Spring 2017

Upcoming Events

All events are open to the public and free, unless stated otherwise. We look forward to seeing you at our Center. Enjoy!

Past Events

  • Apr-Jun 10-09 Mon-Fri

    Exhibit: Faces of Spirits in Haitian Vodou Flags

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    Art Exhibit

    Art / MCC Lounge

    Spirits have long made their presence known in various realms of nature and other sites of worship. Haitian Vodou flags/drapo sèvis are important religious icons honoring Afro-Haitian divinities, Catholic saints, and, at times, Indigenous American spirits. This exhibit features the work of Haitian artist and Vodou flag maker Ronald Edmond. Light refreshments and snacks will be served at our opening reception.

    Opening Reception/MCC Lounge: Tues, April 18, 6 pm

  • Apr 12 Wed

    Don’t Tell Anyone/No Le Digas a Nadie

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    6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

    Cup of Culture

    Film Screening + Q&A / MCC Theater

    In an environment where silence is often seen as necessary for survival, Angy Rivera steps out of the shadows to share her journey of being undocumented and sexually abused, an ordeal all too common in her community. No Le Digas a Nadie follows immigrant activist Angy’s personal story from poverty in rural Colombia to the front page of The New York Times as she becomes a beacon in a movement for national change. Join us for a Q&A discussion with Angy to follow. (English & Spanish, 2015, 75 min)

    Watch trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHSOWj3Dr10

    Co-presented by the UCSB Undocumented Student Services

  • Apr 13 Thu

    Imaginaries about Muslims: Before and After Trump

    6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

    Race & Religion Series

    Panel Discussion / MCC Theater

    Donald Trump’s first month in office has seen continuing and escalating anti-Muslim rhetoric and policy. Join us for a cross-disciplinary discussion where:

    - Sherene Seikaly (History) reflects on the history of Muslims as public enemies

    - Juan Campo (Religious Studies) examines institutional factors leading to the rise of Islamophobia

    - Laila Sakr (Film & Media Studies) explores the virtual body politic of social media as it circulates the fear and myth of the Muslim nation

  • Apr 18 Tue

    Art Reception: Faces of Spirits in Haitian Vodou Flags

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    6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

    Art Exhibit

    Art Reception / MCC Lounge

    Spirits have long made their presence known in various realms of nature and other sites of worship. Haitian Vodou flags/drapo sèvis are important religious icons honoring Afro-Haitian divinities, Catholic saints, and, at times, Indigenous American spirits. This exhibit features the work of Haitian artist and Vodou flag maker Ronald Edmond. Light refreshments and snacks will be served at our opening reception.

    Exhibit/MCC Lounge: Mon, Apr 3 – Fri, June 9
    Opening Reception/MCC Lounge: Tues, April 18, 6 pm

  • Apr 19 Wed

    Bruising for Besos

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    6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

    Cup of Culture

    Film Screening + Q&A / MCC Theather

    Bruising for Besos is an intimate character study of Yoli--a charismatic Xicana lesbian making familia in a queer/trans people of color scene in Los Angeles. One night she decides to pursue Daña, an alluring Puerto Rican woman. This romance upends the seeming calmness of Yoli's present life. She soon finds herself recreating a tumultuous past and must choose between a familiar pattern of hurt or begin to face the history that haunts her in order to learn to love "right." A Q&A discussion to follow with the director and producer. (English and Spanish w/ English subtitles, 2016, 90 min)

    Watch trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikOqd1oN-oA

    Co-presented by the Department of Chicano/a Studies and the Resource Center for Gender and Sexual Diversity

  • Apr 20 Thu

    An Evening of Self-Expression with PoetRoniGirl

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    7:30 PM - 8:30 PM

    The MCC in IV

    Open Mic / Biko Garage, 6612 Sueno Rd, Isla Vista

    With spoken word, poetry or music as means of expression, this quarter’s open mic night is hosted by Roni Walter aka poetronigirl. She is the founder of "poetronigirl Gear" and "roni'z Bakstreeet Poetri." A self-identified Black woman, Roni teaches poetry workshops at schools and nonprofit organizations.

  • Apr 23 Sun

    Kabir in Song: A Night of North Indian Devotional Music

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    8:00 PM - 9:00 PM

    Music Performance / MCC Theater

    The poetry of Kabir, the acclaimed 15th century poet-saint of North India, has had a transformative influence on both Hindu bhakti traditions and the Sikh scriptural tradition enshrined in the Adi Granth. Prahlad Singh Tipanya and his ensemble of singers make Kabir’s poems come to life in the joyful folk style of Madhya Pradesh’s Malwa region. Join us for a truly unique concert where Linda Hess, a leading scholar of Kabir, will present translations of the powerful poetry put to song.

    *Purchase tickets online: $5 for UCSB students and youth under 12; $15 for general admission.

  • Apr 25 Tue

    Bridging Scholarship and Activism

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    6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

    Resilient Love in a Time of Hate Series

    Lecture / MCC Lounge

    By reflecting on his own personal trajectory from being a social-justice activist and social worker turned scholar and researcher, Bernd Reiter describes how moving through geographic and cultural spaces facilitates scholarly explorations of the contingencies between the freedoms associated with globalism and the human desire to find social connection. Reiter, Professor of Political Science at the University of South Florida, explores scholar-activism as it confronts the neoliberal university.

  • Apr 26 Wed

    Starving the Beast

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    6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

    Cup of Culture

    Film Screening / MCC Theater

    Starving the Beast tells the story of a potent one-two punch roiling public higher education right now: 35 years of systematic defunding and a well financed market oriented reform effort. It’s the story of a little known and misunderstood ideological fight, the outcome of which will change the future of public higher education.

    The film reveals an historic philosophical shift that reframes public higher education as a ‘value proposition’ to be borne by the student as a consumer, rather than an investment in citizens as a ‘public good’. Financial winners and losers emerge in a struggle poised to profoundly change public higher education.

    The film vividly illustrates these issues in unfolding dramas at six public research universities: University of Wisconsin, University of Virginia, University of North Carolina, Louisiana State University, University of Texas, and Texas A&M. (English, 2016, 95 min)

    Watch trailer: http://www.starvingthebeast.net/trailer/

  • Apr 26 Wed

    Black Liberation: The Rose that Grew from Concrete (Alicia Garza)

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    7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

    Resilient Love in a Time of Hate Series

    Lecture / Campbell Hall

    Social justice activist, organizer, and co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter, Alicia Garza shares her unflinching call-to-action against discrimination in the U.S. while galvanizing individuals to fight for freedom and justice for all Black lives. Alongside Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors, Garza helped transform what was once a viral hashtag and social media force into a grassroots national organization and a global human rights movement. Currently the special projects director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Garza has dedicated her life and career to fighting for equality and justice for all.

    Presented by the Black Student Engagement Program and the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity.

    Co-sponsored by Finance and Business Committee, Queer Commission, Isla Vista Community Relations Committee, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Education Opportunity Program, Office of Student Life, Department of Feminist Studies, and the Center for Black Studies Research.

  • Apr 28 Fri

    An Evening of Azerbaijan Folk and Classical Music: Azeri Band

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    8:00 PM - 9:00 PM

    Music Performance / MCC Theater

    With countless successful concerts, more than 15 albums in 15 years, and a group of highly talented musicians, it is an honor to present Rahim (garmon & vocals), Armen (piano), Leva (keyboard), Garnik (clarinet), and Gaik (Nagara) as they play the beautiful tunes of Azerbaijan live! Azeri music is a harmonious folk tradition that reaches back to nearly 1,000 years. Come and be dazzled by a performance that will always remain in your heart.

    *Purchase tickets online:  $5 for UCSB students and youth under 12; $15 for general admission.

  • May 02 Tue

    “Hablando con Todxs”: Articulations of Gender and Sexuality in Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba

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    6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

    Race Matters Series

    Lecture / MCC Theater

    Employing the Afro-Puerto Rican musical tradition of bomba, this presentation focuses on discourses of sexuality and gender in relation to race and coloniality among contemporary practitioners with particular attention to musicians and dancers of the bomba diaspora in the United States. Invoking the communitarian context out of which bomba has developed this presentation interrogates the point of entry of female practitioners who challenge gendered and racialized positionalities with regard to drumming and dancing. Focusing on the critical interventions of these practitioners, Micaela J. Díaz-Sánchez (UCSB Chicano/a Studies) explores contemporary performances of bomba in the diaspora as a tradition in which feminist and queer sociopolitical histories and aesthetic practices thrive.

  • May 03 Wed

    Hidden Figures

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    6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

    Cup of Culture

    Film Screening / MCC Theater

    The incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson - brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation's confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big. (English, 2016, 127 min)

    Watch trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RK8xHq6dfAo

  • May 04 Thu

    SyrianamericanA: Damascus to Harlem (Presented by Hip-Hop Artist Omar Offendum)

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    7:30 PM - 8:30 PM

    Performance-Lecture / MCC Theater

    From the jasmine tree-lined courtyards of Nizar Qabbani’s Damascene homes, to the flooded riverbanks of Langston Hughes’ poems, this event is a performance, presentation, and conversation. With an artistic journey that has paralleled the rise of social media and borne witness to major socio-political shifts in his ancestral home, Omar Offendum,a Syrian hip-hop artist, poet, and peace activist, discusses how he has been able to develop a special blend of Hip-Hop & Arabic poetry to bridge cultural divides.

  • May 06 Sat

    An Evening of Latin Music: Los Pinguos

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    8:00 PM - 9:00 PM

    Music Performance / MCC Theater

    They came to the US from Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a mixture of rhythms, performed with Spanish guitars, Latin drums, and harmonizing vocals. Vivacious and infectious, the sound of Los Pinguos has claimed fans worldwide. Join the four-man group - Adrián Buono, José Agote, Santiago Lee, and Pablo Medina - for a blend of groove and Latin rhythms.

    *Purchase tickets online: $5 for UCSB students and youth under 12; $15 for general admission.

  • May 09 Tue

    Democracy, Racial Regimes and Inequality: Ancient Athens to the Contemporary World (Michael Hanchard)

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    6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

    Race Matters Series

    Lecture / MCC Lounge

    Is racial exclusion antithetical to democracy? Dr. Michael Hanchard, Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, explores how regimes of racial and ethno-national hierarchy have functioned as modalities for political membership and exclusion in societies ranging from the city-state of ancient Athens to the modern and contemporary nation-states in our world. Rather than treating racial and ethno-national regimes as anomalous to democratic practice, Dr. Hanchard’s research suggests that racial and ethno-national regimes have been constituted in and by the very practice of democracy. In so doing, he exposes the limits of democratic theory to address issues of racial inequality.

  • May 10 Wed


    6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

    Cup of Culture

    Film Screening / MCC Theater

    What remains of a woman’s right to choose? Since 2010, 288 laws regulating abortion providers have been passed by state legislatures. In total, 44 states and the District of Columbia have measures subjecting abortion providers to legal restrictions not imposed on other medical professionals. Unable to comply with these far-reaching and medically unnecessary laws, clinics have taken their fight to the courts. Trapped follows the clinic workers and lawyers who were on the front lines of the battle to keep abortion safe and legal for millions of American women. (English, 2016, 90 min)

    Watch trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXFo0ELvGsg

    Film courtesy of the UCSB Library. After the screening the DVD will be available in the Library's media collection.

  • May 15 Mon

    The Wisdom of Winona LaDuke: We Have to Fight

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    7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

    Screening & Lecture / Pollock Theater

    Congregating at the Oceti Sakowin Camp in North Dakota, the largest historical gathering of Native American tribes rose to national and international attention as they and their allies stood in solidarity against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Chumash Coastal Band will formally welcome Winona LaDuke, an internationally renowned indigenous activist, for a screening of Lucien Reed’s 2016 short Mni Wiconi. LaDuke, Executive Director and co-founder of Honor the Earth, will speak to the successes and continued struggles faced by those moving from Standing Rock to Washington, D.C. and beyond.

    Lecture RSVP online: bit.ly/mcc-winona

    There will be a reception for students and Winona at the American Indian Cultural Resource Center at the SRB on Mon, May 15, 5:30 pm.

    Co-sponsored by EOP, The Global Environmental Justice Project, UCSB Critical Issues in America: "Climate Futures: This Changes Everything,” and the Center for Black Studies Research.

  • May 17 Wed

    Love Arcadia

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    6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

    Cup of Culture

    Film Screening / MCC Theater

    Rather than continuing his education, Jake wants to pursue what he believes will make him happy: taking over his family’s bubble tea shop, Tea Arcadia. That is until, he meets a young woman named Joanna Lee. She arrives at his hometown Arcadia, California, to buy the shopping center and start a new development project, putting the shop and all other tenants out of business. The film illustrates the many sides of love, family, and happiness. (English, 2015, 97 min)

    Taiwanese American Student Association (TASA) will sell boba drinks prior to the film screening.

    Watch trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Crwitim6ARM

  • May 18 Thu

    Hacking the DSM: An Asian American Mental Health Intervention (Mimi Khúc)

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    6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

    Race Matters Series

    Lecture / MCC Lounge

    Mimi Khúc, assistant professor of Asian American Studies at University of Maryland, will present research that has culminated in her editing of a special issue of the Asian American Literary Review. The issue explores new ways of discussing mental health: not merely as an individual pathology or condition, but as a topic contextualized within structures of violence such as rape, misogyny, and colonialism. Her talk will be preceded by readings of original work and short pieces from the issue by students from Playsia.

    Co-presented by the Department of Asian American Studies

  • May 20 Sat

    Dances from the Middle East with Cris! Basimah

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    12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

    Children of All Ages

    Performance / MCC Lounge

    Come learn dances from the Middle East featuring line dances and Egyptian Folk steps in this fun and interactive workshop with Cris! Basimah. Children will be encouraged to forge connections with their own bodies as they engage in this cross-cultural exchange. Cris is the director of the UCSB Middle Eastern Ensemble Dance Company.

  • May 23 Tue

    HeART Work: Poetically Political / An Evening of Spoken Word with Nikkita Oliver

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    7:30 PM - 8:30 PM

    Resilient Love in a Time of Hate Series

    Poetry Performance / MCC Theater

    James Baldwin says, “The poet or the revolutionary is there to articulate the necessity, but until the people themselves apprehend it, nothing can happen.” HeART work is a transformational act of love that challenges and changes the world through poetry. The power of the artist is to creatively speak truths in ways that people can hear and engage in a transformational and meaningful way that does not always happen through lectures or even everyday conversations. Storytelling is one of the oldest and most powerful forms of medicine. Spoken-word artist, community organizer, and current candidate for Seattle’s mayoral race with the People’s Party, Nikkita Oliver shows us how by telling our stories we can heal hearts, change the world, and inspire creative revolution.

  • May 24 Wed


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    6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

    Cup of Culture

    Film Screening / MCC Theater

    In New York City, LGBTQ youth-of-color gather out on the Christopher Street Pier, practicing a performance-based artform, Ballroom, which was made famous in the early 1990s by Madonna’s music video Vogue and the documentary Paris Is Burning. Twenty-five years after these cultural touchstones, a new and very different generation of LGBTQ youth have formed an artistic activist subculture, named the Kiki Scene. After the film, the Vogue Club will share a performance. (English, 2016, 94 min)

    Watch trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHhs7GY5ft0

    Co-presented by the Resource Center for Gender and Sexual Diversity
    Co-sponsored by the LGBTQ Studies Minor in the Department of Feminist Studies

  • May 25 Thu

    From 9/11 to Now: Immigrant Rights Matter to Us All (Ahilan Arulanantham)

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    6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

    Diversity Lecture

    Lecture / MCC Theater

    Reflecting on his own family history, Ahilan Arulanantham, director of the ACLU of Southern California, will guide us through 15 years of his career in Immigrants’ Rights Advocacy spanning the aftermath of 9/11 through the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. Whether representing detained immigrants in New York during the Fall of 2001, defending detained refugees and Central American children, or championing those affected by the President Trump’s “Muslim Travel Ban,” Ahilan shares his experience in upholding immigrant rights for which he has been awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant.

  • May 31 Wed

    Tickling Giants

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    6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

    Cup of Culture

    Film Screening / MCC Theater

    The Arab Spring in Egypt: From a dictator to free elections, back to a dictatorship. A comedy show united the country and tested the limits of free press. This is the story of Bassem Youssef, a cardiologist turned comedian, considered the Jon Stewart of Egypt, and his production "The Show". (English, 2016, 111 min)

    Watch trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVwUrbGcxZ4