Two programs, one focusing on the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and its relevance to today, and the other addressing human rights and how it intersects with creative writing, will be offered to the public at Many Ways of Peace in downtown Eagle River.
Ann Hewitt, a history teacher at Northland Pines High School, will analyze key historical moments in the Civil Rights movement in light of recent events in the nation and state in a three-part series beginning Monday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. She visited three cities in Alabama this past summer and will base her first program on Tuskegee. In 1957, white authorities in the Alabama legislature sought to silence this community by redrawing the political lines to disenfranchise black voters. Hewitt will shed light on changes that were made to electoral districts in Wisconsin and nationwide after the 2010 census.
Hewitt’s second program will be held Nov. 5 and will address police brutality in Birmingham, Ala., and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The third program in the series will be offered Nov. 19 and will feature Selma, Ala., and the Voting Rights Act then and now.
Emily Bright, poet and educator, will present an interactive talk, “Poetry of Witness: Where Creative Writing Intersects with Human Rights,” Thursday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. Bright taught creative writing and literature at UW-Eau Claire before moving to Eagle River last year. Her presentation will focus on how poets around the world have responded to violations of basic human rights. According to Bright, “Poetry and human rights are naturally connected. Creative writing in general, and poetry specifically, use stories and images to cut straight to our hearts. They invite us to see the world through the eyes of another human being, and that empathy is the basis of human rights.”
Bright will offer five weekly classes at Many Ways of Peace that will explore new poetic techniques and include exercises for writing poetry. The class will meet Thursdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 1 through Dec. 8, with no class on Thanksgiving Day.
More information about Hewitt’s and Bright’s programs is available at www.manywaysofpeace.org or by call (715) 480-4697. Many Ways of Peace is a project of the MJ Berner Foundation for Peace and Justice Inc. of Eagle River.