Aa Dekhen Zara is back!

On Saturday March 2nd, 2013, one of the Midwest’s premier national dance competitions, Aa Dekhan Zara, will return to the Overture Center for the Arts here in Madison. Doors will open at 6:15 PM and the show starts at 7:00 PM. Hosted by the India Students Association, this free showcase will feature some of the best Bollywood-Fusion and Bhangra Collegiate Teams from across the nation! The teams will compete head-to-head for first, second, and overall honors.

The following teams will be battling it out:

  • Bollywood-Fusion
  • Northwestern Mirch Masala
  • Deeva Dance Troupe
  • Buckeye Fusion
  • Columbia Dhoom
  • Chicago Dhamaal
  • Bhangra
  • Princeton Bhangra
  • Northwestern Bhangra
  • Spartan Bhangra
  • Boiler Bhangra
  • WashU Bhangra

Check out the teams in the 2013 ADZ Roster:

Aa Dekhen Zara 2013 is graciously sponsored by the Associated Students of Madison (ASM). If you have any questions, please email adzentertainment@gmail.com.

Written by Neelpreet Toor (India Students Association)

Storytelling to Promote Awareness of Filipino-American Community

The Filipino American Student Organization (FASO) hosts the Midwest Fil-Am Summit at the University of Wisconsin! 

The Filipino American Student Organization will hold the 17th annual Midwest Fil-Am Summit consisting of an opening concert, 18 workshops and a showcase highlighting performers from all over the U.S. The summit, formerly known as the Midwest Association of Filipino Americans (MAFA) Conference, will take place at the University of Wisconsin on March 8-10, 2013.

The conference will launch with a concert Friday night headlining MC Geologic, Bambu and Ruby Ibarra. Featured workshop hosts include comedian Rex Navarrete, renowned muralist Eliseo Art Silva and assistant to the Vice Provost of Diversity and Climate Dr. Ruby Paredes.

The theme of the summit, “Ano ang Kwento mo?” meaning “What is your story?” aims to provoke dialogue about Filipino culture and identity while giving students the opportunity to express their individual experiences.

Midwest Fil-Am Summit (What Does Filipino Look Like?) from Donovan Tolledo on Vimeo.

“We want to illustrate the need for students to not only appreciate the culture that brings us together, but to also be proud of the aspects of our identities that set us apart,” FASO President Donovan Tolledo says.

The first session of workshops focus on exploring the Filipino-American identity and the second helps students find the tools to express it. The third session will consist of an intercultural discussion in which the delegates will collectively discuss the issues that come with multiculturalism in the U.S. Attendees will figure out how they, as student organizers and leaders, can help the community overcome these struggles.

To find out more information about the Midwest Fil-Am Summit and registration, visit fasomadison.com or email fasomadison@gmail.com

Title of event: Midwest Fil-Am Summit
Date: March 8-10, 2013
Time: Opening concert – March 8, 9 p.m., Opening ceremony – March 9, 10 a.m., Showcase – March 9, 5 p.m.
Location: Union South

Story by Ashley Reum (Filipino American Student Organization)

Artist Spotlight: Faisal Abdu’Allah confronts race, masculinity, and power through art

faisal 5In case your visual repertoire has been in dire need of an artist who will deliver

“confrontation and displacement through provocative installation pieces,”

have no fear, the Multicultural Student Center has just the suggestion for you. This year UW-Madison is proud to announce their 2013 Artist in Residence, Faisal Abdu’Allah.

As an internationally renowned artist born of Jamaican parents and based in London, Faisal focuses his work on race, power, masculinity, and violence. After specializing in printmaking at the Royal College of Art, he debuted his first major work in I wanna kill sam (1993)…... Further works of Abdu´Allah include ‘The Garden of Eden’ (2003) with architect David Adjaye, ´Gold Finger´ (2007), with the late Joey Pyle from the British mafia, and ‘Double Pendulum’ (2011) with British Olympian Sprinter, Jeanetta Kwayke.

faisal 1Through mixed combinations of photography, digital media, printmaking, installation, and performance, Faisal aims to create spaces that speak the unspoken and provoke the mind to challenge its comfort level and judgment calls in an urban environment. Abdu’Allah is a senior lecturer in Fine Arts at the University of East London, and on the rare down time that he has, he cuts hair at his own barber shop.

For Spring 2013, UW-Madison offered Faisal’s engaging and explorative course, “FauHaus: Bodies, Minds, Senses, and the Arts” in collaboration with Henry Drewal, Professor in Art History at UW-Madison; the course is grounded in Drewal’s theory of “sensiotics.” It consists of an expansive training series which hosts various artists from multiple disciplines. In addition to the work produced by students, Faisal will also be compiling a work in progress of his own through collaboration with the FauHaus conglomerate.

I’m currently enrolled in the course and can see how this innovative teaching method is going to be catalytic in each student’s artistic output.

A sample of a photo inkjet print used by a guest artist during a training session which includes Ely Lynch and myself.

A sample of a photo inkjet print used by a guest artist during a training session which includes Ely Lynch and myself.

Faisal will also be hosting a series of public events that will be held on Wednesdays on the Madison campus.

So if your mind is demanding content that is proactive toward the senses and work that challenges the institutionalized/normalized reactions to a particular environment, check out some of Faisal’s work by dropping in on one of the lectures offered by Faisal Abdu’Allah and friends.

faisal 3 faisal 2 faisal4

Written by Marvin Gutierrez, Multicultural Student Center Social Justice Intern and First Wave Scholar. Marvin is a MC, actor, poet, and visual artist. He is also the Secretary of the National MEChA Coordinating Council and a Culturarte Workshop Facilitator. 

Weekend Job Board: February 22

The Undergraduate Writing Fellows Program brings together students from all majors to participate in an ambitious peer tutoring program that places undergraduates in positions of intellectual leadership. As a Fellow, you would serve as a role model, gain invaluable experience as a reader and writer yourself, and receive a stipend, as well as opportunities to conduct and present original research. There will be an informational sessions for prospective applicants on Monday, February 25th, Union South TITU, 6:00pm.

To learn more about the program, and access our application, please go to: http://writing.wisc.edu/writingfellows/. Deadline: Monday, March 11


Dane County Youth Resource Outreach Worker: This is responsible professional work which involves assessing and coordinating outreach to youth, their families and systems for resource information related to the needs of children/youth with a focus on designated neighborhoods. The work is performed under the general supervision of the Youth Services Coordinator and involves a wide range of contact and communication with the public as well as representatives from non-profits, Neighborhood Resource Teams, Madison Metropolitan School District, and multiple City Departments. The work also involves assisting the Youth Services Coordinator on more complex projects and system development. Responsibilities may include:

  • Assess afterschool/summer needs of children/youth, identify programs and opportunities to meet these needs, address barriers to their participation, and facilitate enrollment in afterschool/summer programs in specific Madison neighborhoods.
  • Work with key stakeholders to develop and assist in the maintenance of a child/youth afterschool/summer program information system that will identify resource needs and potential efficiencies
  • Serve as liaison between the City, neighborhoods and neighborhood organizations, Madison Metropolitan School District, providers, other governmental units/offices, non-profit organizations and other relevant groups and organizations in regards to afterschool and summer resources for children/youth.
  • Develop methods to disseminate the resource information, including web-based data management systems and/or social media applications.
  • Evaluate the youth resource information systems including creation of reports and recommendations regarding data management methods, process, and roles and responsibilities of stakeholders.Must have one year of professional administrative, planning and/or human service delivery experience involving considerable emphasis on the development and/or review of grant-funded proposals, program supervision/administration and (in the case of specialized positions) experience with services to the target group(s).

APPLICATIONS MAY BE FILED ONLINE AT: http://www.cityofmadison.com/hr


The Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions (LISAR) is now hiring for a 75-100% Communications Specialist on campus. Strong communication skills are a must. An interest in religion and the role it plays in the public square would be a plus: http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/pvl/pv_075789.html

UW-Whitewater seeks Advisor for College of Business and Economics:  Academic advising for College of Business and Economics students at primarily the sophomore level, transfer students and international students.  Additional responsibilities include, but are not limited to, conducting group advising meetings and meeting one-on-one with students, advising incoming freshmen, maintaining planning sheets for business majors, general business advising, serving as an advising resource to College departments, and assisting with College-wide initiatives such as major fairs, community service activities, and other advising-related events.   The position is located in the assistant dean’s office and will work closely with the assistant dean and senior advisor.Qualifications:  Bachelors degree required, masters degree preferred (business degree desirable) and two years’ higher education advising or related experience preferred.  The position requires ability to work with a diverse population and demonstration of excellent organizational, communication (written and oral), presentation and interpersonal skills, in addition to flexibility and ability to manage a variety of issues as they occur.  Experience with higher education student records software is a plus.Application: A complete application package must include:

  • a letter of application
  • vitae/resume’ including all relevant professional experience
  • names and contact information of at least (3) three references
  • Unofficial transcripts (official transcript will be required upon hiring)

Only complete applications will be considered.  Unless confidentiality is requested in writing, lists of applicants must be released upon request.  Finalists cannot be guaranteed confidentiality. Only electronic submissions accepted.  Please send applications to goegleim@uww.edu and include “Advisor Position” in the subject field.  All documents should be attached in .pdf  (preferred) or Microsoft Word form. 


Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs is currently recruiting to fill a Nursing Supervisor position. As the Director of Clinical Reimbursement, the incumbent will oversee clinical reimbursement functions at WDVA’s Veterans Homes at King and Union Grove. The position is based in the Central Office in Madison but will travel to both Homes in performance of the job duties. https://wisc.jobs/public/job_view.asp?annoid=64469&jobid=63984&org=485&class=38320&index=true


The New Majority Organizing Academy (3 Day Organizing Intensive Training): The New Majority Organizing Academy trains people of all ages in grassroots community organizing. Community organizing is a strategy for social change. People attending the Academy’s trainings will learn the nuts and bolts of effective organizing tactics, like political education, 1-on-1 meetings, group meeting facilitation, direct action planning, and more. You can also learn how to develop a winning, issue-based campaign strategy, and how to design campaigns that can create short-term improvements in the lives of people in your community and lead to long-term social change.

Attendees that have learned to organize through electoral campaigns and canvassing will learn how about the differences between electoral field organizing and community organizing. The New Majority Organizing Academy is creating a wave of new organizers to help fight for a progressive future for Virginia!

This training costs $35.

The Academy is hosting a 3-Day Organizing Intensive Training from April 5-7, 2013 in Richmond, VA. 

A small number of qualified candidates will be invited to participate in a 2-week Organizing Immersion Program in May, and will be eligible to apply for full time organizing staff positions with Virginia New Majority afterwards

Women and People of Color are strongly encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to applicants who are interested in working in Virginia in the long-term.

Register here: http://bit.ly/organizeva


Last Call: Submit a proposal for our 2013-14 Professional Development Series

We are seeking proposals for our 2013-14 Professional Development series for students of color. We are looking for workshops/trainings/master classes in creative and performance arts, higher education, community, civic, and social engagement, and graduate and professional school (preparation and success)

We are particularly interested in multi-session (1-3 trainings) that address:

  • Specific needs/challenges/opportunities for Students of Color (Generally or Community Specific e. g. Race/Ethnic Specific, LGBTQ, Women, etc)
  • Technical/Specialty Skill development (Technique, Method, Process)
  • Areas of these career fields where People of Color are underrepresented
  • Business, Technical & Administrative Careers in the Arts (writing, producing,   light/audio Engineering, stage management, arts organization management)
  • Higher Education Administration
  • Career Opportunities in Community Development/Transformation

Proposals must include the following: 

  • Statement of Interest (Why would you like to participate in this training series?)
  • Name, Resume, Brief Biography, Artist Statement (if applicable) and Philosophy of Training  (for each/all Trainers)
  • Series Title
  • Number of Sessions (1-3)
  • Time frame for each session. Sessions may range from 90min-3hours
  • Required time per session
  • Training Agenda/Outline for each Session
  • Learning Objectives (what do you plan to achieve and what will participants walk away with)
  • Space and Technical Needs
  • Suggested number of participants (minimum and maximum)
  • Compensation requirements

Deadline: February 22. Submit proposals to dhilliard@studentlife.wisc.edu. Only electronic submissions (MS Word or PDF) will be accepted. 

The Oscar for race consciousness goes to…

I recently tried to explain to my friends that, for me, the Academy Awards Show is my Super Bowl. I watch all of the “buzz-worthy” films throughout the year leading up to nominee announcements, and I follow the most important reviews and predictions before Oscar night. It’s like watching the playoffs, rooting for your favorite teams, and then calculating the odds for a win. This awards season, I paid particular attention to the intersections of race consciousness and Hollywood cinema, and I came up with a list of my own winners and losers for this month’s big game:

In the category of “Best allegory for U.S. race-based struggle,” the Oscar goes to…

Beasts of the Southern WildThis film was aesthetically beautiful, and the young Quvenzhané Wallis (six years old at the time of filming) is a phenomenal performer. At nine years old, she is the youngest actor ever nominated for an Academy Award. Even though feminist scholar and activist bell hooks gave the film a negative review, I still think it does a decent job of highlighting the moral multidimensionality of a historically marginalized group of people. (At least, it does a far better job than Lincoln, which only has a handful of people of color (POC) actors in the movie…and they barely have any lines in A STORY ABOUT SLAVERY(!!!). For shame Spielberg, for shame.)

An honorable mention goes to Django Unchained, another 2012 film that received mostly positive (but several acerbically scathing) reviews. Personally, I like a good revenge-narrative-cloaked-as-a-violent-neowestern, but I can also understand the criticism that Tarantino takes contemporary socio-linguistic politics too lightly (the “n” word is spoken hundreds of times throughout the film).

In the category of “Most contentious representation of pop-Orientalism,” the Oscar goes to…

Zero Dark Thirty: The theater of war can be grotesque, and director Kathryn Bigelow doesn’t hold back in depictions of CIA witness torture as well as Al-Qaeda attacks that took place throughout the U.S. “War On Terror” in the Middle East. Her film has been criticized for being unapologetically jingoist and for perpetuating Islamophobia, while at the same time revealing the ethically questionable, decidedly nondemocratic methods of U.S. intelligence agents. But Zero Dark Thirty star Jessica Chastain says, “The film ends with an unanswered question…it asks ‘where do you want to go?’ and by asking the audience that question, you’re forcing them to participate.”

What American audiences are being asked to participate in is precisely the question at hand. Depending on a number of cultural factors, Zero Dark Thirty could either fuel more domestic racism and religious discrimination, open up a conversation about America’s role in foreign conflict, or both.

An honorable mention goes to Argo (which I have to admit is the one nominated film I haven’t seen). But from what I can tell, it’s a thrilling caper with plenty of suspense and political intrigue. However, many have noted that the film homogenizes Iranians as one big country full of terrorist conspirators. Indeed, producer/director/star Ben Affleck only referenced one piece of writing from an Iranian’s perspective on the events that transpired during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. 

And finally, in the category of “most surprising and heart-wrenching depiction of white allyship in racial justice” the Oscar goes to…

Silver Linings Playbook: I was really surprised by the story’s focus on the main character Pat’s friendship with his Indian psychiatrist Dr. Patel (played by Anupam Kher). Dr. Patel is instrumental in helping the deeply troubled Pat find balance in his life, and they even bond over a mutual love for the Philadelphia Eagles. When Dr. Patel and his group of South Asian friends are harassed by bigots while tailgating, Pat springs to their defense and risks arrest by intervening in the ensuing fight. In a film that focuses primarily on a middle-class, white American man’s struggle with mental illness, it was incredibly impactful to witness a moment of interpersonal empowerment and “sticking one’s neck out” for the underdog. Call me sentimental, but when one of the most enduring Hollywood representations of Indians is that of the monkey brain eating, demon worshiping thugs from Temple of Doom, Dr. Patel in Silver Linings Playbook is a step in the right direction.

There you have it, my perspective on race and the 2013 Oscar nominees. Were there any categories I neglected or films you think deserve more credit (or less)? Share your thoughts in the comments! 

(On an added note, Denzel Washington, for Flight, and Quvenzhané Wallis, for Beasts of the Southern Wild, are the only actors of color nominated for an Oscar this year).

The Regents’ Diversity Award goes to: Dr. Douglass Henderson!

I was part of the WiscAMP program in the summer of 2010. I took classes that developed my skills in math, science, and writing.  We also went on field trips that exposed us to the current world of modern science.

WiscAMP Scholars at Community GroundWorks (Troy Gardens), a nonprofit organization that connects people to nature and local food.

WiscAMP Scholars at Community GroundWorks (Troy Gardens), a nonprofit organization that connects people to nature and local food.

 My favorite trip was to Troy Gardens, a community garden where people around the neighborhood grow their own food and also find profit through their community farm. In this program, I met individuals like myself. We wondered if we’d chosen the right major, we took challenging science classes together, and we constantly tried to prove ourselves.  Being surrounded by so many motivated students and helpful faculty who understood what it is like to be a minority within science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields allowed me to feel like I belonged. Today, I find myself within the field of civil engineering continuing to strive for my degree. 

Dr. Douglass Henderson

Dr. Douglass Henderson

Dr. Douglass Henderson, UW-Madison alumni and Professor of Engineering Physics in the College of Engineering, helped integrate a mentoring space for undergraduate students. He and other faculty at the College of Engineering were successful in securing funding from the National Science Foundation and established WiscAMP, a Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation at UW-Madison. This program provides educational opportunities for students interested in STEM fields.

Dr. Henderson also established the Graduate Engineering Research Scholars (GERS) program.  It is a graduate fellowship program that offers a support network for students and  increases the number of underrepresented graduate students. In 2009, President Obama also honored Dr. Henderson with the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM), the highest federal award for mentoring in the country.

When it started in 1998, the GERS program served just three underrepresented minority Ph.D. students in the College of Engineering. Currently, there are 51. Over the past decade, 46 Ph.D. students have graduated from the program – up from just 17 graduates in the previous nine years.

Recently, Dr. Henderson was one of 5 winners of the annual University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents’ Diversity Awards. This award recognizes and supports those who foster access and success within the university for historically underrepresented populations.