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romanic

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Name: Roman
Gender: Male
Hometown: Michigan
Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Feb 12, 2015, 08:59 PM
Number of posts: 2,841

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(Janet) Mock cancels lecture at Brown Univeristy amid student protest

Janet Mock, a black, native Hawaiian trans woman and activist, announced Wednesday morning that she had canceled her campus talk, “Redefining Realness,” which was originally scheduled for March 21. Mock was invited to be a keynote speaker by Moral Voices, in association with the Brown Center for Students of Color, Sarah Doyle Women’s Center, LGBTQ Center, Sexual Assault Peer Educators, Swearer Center for Public Service, Office of the Chaplains, the Rhode Island School of Design’s Office of Intercultural Student Engagement and Brown/RISD Hillel.

Moral Voices is a student group that aims to raise awareness about social justice issues of global importance each year, wrote Moral Voices co-chairs Natalie Cutler ’16 and Rachel Levy ’16 in a written statement published on medium.com.

After the group invited Mock to lecture on campus, students drafted a petition on Change.org asking Mock to disassociate her lecture from Hillel.

Hillel co-sponsored the lecture, and Moral Voices is a student group funded by a grant from within the Hillel budget, said Marshall Einhorn, executive director of Hillel. The statement published by Cutler and Levy states that the group is run “through Brown/RISD Hillel and funded by a private donor.”

The petition argued that the invitation was an attempt to “pinkwash” the history of Israel or “improve Israel’s image and rebrand it as a liberal, modern and ‘hip’ country.” Petitioners saw the move as an attempt to deflect attention from Israel’s previous track record on LGBTQ rights, racism and the occupation of Palestinian territories, the petition stated.

“We do not condone the use of queer people of color as props to hide occupation,” the petition concluded. Petitioners did not intend for Mock to cancel her lecture but instead urged her “to accept Brown students’ sponsorship instead of Hillel’s,” the petition stated.

The petition received 160 signatures, according to a member of Students for Justice in Palestine who wished to remain anonymous for fear of professional repercussions. He added that the petition was drafted and signed by “a broad coalition” of students from various student groups — including trans and queer students — who felt that there was a contradiction between Mock’s message and what Hillel stands for as an organization.

“With an Israeli government that time and time again is exploiting LGBTQ individuals for the sake of covering up (its) crimes, then it becomes really important that we don’t let a Center who is time and time again supporting the Israeli regime to then claim that they are also supporting LGBTQ voices. There is a serious contradiction there,” the SJP representative said.

“We feel the focus of Janet’s work was lost leading up to the proposed event,” wrote Mock’s representatives in an email to Moral Voices, later shared on the group’s Facebook page. The representatives added that Mock’s visit “was received with controversy and resistance rather than open dialogue and discussion about the issues closest to Janet’s work in movements for trans liberation, racial justice and intersectional feminism.”


http://www.browndailyherald.com/2016/03/17/mock-cancels-lecture-amid-student-protest/

Looks like campus activism and anti-Semitism intertwine once again. Such a shame for Brown to miss out on Mock's lecture.
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