The Byron & Christine Johnson Lecture/Discussion Series

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Lecture/Discussions 2013-1999

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Local Poet Dominique Christina Johnson shared her thoughts on being a female writer in a lecture entitled, “Insisting on the Center,” her presentation reflecting the 2013 theme, A Black Woman Speaks.

 2013 Series
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Roy and Phyllis Cayetano visited the “I Have a Dream Monument” in City Park, after having traveled all the way from Belize in Central America to present “The Garifuna: From St. Vincent to Belize.”  Their presentation reflected the 2012 theme, Displaced Communities.

 2012 Series

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Dr. Rachel Harding was a guest speaker for the Johnson Lecture/Discussion Series multiple times.  This year her topic was “Brazil:  Meanings of Nationhood in Afro-Brazilian Candomble.”  The 2011 theme was Feeling the Spirit: Diasporic Identities in the Americas.

 2011 Series
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Jon Perdue (left) presented his one-man play, based on his experiences in Americus, Georgia during the height of the Civil Rights Movement.  He is pictured above in dialogue with Denver Activist Brother Jeff Fard, who spoke at the Johnson Lecture Series the previous year.  The 2010 theme was Casting our Cultural Shadow.

 2010 Series
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Thomas DeWolf (left) spoke on Inheriting the Trade: Hidden Truths about the Legacy of Slavery, the book he wrote about his family’s legacy in the Transatlantic Slave Trade.  Beside him is Harold Fields, who has also spoken at the Johnson Lecture Series.  The 2009 Theme was Ushering in a New Era.

 2009 Series
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Dr. Ramon Del Castillo, Chair of Chicano/a Studies at Metropolitan State University of Denver, assessed legacies of the Chicano Movement in his presentation “Fallen Heroes: Old and New Legacies.”  The 2008 theme was History, Heritage, & Hope: Celebrating Ten Years.

 2008 Series
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Quilter Mary Lassiter (right front) displays one of her creations at a lecture entitled, “Indigo & Bottle Trees/Quilts & Sweetgrass Baskets.”  The 2007 Theme was The Water Brought Us:  Gullah History & Culture.

 2007 Series
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Noted Historian Dr. Vincent Harding, spoke on Mahatma Gandhi, a figure included with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the “I Have a Dream Monument” located in City Park.  The monument was the creation of Denver Sculptor Ed Dwight.  The 2006 theme of the Johnson Lecture/Discussion Series was The African Diaspora: The Return.”

 2006 Series
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Thie above image was captured by Photographer Tony Gleaton, whose photos reflect a Black presence in Mexico.  This one entitled, “Son of Yemaya,” was displayed during Gleaton’s lecture entitled, “Deconstructing Africa’s Legacy in Mexico, Central, and South America.”  The 2005 Theme was The African Diaspora.

 2005 Series
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During his lecture, New York Author William Loren Katz presented a slide show based on one of his most popular works, Black Indians:  A Hidden Heritage,  The 2004 Theme was Linkage & Legacy.

 2004 Series
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Bina Sharif presented her one-woman play, “Women in Modernity:  Afghan Woman,” which she wrote following September 11, 2001.  Her performance reflected the 2003 Theme, The Storyteller/The Griot.

 2003 Series
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Lalo Delgado (above) was one of several poets performing at the lecture entitled, “Tribute to Rodolfo ‘Corky’ Gonzales.”  Gonzales established the organization, Crusade for Justice and the school Escuela Tlatlelolco was founded out of that organization. Because this was the first  year that the lecture/discussion series was offered as a college course, it was also given a theme.  The 2002 Theme was Rhythm, Resistance, & Renewal.

 2002 Series
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In the above photograph, Dr. Glenn Morris (center) joined drummers from the Escuela Tlatlelolco at the tribute to Corky Gonzales held the following year; however, he established himself at the Johnson Lecture/Discussion Series this year, when he led a panel on “The Legacy of Columbus.”

 2001 Series
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Byron Johnson spoke at the lecture entitled “The WayMaker Project” in 2000.  This was also the year when his name was added to the Johnson Lecture/Discussion Series.

 2000 Series
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Carlotta Walls LaNier spoke on her experiences as one of the nine students who desegregated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957.

 1999 Series


“In the Front Range, there is no better source of current information on race relations than the annual Byron & Christine Johnson Lecture Series. At the start of each year, the guest speakers inspire us to think of, and strengthen, our local inter-racial community.â€

Frank Young, Teacher
Denver Public Schools

“The lecture that stayed on my heart for a long time was the one on Women in the Struggle [March 2002]. The two women from Corky Gonzales’ school [Troylynn Yellow Wood and Nita Gonzales] gave me a newer sense of commitment to my own heritage.â€

Bennie Williams, Member
Park Hill United Methodist Church

“What stands out for me about the lecture series is that it’s a presentation of issues and subjects that you wouldn’t hear about anywhere else. It’s just tremendous.â€

Ruth Steiner, Member
First Unitarian Church

“The lectures opened up a whole new world for me because we discussed areas that I never really knew anything about. It was a big help for me in what I’m trying to do.â€

Barbara Nichols, Director
African American Heritage Camps

“The lectures I enjoyed the most were the ones on Frederick Douglass and Black Indians, Frederick Douglass [January 2004] because I enjoyed studying him in conjunction with Dr. King, and Black Indians [February 2004] because I hadn’t known anything about that history. Also, it was good to be in a space where you could learn from people of different ages. As a student, when you see elders coming in asking questions, it brings a whole new perspective to things.â€

Che’ Chandler, Student
Metropolitan State College of Denver