fear of the Big Black Body will be published by NYU press. A 200hr certified yoga teacher, Sabrina teaches donation-based yoga in community centers and community clinics. She is a co-founding editor for Race and Yoga Journal, and has co-organized workshops and conferences on spiritual justice throughout California.

Matt Murphy

Matt MurphySenior Deputy District Attorney, Orange County
Matt Murphy is a veteran prosecutor whose work protects public from serious criminal offenders. He fights to bring justice to the voiceless murder victims and their grieving families and puts serial killers, rapists and violent offenders behind bars. Murphy has worked with juveniles, gangs and sexual assault units, and for the past 16 years has been serving in the homicide unit. Murphy also reviews parole hearings for lifer cases; custodial cases and police officer-involved shootings. He has a stellar record of successful prosecution and is sought after internationally as a speaker by law enforcement agencies due to media coverage of his high profile cases. Murphy is interested in protecting OC public by building bridges and working with community leaders to promote education about the justice system and assistance to at risk/at need members of OC communities.

Reverend Mark E. Whitlock, Jr.

Reverend Mark E. Whitlock, Jr.Pastor, Christ Our Redeemer Church (COR Church), Orange County
Rev. Whitlock serves as the Pastor of COR Church; as the CEO of Nehemiah Ministries, a nonprofit economic development corporation; and as the Director of Community Initiatives at USC’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture. His prior positions involve great success in raising over $400 million in grants, loans and contracted services to create hundreds of jobs within South Los Angeles. Rev. Whitlock is the co-founder of the Richard Allen Men's Society (RAMS), an organization of over 3,500 men who exemplify positive African American images. Rev. Whitlock is a highly respected leader in OC and is currently involved with the OC Solidarity Coalition populated by community and faith leaders to counter the hate, bigotry and racism that has continued to permeate throughout the nation in recent times.

Rabbi Peter S. Levi

Rabbi Peter S. LeviRegional Director, Anti-Defamation League of Orange County & Long Beach
Rabbi Peter Levi guides the work of the Anti-Defamation League of OC and Long Beach region. Founded in 1913, the Anti-Defamation League is the world’s leading organization that fights anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry. Levi has years of experience in community relations, social activism and promoting interfaith relations, including fostering Jewish-Muslim relations through dialogue and shared community programing. He works tirelessly to combat discrimination against marginalized groups and advocate for gender and other forms of equality. Rabbi Levi has served as the President of the OC Board of Rabbis, is on the Orange County Sheriff’s Interfaith Advisory Council and actively involved with the OC Solidarity Coalition.

Alison Edwards

Alison EdwardsDeputy Director, OC Human Relations
Alison Edwards has been involved with Orange County Human Relations since 1998, where she is the incoming CEO. Alison also directs the BRIDGES: Safe and Respectful School Program, helping students to feel safe, respected and connected at school. In her time at OC Human Relations she developed expertise in creating positive school climate, trained hundreds of teachers and students on creating safe, respectful schools, created a support network of local Gay Straight Alliance Clubs, and initiated a restorative justice program to create restorative schools that use alternatives to suspension and expulsion. She has been part of numerous advisory boards including the Anaheim Police Chief's Advisory Board and has been part of the Violence Prevention Coalition Orange County since 2008.

Manuel N. Gómez, Ph.D.

Manuel N. Gomez, Ph.D.Vice Chancellor Emeritus, Student Affairs
Dr. Gómez is a seasoned educator and senior academic leader. In a 38-year career, Gómez created programs that have benefited thousands of students, many from disadvantaged backgrounds. He founded the UCI Center for Educational Partnerships, co-founded an educational-cultural program in China and established the Dalai Lama Endowed Scholarship for UCI. He served as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Education and advised the California Postsecondary Education Commission. Gómez is a recipient of the UCI Medal, this campus’s highest honor.

Brandy Gatlin, Ph.D.

Brandy Gatlin, Ph.D.Assistant Professor, UCI School of Education
Dr. Gatlin is a faculty member at UCI’s School of Education. Her research interests are in Achievement Gap, Culture & Learning, Diversity & Equity, Language & Literacy Acquisition & Instruction, Learning Disabilities, Linguistic Diversity, Race & Urban Education, Teacher Education and Writing.