April social justice calendar 

Normally, we do a monthly social justice calendar to provide a roundup of great events around Indianapolis meant to inspire social awareness and change. This month, however, we've got so many great recommendations, we have to do it weekly. No excuses or April fools. Here's a daily calendar of events that are geared towards cultural diversity, peace and social justice, open to the public and (mostly) free for the first week of April.

April 1

ACLU First Wednesday Discussion

"Arts Education: The indispensable fourth 'R'?"

IUPUI Campus Center

12-12:50 p.m.

The ACLU of Indiana continues its monthly First Wednesday discussion series April 1. This week the topic is how to keep arts education in public schools at a time when it seems hard enough to keep teachers in the classroom. Panelists for the discussion include Christine Kunkel, principal of Indianapolis Public Schools' Key Learning Communities; Larry Hurt, veteran arts educator; JoEllen Florio Rossebo, president and CEO of Young Audiences; and David Hoppe, arts editor of NUVO. The event takes place in room 409 of the IUPUI Campus Center. For more information, go to www.aclu-in.org.

April 2

Earth House Film Forum

Documentary: Why We Fight

Earth House Collective

5:30-9 p.m.

Directed by Eugene Jarecki, the documentary Why We Fight examines the United States' relationship with war as a business. Winner of the 2005 Sundance Grand Jury Prize, the film takes an unflinching look at the last 50 years of American military history and the worldwide effects, from the end of World War II to the Iraq War. Admission is free, everyone is welcome and, as always, a healthy and organic dinner is inexpensive. Earth House is located at 237 N. East St., www.earthhousecollective.org.

April 3

International Interfaith Initiative

Sacred Music of the Three Abrahamic Faith

Second Presbyterian Church

7:30 p.m.

The International Interfaith Initiative welcomes Yuval Ron Ensemble for a special evening of music to help raise funds for Iraqi refugee families in Indianapolis. III is working with Exodus Refugee Immigration, Refugee Resources of Indiana and Immigrant Welcome Center to put together an interfaith network to support the families with immediate and long-term needs. Of the over 2 million refugees (and over 2.5 million internally displaced), Indiana received about 12 families with plans to accept seven more families in the near future. Second Presbyterian Church is located at 7700 N. Meridian St. A suggested donation of $20 is being asked for the concert. For more information, contact Charlie Wiles at cwiles@peacelearningcenter.org or call 317-466-0114.

April 4-5

Midwest Peace and Justice Summit

IUPUI Campus

8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Hosted by IUPUI Peace and Justice and sponsored by a number of organizations in the Indianapolis area, the Midwest Peace and Justice Summit is an opportunity for grass-roots networks, community organizers and political activists from all across the Midwest to meet and find out more about each other in an effort to promote peace and justice locally and globally. Activists, organizers, politically minded individuals and the community at large are invited to share their ideas about everything from volunteering to the electoral process. The two-day event features a variety of speakers, workshops and community events aimed at fostering peace and justice organized into two main areas: "Challenging the War Economy" and "Israel and Palestine: Roots of the Conflict, Prospects for Peace." A complete list of all associated events and sessions is available at www.mpjs.org. (Coming in NUVO next week: an interview with Norman Finklestein, controversial scholar and keynote speaker at the Midwest Peace and Justice Summit).

April 6

"Behind the Swoosh: Globalization, Sweatshops, and Social Justice"

Jim Keady, Educating for Justice

Marian College, Marian Hall

7 p.m.

To kick off its annual Global Peace and Justice Day, the Marian College Peace and Justice Studies Program welcomes Jim Keady, director and founder of Educating for Justice as the keynote speaker.

Keady gained notoriety for his documentary film SWEAT, which chronicled his experience as a graduate assistant soccer coach who found out his athletic department was negotiating a $3.5 million endorsement deal that would require all coaches and athletes to wear and promote Nike products. Feeling that coaches and athletes would be walking billboards for a company that exploits its labor force in poor countries, Keady publicly challenged the administration. They respond with an ultimatum: "Wear Nike and drop this issue ... or resign." Keady was forced to resign, and the story became national news, as well as the inspiration for the film and his current project, Educating for Justice.

April 7

Peace and Justice Day

Marian College

10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Each year, the Peace and Justice Studies Program at Marian College hosts a day of events - including drama, art exhibits, eco-tours, workshops and film - to raise awareness and inspire change. This year, speakers include Kim Bobo, founder and director of Interfaith Worker Justice; James Wolfe, president of the Indianapolis Peace and Justice Center; and Chris Hitz-Bradley, president, Indiana Center to Abolish Capital Punishment. The documentary, Rabba Hun Kee Kariye (Thus Departed our Neighbors), which explores the themes of religion and mass murder related to the partition of India, will be also be screened. Amnesty International, Indianapolis Peace Institute and the Faith and Labor Coalition are just a few of the many participating organizations. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, including a complete schedule of events, go to www.marian.edu/PeaceAndJustice or contact Dr. Ralph Leck at rleck@marian.edu.

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