Kent State May 4 50th Commemoration Monthly Events Calendar (October 2019)

*For media planning purposes, Kent State University is providing this monthly email that outlines all planned events for the upcoming month related to the 50th commemoration of May 4. For the latest updates on events, visit

Kent State University is honoring the 50th commemoration of May 4 with a yearlong observance of educational programs and events.

‘PTSD: From May 4 Through Today’ Panel Discussion (Oct. 2, Kent Student Center Kiva)
Kent State University alumna and registered nurse Pat Gless will share her story of May 4 as part of a panel discussion titled “PTSD: From May 4 Through Present Day” during the Kent State College of Nursing’s May 4 Commemoration event. The panel discussion is at 7 p.m. in the Kent Student Center Kiva and takes place following a 5:30 p.m. walking tour of the May 4 site led by Alan Canfora, who is one of the nine Kent State students shot and wounded on May 4. Both events are free and open to the public. 

‘Fire in the Heartland’ Film Series (Oct. 4 and Nov. 1 in Taylor Hall 141, Oct. 8 in Kent Student Center Kiva)
“Fire in the Heartland: Kent State, May 4th and Student Protest in America” is a documentary film about a generation of young people who stood up to speak their minds against social injustice in some of our nation’s most turbulent and transformative years, the 1960s through the 1970s. 

Mapping May 4 Web App Launch (Oct. 8, University Library, Room 1018)
A new web app draws from the 110 oral histories in the Kent State University Libraries’ May 4 Collection. The app maps stories from those histories that describe memories of events at a particular place in Kent between May 1 and May 5, 1970. Sara Koopman, Ph.D., assistant professor of peace and conflict studies, and Jen Mapes, Ph.D., associate professor of geography, will share the process of creating the app and demonstrate its features. These include historic maps and photos of Kent in 1970, paired with stories of places from those who lived through the events surrounding the shooting.

‘The Truth Demands Justice: A Snapshot History of the May 4th Task Force’ Exhibition (Opens Oct. 14, University Library, Marovitz Gallery)
This exhibition will feature posters, flyers, T-shirts and other items created by the May 4th Task Force, a student-run organization founded in 1975 to raise awareness among students, faculty, administrators and the general public about the Kent State shootings of May 4, 1970.

‘Stark Campus: May 4th and Its Meaning on American Society’ Presentation (Oct. 16, Science and Nursing Building Room 101)
This presentation explores the May 4, 1970, shootings at Kent State, their historic context and their memorialization on the Kent Campus. The presentation is part of the Stark Campus First-Year Experience (FYE) Success Series. It is presented by Chris Post, Ph.D., associate professor of geography.

‘Making Meaning of May 4: The Kent State Shootings in American History’ Community Course (Oct. 16, 23 and 30, May 4 Visitors Center)
This community course will provide fact-based information about the events leading up to, during and in the aftermath of the May 4, 1970, shootings. Participants are encouraged to draw their own conclusions from the facts as they participate in the discussion of the class materials. Participants must register to take part.

Fashion Focus: ‘Wearing Justice’ Gallery Talk (Oct. 18, Kent State University Museum, Rockwell Hall)
Join Kent State School of Fashion Design and Merchandising faculty members Kim Hahn, Trista Grieder and Melissa Campbell, as well as students Alexandra Reich, Megan Rodgers and Michelle Park, who will share their inspiration and process behind their designs for the “Wearing Justice” exhibition that marks the 50th commemoration of May 4. The Kent State Fashion School is presenting designs by faculty and students that use fashion to create a dialogue about war and peace, political discourse, conflict resolution and social justice today. The gallery talk is free for students, faculty, and staff or included with paid general admission.

‘Commemorating Violent Conflicts and Building Sustainable Peace’ Conference (Oct. 24-26, Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center)
Kent State and its School of Peace and Conflict Studies host an international conference commemorating the May 4, 1970, shooting by the Ohio National Guard of Kent State students during a demonstration against the U.S. wars in Vietnam and Cambodia and the occupation of the Kent Campus. The PEACE-PHS Joint Conference is presented by the International Studies Association – Peace Studies Section and the Peace History Society. The theme of the conference is “Commemorating Violent Conflicts and Building Sustainable Peace.”

‘Spaces of Conflict’ Conference and Exhibition (Oct. 25, The John Elliot Center for Architecture and Environmental Design)
The event includes a keynote lecture and a daylong conference that aims to bring designers, scholars and artists who have made contributions to the topic of conflict, protest, activism and space. The conference will be followed by a monthlong exhibition that will address the proposed questions in-depth through audio/visual mapping techniques.

Ongoing May 4 Commemoration Events

National Call for Poems (ongoing through April 21)
The Wick Poetry Center at Kent State is now accepting poetry submissions that resonate with the themes of peace, conflict transformation and student advocacy. The center is accepting submissions in three categories: youth, adult student or adult non-student. Winners will receive cash prizes and trips to Kent State to present their poems. All winners will have their poems set to a musical composition by students in Kent State’s School of Music.

My Voice: A Global Community Poem (Sept. 15-May 4)
The Wick Poetry Center at Kent State invites people from around the world to contribute a line or stanza to a global community peace poem titled “My Voice.” The themes of the poem will reflect peace, conflict transformation and advocacy. 

Media Contacts:
Eric Mansfield,, 330-672-2797
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595

May 4, 50th Commemoration Project Manager:
Rod Flauhaus,, 330-672-2423

POSTED: Tuesday, October 1, 2019 - 11:47am
UPDATED: Tuesday, October 1, 2019 - 11:49am
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