Spring speakers will present controversial topics at Penn State Beaver

Two ongoing and controversial topics will be the subject of speakers this spring at Penn State Beaver.

African-American author Daryl Davis will present "Klan-Destine Relationships" at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 28, and filmmaker Mike Ramsdell will present "The Conflict Minerals Project," 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 14. The programs, which are free and open to the public, will be held in the campus Student Union Building auditorium.

Davis’ presentation provides an overview of his book by the same name in which he charts his experiences in infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan and offers a personal, real-life look at racism in the United States. As he explored racism and gathered information for his book, Davis eventually became the recipient of robes and hoods from Klan members who came to him to rescind their beliefs. However, through his relationships Klan members, Davis believes he has come upon a successful method of forming friendships between sworn enemies.

Last year Ramsdell presented his award-winning documentary, "Anatomy of Hate: A Dialogue to Hope," at Beaver. He returns in March to discuss his project on the world’s conflict minerals, including tungsten, tin, tantalum, and gold which are used to make most modern electronic devices ranging from cell phones to aeronautics systems.

The term "conflict minerals" is used because the majority of them come from the Democratic Republic of Congo which is widely considered to be the home of the worst human atrocities since World War II. In the past 15 years, the Democratic Republic of Congo has witnessed 6 million dead, hundreds of thousands of women raped, and the displacement of millions of children, women and men.

For more information about Davis and his exploration of racism, visit http://www.wolfmanproductions.com/ddavis.html, and to learn about Ramsdell and conflict minerals, go to http://underthehoodproductions.com/. For information about campus programs open to the public, contact Robin Schreck, coordinator of student activities and residence life, at ras62@psu.edu or 724-773-3947.

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Last Updated February 27, 2012