Activities the Week of October 17, 2016

Thursday, October 13, 2016
Courtney Lewis
Latinos in the Midwest • A (Nonpartisan) Look at the 2016 Election • Harmony Project KC • Rape, Victims, and Agency

Latinos in the Midwest - Ruben Martinez
Monday, October 17 | 6:30 p.m. | Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.

The Midwest’s Latino population has risen rapidly in the past 20 years, both in urban and rural areas, especially here in the Kansas City area. As elsewhere in the country, the shift in demographics has come with mixed reception and controversy.

Ruben Martinez, the director of Michigan State University’s Julian Samora Research Institute and editor of the book Latinos in the Midwest, discusses the ways in which an increase in the Latino population has impacted the Midwest culturally, economically, educationally, and politically.

This event is part of a year-long examination of polarization in American society, E Pluribus Unum? Missouri and the Fractured Society, made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and conducted in partnership with the Missouri Humanities Council.

A (Nonpartisan) Look at the 2016 election – Patrick Miller
Tuesday, October 18 | 6:30 p.m. | Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.

There is no shortage of pundits who are eager to tell Americans why one candidate for president has all the answers and another would be a disaster if elected.

Patrick Miller – an assistant professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Kansas – offers a straightforward, nonpartisan look at Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump as well as Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Are Clinton and Trump as far apart as their most militant supporters would have you believe? What is behind the growing popularity of third- (and fourth-) party candidates? On what issues is there the most disagreement? And where can we find middle ground?

Harmony Project KC – Margaret Martin
Wednesday, October 19 | 6:30 p.m. | Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.

Harmony Project KC, an affiliate of the acclaimed, music-based, youth development program targeting students in underserved areas of Los Angeles, launched in northeast Kansas City in January 2015 and immediately began to impact lives. Each participant learned to read music and/or play an instrument. Two-thirds also raised their grades in English, language arts, or math, and all advanced to the next grade level.

Margaret Martin, who founded the original program in L.A. 15 years ago and received the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Obama in 2015, discusses Harmony Project and the power of music – how it can be used to enable vulnerable children to express themselves with dignity and grace, “tune” their brains, and develop character, citizenship and the habits that foster successful lives.

Rape, Victims, and Agency: A Literary Rebuttal - Carine M. Mardorossian
Thursday, October 20 | 6:30 p.m. | Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.

It wasn’t only the length of the sentence that disturbed Carine Mardorossian when a judge in June handed a former Stanford University swimmer a modest, six-month jail term for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. It was also people’s surprise at the decision. Here was one of too many cases where Mardorossian says “rape is not taken seriously.”

An English professor at the University of Buffalo, she maintains “it’s time for us to wake up and think about how we're raising our kids and what messages come across to what would otherwise appear as normal, successful boys." She addresses the issue in a discussion of her book Framing the Rape Victim: Gender and Agency Reconsidered.

Co-presented by the UMKC Women’s and Gender Studies program.

Programming is free at the Kansas City Public Library and free parking is available at all Library locations. Event attendees can RSVP at or at 816.701.3407.