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Tag Archives: Case Western Reserve University

What Anisfield-Wolf Taught Me: Finding Strength In My Immigrant Identity

by Jessica Yang I was five when I came to the U.S. from China. My first experiences of America were formed in a predominantly white town where I could count the number of non-white classmates on one hand. Other children asked me why my eyes were so small, whether I ate dogs, and why my lunch of homemade dumplings smelled weird. I chose to bury these memories because I wanted to believe the world was a better place. “The trick was to understand America, to know that America was give-and-take. You gave up a lot but you gained a lot, too.” That observation comes from Chimamanda Adichie’s short story, “The Thing Around My Neck.” I discovered it in a first-year seminar at Case Western Reserve University, an experience that helped awaken me to the power in sharing things that make... Read More →

Case Western Reserve University Adding Second Anisfield-Wolf Scholar To Faculty

The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards will expand its reach in 2015 with the addition of a second scholar at Case Western Reserve University teaching about racism and the awards literature, starting in the fall.  The Cleveland University posted a description of the fellowship this month. Lisa Nielson has been a Anisfield-Wolf SAGES Fellow at Case Western Reserve University since 2011 The individual who is hired will join Dr. Lisa Nielson, a pioneering partner to the book awards. She has been instrumental in bringing Anisfield-Wolf literature into the university canon. A classically-trained musician and scholar, Nielson has won major grants and two university teaching awards since she became the first Anisfield-Wolf SAGES scholar in the fall of 2011. Her success has bred much success: students... Read More →

Journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault On The Armor She Needed To Survive As A Black Woman In The South

Journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault speaks at Case Western Reserve University, January 2015 | Photo credit Dan Milner “I am not a person preoccupied by race,” said the groundbreaking journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault, instantly believable even in the paradox that her place in history is inextricably tied to race. Exuding warmth and wit and height – even in low-heeled boots – Hunter-Gault asked about 200 listeners at Case Western Reserve University, “What would Dr. King be dreaming now – in the deep South and in the up South?” When she was Charlayne Hunter, oldest child of a Methodist army chaplain and his wife, the teenager spotted King on the sidewalk in Atlanta outside his father’s church, Ebenezer Baptist. “I saw Dr. King on the street and I went to him and he said,... Read More →

In Midst Of Breakthrough Year, Laverne Cox Speaks Out On Gender Identity And Self-Love

by Tara Jefferson with additional reporting by Karen R. Long "Kent State University, how ya feeling tonight?" actress and LGBT activist Laverne Cox boomed as she took the podium in the university student center. Dressed in a bright green shift dress and black cardigan, Cox thanked an audience that waited hours in line to hear her speak.  With her high-wattage smile and impeccable grooming, Cox is reveling in the spotlight of a breakthrough year. In June, she became the first transgender person to land the cover of Time magazine. A few months later, she broke another barrier: nabbing an Emmy nomination for her role as Sophia Burset on the Netflix comedy ensemble, "Orange is the New Black."  In November, Cox will accept a woman-of-the year award from Glamour Magazine, alongside U.N.... Read More →

Connecting King And Soyinka: Some Things Were Meant To Be Looked At Differently

Kerrick Woyshner, 18, was a scholar in the first college-level Anisfield-Wolf class, pioneered by Dr. Lisa Nielson at Case Western Reserve University. Students read essays, poems and books by Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winners, attended the September awards ceremony and did original research on topics inspired by the course. “I never realized what motivated my hand to click on the ‘Reading Social Justice: The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards’ class this summer,” Woyshner wrote. “I wanted something new. Though I hailed from a conservative, all-male Catholic high school, I plan on continuing this education my entire life, striving to benefit those who don’t have the resources so that I may one day become the Martin Luther King or, rather, the Kerrick Woyshner of social justice.” A... Read More →

Reflections On Far From The Tree: Quiet, Beautiful and Different Children

Arjun Gopinath, 17, participated in the first college-level Anisfield-Wolf class, pioneered by Dr. Lisa Nielson at Case Western Reserve University.  The class read essays, poems and books by Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winners, attended the September awards ceremony and did original research on topics inspired by the course.  “Being an international student, I had this paranoia that my level of writing wouldn’t match the level of an average American student, but the small seminars – such as the Anisfield-Wolf course – have helped me get in sync with writing and not be afraid of it anymore,” wrote Gopinath, who grew up in Bangalore, India. His essay on Far From the Tree is one of a selection from students featured on this site. By Arjun Gopinath There is a huge variety of... Read More →

What Race Means To Me: Being Chinese In A White America

Andrea Lau, 18, was a student scholar this past fall in the first college-level Anisfield-Wolf course, pioneered by Dr. Lisa Nielson at Case Western Reserve University.  The class read essays, poems and books by Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winners, attended the September awards ceremony and did original research on topics inspired by the course.  “The pieces of literature that we read and the stimulating discussion held in this class have left a profound impact on my perspective of the world and my understanding of how society participates in equality and prejudice,” wrote Lau, who grew up in New Jersey. In coming weeks, this site will feature a selection of work from these students. By Andrea Lau My story of growing up in America as a first-generation Chinese-American is not... Read More →
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