Kent State Partners with Chautauqua
President Beverly J. Warren, “Kent State Beyond the Shootings: Journey of the Wounded Healer,” Chautauqua Institution in New York, August 15, 2018
Visitors this year to the Chautauqua Institution in southwestern New York—a historic community that offers nine weeks of programs, classes and community events each summer to advance understanding—were able to experience firsthand the contemplative and creative engagement of Kent State University.
"For ourselves and the world, we are called to assume the role of the wounded healer.”
To Remember, Reflect and Renew
On August 15, President Beverly J. Warren was a featured lecturer at the institution’s weeklong investigation on the theme of “The Forgotten: History and Memory in the 21st Century.”
In a moving speech about Kent State’s campus shootings on May 4, 1970—to an estimated crowd of 2,000, including KSU alumni, witnesses, and victims of the shootings—President Warren recounted the events and aftermath of that tragic day. She spoke of the university’s desire to serve as the facilitator of national conversations that can broker more civil and productive social discourse. “For ourselves and the world, we are called to assume the role of the wounded healer.”
She also discussed the university’s plans for a year-long commemoration for the upcoming 50th anniversary of this watershed moment in American history, which will include teaching materials for middle and high schools, a teaching workshop and forum at the Kent Campus, and the bestowing of Voices of Change awards to honor some exceptional individuals who affect positive and peaceful change in the world.
“Kent State will not merely remember May 4, 1970, in an endless loop that never satisfies, the wound rubbed raw over and over again. We choose to remember, reflect and renew. We will remember vividly, but not live in the past; we will honor the emotions that forever resound around us, but be consumed no more by anger or grief; and we will raise our voices—using the lessons of 50 years to convene people, heal conflict and create a more inclusive, more peaceful future. If we do that, we and Kent State are transformed.”
President Warren’s address, “Kent State Beyond the Shootings: Journey of the Wounded Healer,” gained a national audience when Vital Speeches, a magazine launched in 1934 to publish the best speeches by top business, political and intellectual leaders in the world, selected it as its Speech of the Week.
To Respond through Poetry
The Traveling Stanzas exhibit from Kent State’s Wick Poetry Center, was featured at the Chautauqua Institution’s new Poetry Makerspace this summer.
During the exhibit’s nine-week stay at Chautauqua, visitors were able to create poetry in response to the institution’s weekly themes. Participants used a variety of prompts and strategies in the interactive exhibit to share their poems digitally, through videos and in print, explains David Hassler, director of the Wick Poetry Center. Postcards of the poetry, printed on location, were displayed on the gallery wall.
Kent State students, who served as interns and fellows at the exhibit, also led writing groups and participated in creative writing workshops with Chautauqua’s featured authors.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to engage so many people in meaningful conversations through the joy and play of poetry,” says Mr. Hassler. “And we hope to continue this partnership next summer.”
See President Warren’s speech. View the Traveling Stanzas exhibit at https://travelingstanzas.com/engagement/chautauqua-makerspace.