BHSU-Rapid City community lecture series to includes sessions on racial, gender disparities

Black Hills State University - Rapid City announces the line-up for the spring 2017 community lecture series. All lectures free, open to the public, and will be held on Monday evenings at 6:30 p.m. in room 112 at BHSU-Rapid City. The first lecture Jan. 23 features Hayley Brooks, a genocide studies advocate, examining bystanders as perhaps the largest group of perpetrators during the Holocaust.

The Black Hills State University-Rapid City community lecture series returns in 2017 with a line-up of speakers and topics to provoke thought and challenge perspectives.

The lecture series begins Jan. 23 and features 11 lectures by BHSU professors along with area educators and regional activists. All presentations are scheduled for Mondays at 6:30 p.m. at BHSU-Rapid City (4300 Cheyenne Boulevard), room 112. The presentations are free and open to the public.

Gene Bilodeau, executive director of BHSU-Rapid City, said he welcomes and encourages all students, faculty, staff, and community members to attend the lectures.

"We're offering this lecture series to give students and community members the opportunity to enhance their lives beyond their normal classroom, home or workplace boundaries," said Bilodeau. "We hope to engage individuals with thought provoking information which allows them to interact with the presenters in a question and answer period at the end of each presentation."

The lecture series will kick off Monday, Jan. 23 with Hayley Brooks, a genocide study advocate. Brooks will focus on bystanders as perhaps the largest group of perpetrators in the Holocaust. Using inspiration from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum temporary exhibit "Some were Neighbors" and from the personal story of Irene Gut Opdyke, a Polish nurse who aided persecuted Jews, Brooks will focus on choices people made during the Holocaust and highlight lessons learned from their stories.

The BHSU-RC community lecture series schedule:
  • Jan. 23, "Holocaust Choices," Hayley Brooks, genocide study advocate
  • Jan. 30, "All We Are Saying: Activism in Music," Dr. Trenton Ellis, assistant professor of human services at BHSU and Dr. Dan May, assistant professor of mathematics at BHSU.
  • Feb. 6, "Impacting Perceptions," Hailima Yates, community member
  • Feb. 13, "Madness: Women in Popular Culture," Dr. Laura Colmenero-Chilberg, professor of sociology, BHSU
  • Feb. 27, "Dialect Discrimination from Disney to Django: How Hollywood Uses Language to Reinforce Racial Stereotypes," Lindsey Clouse, instructor of composition and humanities, BHSU.
  • March 13, "Rise of the Third Reich," Robert Haivala, adjunct professor at BHSU and assistant attorney general of South Dakota.
  • March 20, "Historical and present racial disparities in the U.S. criminal justice system," Joshua Houy, Department of Political Science & Criminal Justice, University of South Dakota
  • March 27, "The Video Game Monologues," William Cockrell, instructor of behavioral sciences at BHSU.
  • April 3, "Who is the Reluctant Celebrity?-Crazy Horse, Korczak Ziolkowski, Chief Henry Standing Bear," Dr. Jeffrey Wehrung, assistant professor of management, BHSU.
  • April 10, "Transgender 101," Terri Bruce, transgender rights advocate
  • April 24, "LGBTQ+: Fleshing Out the Acronym," Dr. William Cockrell, instructor of behavioral sciences Dr. Lesleigh Owen, instructor of behavioral sciences Terri Bruce, transgender rights advocate Dr. Emilia Flint, associate professor of behavioral sciences.
For details on each lecture topic, visit the BHSU Campus Calendar at Contact Gene Bilodeau at with questions.