Martin Luther King, Jr's Thoughts on Militarism | A Conversation with Veterans for Peace

Tuesday January 16, 2018: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room

Should we have a military mainly for defense, or should we use it aggressively to defend or promote national interests? Before Dr. King’s tragic death, he spoke out more and more against government use of military over diplomacy and the use of armed forces in the routine policy of the state. For such actions, Dr. King was criticized heavily and to this day his thoughts on war still make people uncomfortable.

Veterans For Peace will discuss Dr. King's speeches relating to defense versus militarism, showing that they are as relevant today as they were 50 years ago.

Crisis Text Line

Need someplace to turn during a crisis? Looking for some support during a difficult time? Now you can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting 741741. You'll be greeted by an automated message and then connected with a crisis counselor who will help you sort through the situation. The service is free but messaging rates apply if you do not have service though Verizon, Sprint, AT&T or T-Mobile. Interested in learning more about how the Crisis Text Line works? Take a look at the TED talk by Founder and CEO Nancy Lublin.

R U OK?

Here's a disturbing statistic: One out of seven Washtenaw County middle and high school students have contemplated suicide. What can we do about it?

Through the collaboration of ONE Washtenaw, agencies, organizations and the faith community are working together to coordinate their efforts to prevent suicide, especially of our young citizens. One of their joint ventures is the 'R U OK?' Suicide Prevention Campaign. Community Mental Health, Ozone House and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline have created this awareness campaign. Additionally, training is available for anyone who would like to be a 'lifeguard'. By following the training components of R U OK community members & students can learn how to detect signs of depression & hopelessness, what to say and resources to share. Sometimes just ONE positive interaction can make all the difference for someone contemplating ending their life.

If you feel like you're not O.K. and need someone to talk to here are some important phone numbers: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255, Washtenaw Community Mental Health Access: 734-544-3050 or 800-440-7548 and Ozone House: 734-662-2222.

Spread the word & find out: R U OK?

Film & Discussion: How to Let Go of the World And Love All the Things Climate Can't Change

Thursday December 1, 2016: 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm -- Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room

Concerned about climate change?

This special screening of the latest film by Oscar-nominated director Josh Fox (Gasland) focuses on the impacts climate change is having around the world. In "How to Let Go of the World and Love All The Things Climate Can't Change," Fox contemplates our climate-impacted future, focusing on the human qualities that global warming can't destroy.

"It's a fascinating, heartbreaking and ultimately inspiring ride." — Andrew O. Hehir, Salon.com

The screening will be followed by a brief discussion on global warming. This 127-minute film is not rated.

This event is cosponsored by the Ann Arbor Chapter of Citizens' Climate Lobby and 350 SE Michigan.

Proving Innocence: Freeing the Wrongfully Convicted

Thursday July 28, 2016: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

The success of podcasts like Serial and documentaries like Making of a Murderer has drawn attention to the issue of wrongful convictions, and to flaws in the criminal justice system that allow these problems to persist.

In 2007, Bill Proctor, a journalist and reporter with WXYZ-TV Channel 7 in Detroit, founded the Proving Innocence Organization to investigate wrongful conviction claims and educate the public about the need for reforms. Bill will talk about the cases that inspired him to take action, and bring along guest speakers who have experienced wrongful conviction and exoneration to share their perspectives.

Proctor was an award-winning journalist, reporter, producer, and anchorperson whose career of nearly forty years spanned electronic media, radio, television, and documentaries. He concluded his career as senior staff reporter for WXYZ-TV in Southfield, MI. In May 2013, Bill retired and started Bill Proctor and Associates, a communications consulting firm.

In the mid-1990s, he produced a series of specials on the slaying of community-college student, Scott Macklem. Through his investigations, Bill became convinced that Frederick Freeman (Temujin Kensu), the man convicted of killing Macklem, was not guilty. His passion for redressing this injustice led Bill to found Proving Innocence.

Always Lost: A Meditation on War

Now through February 24, 2016 -- Downtown Library: 3rd Floor Exhibit

In 2008, Western Nevada College (WNC) sociology Professor Don Carlson was stopped in his tracks by The New York Times’ Roster of the Dead. “Four thousand faces of American military who had perished in Iraq stared at me,” he said, “and I realized that this war has been perhaps one of the most impersonal wars the U.S. has ever fought.” Carlson and English Professor Marilee Swirczek envisioned a literary and visual arts exhibition to personalize Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. Kevin Burns, Major, USMC (Ret.) titled the exhibition Always Lost: A Meditation on War from an observation by American writer Gertrude Stein: “War is never fatal but always lost. Always lost.”

The heart of Always Lost is the Wall of the Dead: individual photographs with names of the more than 6,870 U.S. military war casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001. The Always Lost project team is committed to keeping the Wall of the Dead current in honor of those who gave their lives and those who made it home.

Included in the exhibition, courtesy of The Dallas Morning News, is the 2004 Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of Iraq War combat photographs (Breaking News Photography) by photojournalists David Leeson and Cheryl Diaz Meyer, embedded with Marine units in Iraq in 2003. Accompanying each combat photograph is original literary work by WNC creative writers, veterans and their family members, and others from the Nevada writing community. Observations about the nature of war, from ancient philosophers to modern-day generals, offer thought-provoking meditations about the effects of war on each of us and our obligations to those who serve in harm’s way on our behalf. Interviews of WNC student veterans, representing service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, remind us of the hidden wounds of war. Army SPC Noah C. Pierce, who took his life after two combat tours in Iraq, represents the tragedy of military suicides through his personal story and original poetry.

The exhibition has evolved into a powerful meditation on the effect of war on each of us. It has become a sacred space in which to contemplate the personal costs and collective sacrifice of these particular conflicts, and consequently, of all wars. Always Lost: A Meditation on War is dedicated to those who gave their lives and those who made it home.

This exhibit contains graphic images and depictions of war that some viewers may find disturbing. It is not recommended for unsupervised children and viewer discretion is advised.

Always Lost is made possible through the generosity of The National Endowment of the Arts, The Dallas Morning News, Pfizer VIP: Veterans In Pfizer, Western Nevada College, Art Works and many more.

Image Credit: Photo (left): Courtesy of The Dallas Morning News/David Leeson

City Of Ann Arbor 2016 Sustainable Ann Arbor Forum: Looking to the Future: Ann Arbor in 2025

Thursday April 7, 2016: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

Join the conversation about sustainability in Ann Arbor as the City and the Ann Arbor District Library host their annual Sustainable Ann Arbor series. The series will include four events (held monthly through April) with each focusing on a different element of sustainability from Ann Arbor’s Sustainability Framework.

The last event in this series centers on Ann Arbor in 2025, including conversations about local challenges and solutions on Ann Arbor’s path to a more sustainable future.

A think tank of local stakeholders including representatives from community organizations, staff from both the City of Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County will join the public to discuss local sustainability efforts and challenges in our community. Each program will include a series of short presentations followed by a question and answer session.

The forums offer an opportunity to learn more about sustainability in the community and tips for actions that residents can take to live more sustainably.

Speakers include:
- Moderator, Josie Parker, Director of the Ann Arbor Library;
- Teresa Gillotti, Communication and Policy Specialist, Washtenaw County Department of Community and Economic Development;
- Xuan Liu, Manager of Research, SEMCOG;
- Susan Pollay, Executive Director, Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority;
- Sue Zielinski, Managing Director of SMART at the U-M Transport Research Institute.

Details of this series will be posted online on The City of Ann Arbor's Sustainability site. For information and videos from current and past Sustainable Ann Arbor Forums, please visit the City’s Sustainability website.

Opiates & Medicine: Where are we, America?

Dawn Farm kicks off their Education Series this year by presenting on the topic of opiates & medicine which has been deemed an "epidemic" by CDC Director Thomas Frieden. Local and national leaders and media headlines echo & highlight this concern. How did we get this way? What drives this “epidemic?” This presentation will be a historically based look at the medical use of opiates, especially in American society. It will focus on the development and use of narcotic medications against the background of the three opiate epidemics in America. The presenter will discuss the history of opiates in medicine, opiate addiction as a brain disease, issues in the use of opiates to treat chronic pain and the medical treatment of addiction. The session is September 22 from 7:30-9:00 PM at the SJMH Education Center.

Money Smart Week: Creative Crafting

Sunday April 24, 2016: 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for grades K-6

Using play money, kids will have the chance to "purchase" various craft supplies from the library "store" to create their own unique masterpiece!

This is a fun way to learn about budgeting and money usage!

Helping Your Child with a Disability Maintain Safe Relationships with their Caregivers

Monday November 16, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room

Washtenaw Association for Community Advocacy (Washtenaw ACA) staff present information and resources on teaching your child with a disability how to have a safe relationship with their caregivers.

Help your child know their rights and how to advocate for/protect themselves if they are in an unsafe situation with their caregiver(s). This program is designed for parents of children with disabilities, individuals with disabilities, caregivers, and providers, and will be presented by Jen Gossett, BS, CTRS, Region 1 Coordinator at the Washtenaw Association for Community Advocacy.

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