2019 Spring Calendar of Events

MLK Commemoration:  A Day of Peace and Reconciliation

Volunteer State CC Honors the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wednesday, January 23rd • 11:30 AM • Caudill Auditorium (Reception to follow)
Presenter:  Jeff King, Manager, Diversity and Inclusion
Words by President Jerry Faulkner

Vol State will commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with a day of peace, remembrance, and reconciliation.  We will offer special hooded MLK sweatshirts for Vol State students to wear on Wednesday, January 23rd.  Dr. King, Jr., of all things, stood for non-violence.  At 11:30 AM we will gather in Caudill Auditorium for a brief candlelight vigil and a brief video to remember those lost these past years through mass shootings and other senseless acts of violence throughout the country.  After this tribute, we will screen King’s renowned “I Have A Dream” speech at the March on Washington in 1963.  A reception will follow.

Vol State Student Leadership Workshop

Wednesday, January 23rd • 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM • CDR (Pizza and soda served)
Presenter:  Odell Bizzell II
Do we live in a post-racial America?  The hard truth is that as much as many people think we now live in a post-racial society, this could not be further from the truth. This presentation moves the conversation beyond diversity into a world of social harmony. In this presentation, we will analyze what Dr. King truly stood for and discuss his dynamic leadership style, how it impacted the Civil Rights Movement, and how student leaders can use his style to have a greater impact on the Vol State campus.

International Students’ Social and Professional Workshop  

Thursday, January 31st • CDR (Lunch refreshments served) RSVP Required
VISA students, New Americans, and all others strongly encouraged to attend.
Presenter:  Elsa Mercado, Ph.D. Candidate, Spanish and Portuguese, Vanderbilt University

Part One:  Obtaining the Skill Sets Towards Integration and Success
11:30 AM- 12:30 PM • Carpeted Dining Room

This session will help our international students to better integrate into mainstream systems while maintaining their cultural uniqueness.  Each area listed will be examined from the perspective of an international student or a student with a modicum of life and cultural experiences which are unfamiliar to the mainstream.  We will learn skill sets spanning from classroom interaction to entering the job market and beyond.  The primary goals of this session will be:

  • Improving communication and examining ways to connect with your cohorts while creating a culture of open dialogue
  • Effective conflict resolution
  • Communicating in the classroom with classmates and with your instructors
  • Social Intelligence and meaningful social interaction
  • Self-Awareness and personality traits you exhibit and recognizing the personality traits in others
  • Common sense and application of soft skills in the job search, interviewing, and career preparedness.


Part Two:  Life Experiences through Shared Storytelling
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM • Carpeted Dining Room

Each of us come together with a unique story.  Family history, traditions, and legacy are important components in the arch of a student’s journey towards their higher educational goals.  Sharing this history through storytelling can be both cathartic and galvanizing in a group setting.  Understanding the path others have traveled creates commonalities and group bonding.  These bonds are the underpinnings of real “community.”


A Campus Community, United by Diversity
Vol State Celebrates Unity Week • February 4-8


Exhibit Opening:  Red Line:  The Art of Omari Booker
Monday, February 4th • 11:30 AM • Wood Campus Center Suite 21
Artist Talk • 11:30 AM • Mary Cole Nichols Dining Hall B
(Refreshments served)
The exhibit will be displayed in the International Hall and in Suite 217 in the Wood Campus Center.
Omari Booker is a talented local artist who paints incorporating themes and current societal trends.  This exhibit, entitled Red Line uses red razor wire throughout the series to create a barrier.  The artwork is inspired by discriminatory practices called redlining.  Discrimination in housing, sports, the military, education, and immigration are some of the topics explored using color, figures, and red razor wire.  The menacing wire speaks to the violence used to maintain racial inequality and division.   The exhibit will remain on display on Monday-Friday, February 4th – 15th from 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM.  Co-sponsored by Returning Students Organization


Documentary Screening:  Brother Outsider

Tuesday, February 5th • 11:30 AM •Mary Cole Nichols Dining Hall B
(Refreshments served)

Presenter:  Jeff King
This documentary, which has won over 25 awards, illuminates the public and private life of Bayard Rustin.  Rustin, a visionary strategist during the Civil Rights movement was called the “unknown hero” of the movement as he was central to the organization of the 1963 March on Washington.  Because Rustin was openly gay, he was largely erased from history even by those among the top leaders of the movement.

Let’s Talk About Our Faith – An Open Discussion

Wednesday, February 6th • Mary Cole Nichols Dining Hall B
11:30 AM (Lunch served)

Presenters:  Prof. Sherry Hill, VSCC, Rev. Gretchen Person, Vanderbilt University, Rev. Dr. Michael McDonald, Cumberland University
An open discussion about our various beliefs and values, what we practice and the peaceful co-existence of various faiths.  Further, we will interrogate the conflicts impacting faith-based discussions and how we can work together to create a more inclusive religious community with respect for all faiths.

Soul Food Potluck and Fellowship Community Gathering

Thursday, February 7th • 12:00 PM • Mary Cole Nichols Dining Hall B
Presenters:  Mary Malone and Pattie Powell
A campus community soul food potluck to commemorate the final day of unity week.  There will be a brief presentation by Mrs. Mary Malone and Mrs. Pattie Powell on Black History in Sumner County.

Safe Zone Training

Friday, February 8th • 10:00 AM -2:00 PM
Rochelle Center (Lunch provided) RSVP Required

Presenter:  Prof. Jamie Fuston
These training sessions serve as an opportunity to learn about LGBTQ+ identities, gender, and sexuality issues.  Further, we examine prejudice, assumptions, and privilege.  Safe Zone training better equip our community to better understand LGBTQ+ life and demonstrates our commitment to creating a campus-wide LBGTQ+ inclusive environment.  During each training session, we will facilitate open and honest dialogue to help us talk openly about difficult topics, examine the language we often use and ask questions in a safe space.  Hopefully, at the end of this training, you will come away with a more in-depth familiarity and comfort with vocabulary, inclusive practices, and strategies to better serve and support our LGBTQ+ communities.

Book Discussion:
Rendered Invisible by Frank Dobson

Wednesday, February 13th • 11:15 AM •Mary Cole Nichols Dining Hall B (Refreshments served)
Co-sponsored with the English Department
Presenter:  Dr. Frank Dobson
An interesting book discussion with Dr. Frank E. Dobson, Jr. about his book Rendered Invisible which tells the true story of the .22 Caliber Killer who murdered a number of black men in upstate New York in the 70s and 80s in an attempt to start a race riot.




Film Screening:  13th

From Slave to Criminal with One Amendment
Monday, February 18th • 11:15 AM • Rochelle Center
Presenter:  Jeff King
13th is a 2016 documentary by director Ava DuVernay. The film explores the intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States.  DuVernay contends that slavery has been perpetuated in practices since the end of the American Civil War through such actions as criminalizing behavior and enabling police to arrest poor freedmen and force them to work for the state under convict leasing, suppression of African Americans by disenfranchisement, lynching and Jim Crow politicians declaring a war on drugs that weigh more heavily on minority communities and, by the late 20th century, mass incarceration of people of color in the United States. She examines the prison-industrial complex and the emerging detention-industrial complex, demonstrating how much money is being made by corporations from such incarcerations.

Campus and Community Film Screening:  13th

From Slave to Criminal with One Amendment
Wednesday, February 20th • 6:00-8:00 PM• Mary Cole Nichols Dining Hall B
We invite the Sumner County community to join us for a special Weds night screening of this powerful and timely film.  Food will be served.

Cultural Competence vs. Cultural Humility:  A Unique Faculty/Staff Diversity and Inclusion Training Session

Thursday, February 21st • 12:00-2:00 PM • CDR (Refreshments served)
Presenter:  Cindy Young
Is cultural competence enough?  Often the unintended consequences of simply knowing the “other” can do harm if we do not have the “humility” to understand ourselves.  This “one of a kind” faculty/staff training uses interactive methods and exercises to help provide for self-examination alongside the assessment of the students we serve.

Nature’s Drummers Performance

Wednesday, February 27th • 12:30 PM • Caudill Auditorium
Co-sponsored with Performing Arts Department

Join us for a lively performance by Baba Musa and Nature’s Drummers as they grace our campus with captivating music which will heighten the awareness of cultural music from ancient African traditions.

Book Discussion:
Not Yet a Woman
with author W. C. Child

Wednesday, March 20th • 11:15 AM •Mary Cole Nichols Dining Hall B (Refreshments served)
Co-sponsored with English Department
Presenter:  Brenda Jones (W. C. Child)
A discussion and book signing by W.C. Child.  This book tells the fictional story of an African American girl and her struggle to grow up in an unstable home environment and survive the horrors of domestic abuse and the challenges of loving a doting grandmother and less than attentive mother.

Understanding our Blind Spots:
Examining Unconscious Bias

Thursday, March 21st • 6:00 PM•CDR (Refreshments provided)
Presenter:  Mr. Greg Fontus, Director of Inclusion Initiatives and Cultural Competence, Vanderbilt University
Understanding our “blind spots” in an ever-evolving diverse environment.  This session targets our campus as well as our greater communities and will equip us with the necessary tools and strategies to continually become more inclusive in our language, support mechanisms and the utilization of our resources to help all people feel equally supported and their diversity appreciated.

VISTA Orientation Mixer

Tuesday, March 26th • 11:00 AM •Rochelle Center (Refreshments provided)
The Office of Career Services and Community Engagement invites you to participate in our AmeriCorps VISTA Welcome and Mixer!  You will have an opportunity to learn about the collaborative benefits of collaborating with Volunteer State Community College and AmeriCorps VISTAs.  We will also provide each VISTA with an opportunity to meet and engage with your future collaborating organizations, as well as networking with community support organizations, such as yourself.

Student Multi-Cultural Skills Workshop (Cancelled) 

Thursday, April 4th • 11:30-12:30, 1-2, 6-7 • CDR (Refreshments served)
Consisting of four mini-workshop sessions, the students will be engaged in dialogue about LGBTQI+ issues (Safe Zone), Unconscious Bias, and Cultural Awareness, Diversity and Inclusion.  The day will consist of four-1 hour mini-workshops through evening classes.  Each session will last approximately 20 minutes.  The mini-workshop will provide students with an increased knowledge on each topic and an enhanced level of comfort discussing difficult topics