The State of the Union and Its Peoples

Featuring Bill Moyers & Michael Winship

Sunday, September 22, 2019 – 4:00pm  |  Finger Lakes Community College

Journalists and partners Bill Moyers and Canandaigua native Michael Winship will cover nothing short of the breadth and depth of the state of the union and the peoples within it.

Bill Moyers:

Moyers has been a major figure in public journalism and public affairs for more than five decades. He began his journalism career at 16 as a cub reporter for his daily hometown newspaper in Marshall, Texas. After graduating from the University of Texas, his career path took him from the University of Edinburgh Scotland to the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas where he received his Masters of Divinity degree before joining the staff of the Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Baines Johnson. Moyers was a founding organizer and deputy director of the Peace Corps (1962-63) and special assistant to President Lyndon Johnson for domestic policy before serving as his press secretary from 1965-67.

He was publisher of Newsday for three years before joining the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) in 1971, hosting Bill Moyers Journal. He served as senior correspondent for the CBS documentary series CBS Reports and for five years was senior news analyst of the CBS Evening News. He is president of the Schumann Media Center, a nonprofit organization for the support of independent journalism.

Moyers and his wife, Judith Davidson Moyers, have been responsible for highly praised explorations of death and dying, addiction and recovery, and faith and reason, as well as the acclaimed PBS series Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth; America’s First River: Bill Moyers on the Hudson; The Language of Life; Genesis: A Living Conversation; The Wisdom of Faith with Huston Smith; Becoming American: The Chinese Experience and Amazing Grace.  Until their retirement in January of 2015, they also produced the weekly television series NOW with Bill Moyers (2002–2004), Bill Moyers Journal (2007–2010), and Moyers & Company (2012–2015).

For his work, Moyers has received more than 36 Emmys, six prestigious Alfred I. Dupont-Columbia University Awards, nine Peabodys and three George Polk Awards. In the first year it was bestowed, Moyers received the Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts by the American Film Institute. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, he received the Career Achievement Award from the International Documentary Association, the PEN USA Courageous Advocacy Award and has been honored with the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Lifetime Achievement Award. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1995. A best-selling author, Moyers’ works include Listening to America, Moyers on America: A Journalist and his Times, Moyers on Democracy and Bill Moyers Journal: The Conversation Continues.

Michael Winship:

Michael Winship is the Schumann Senior Writing Fellow at the progressive news website Common Dreams, where he writes and edits political analysis and commentary; immediate past president of the Writers Guild of America East, AFL-CIO; and immediate past chair of the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds.

Winship is a veteran television writer and producer who has created programming for America’s major PBS stations, CBS, the Discovery and Learning Channels, A&E, Turner Broadcasting, the Disney Channel, Lifetime, Sesame Workshop (formerly the Children’s Television Workshop) and National Geographic, among others.

In 2008, he joined his longtime friend and colleague Bill Moyers at Bill Moyers Journal on PBS and their writing collaboration has been close ever since, working together on the Journal, as well as the public TV series Moyers & Company, the book Bill Moyers: The Conversation Continues and the BillMoyers.com website. They share an Emmy and three Writers Guild Awards for writing excellence. Winship’s television work also has been honored by the Christopher, Western Heritage, Genesis and CableACE Awards.

Essays and commentary by Winship, solo or in collaboration with Moyers, have appeared in Salon, Huffington Post, Common Dreams, Truthout, Alternet, Raw Story and many other publications in print and online. From 2011-2015, he was senior writing fellow at the public policy think tank, Demos. As one of the two leaders of the successful, 2007-08 Writers Guild strike against the Hollywood studios and networks, he received the Sidney Hillman Foundation Officers Award.

Inside the Beltway: Sausage-Making & Trumpism

Featuring Mark Shields

Sunday, October 6, 2019 – 4:00pm  |  Finger Lakes Community College

Mark Shields, political analyst and commentator on PBS NewsHour will analyze the current political scene with his customary wit and wisdom.

Mark Shields:

The Wall Street Journal has called Mark Shields “the wittiest political analyst around” and “frequently the most trenchant, fair-minded, and thoughtful.” The Washington Post has called Shields “a walking almanac of American politics.” His insights are first-hand and up-to-the minute, drawn from four decades of knowing, covering and savoring the country and its politics.

A nationally known columnist and commentator, Shields has worked in Washington through the administrations of nine U.S. Presidents. He was an editorial writer for The Washington Post where he began writing his column in 1979. That column is now distributed nationally by Creators Syndicate.

Since 1988, Shields has provided weekly political analysis and commentary on national campaigns for PBS’ award-winning “The PBS NewsHour” where he has matched wits with David Gergen, The Wall Street Journal’s Paul Gigot, and, since 2001, with David Brooks of The New York Times. For 17 years, Shields was moderator and panelist on CNN’s Capital Gang. He now is a regular panelist on Inside Washington, the weekly public affairs show which is seen on both ABC and PBS.

A native of Weymouth, Mass., and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Shields served as an enlisted man in the United States Marine Corps before coming to Washington where he began working in 1965 for Wisconsin Sen. William Proxmire. In 1968, Shields went to work for Robert F. Kennedy in the New York Senator’s presidential campaign and later held leadership positions in three other presidential campaigns. Over 11 years, Shields helped manage campaigns from the courthouse to the White House in some 38 states.

In addition to attending 21 national party conventions and working on or covering the last 13 presidential elections, Shields has taught American politics and the press at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Georgetown University’s Graduate School of Public Policy and he was a fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy Institute of Politics. “On the Campaign Trail,” his book on the 1984 presidential campaign, has been praised as “funny,” “irreverent,” and “for bringing that race to a magnificent light.”

Turtle Island’s Treaties: Honor & Activism

Featuring Don Ragona & G. Peter Jemison

Sunday, November 10, 2019: – 4:00pm  |  Finger Lakes Community College

Don Ragona, Matinecock, Center for Native American Rights, Boulder, Colorado and G. Peter Jemison, Heron Clan, Seneca Nation, Historic Site Manager, Ganondagan.  They will explore continuing relevance and use of treaties, including the Canandaigua Treaty of 1794.

Don Ragona:

Donald M. Ragona, (Matinecock/Lakota) the Native American Rights Fund’s (NARF) Director of Development and House Counsel is a graduate of Pepperdine University School of Law and his undergraduate Long Island University, C.W. Post College.

After law school, Don worked at Merrill Lynch specializing in tax law and securities offerings and later joined the Allstate Insurance Company specializing in insurance defense litigation. In 1993 Don joined the Native American Rights Fund and was appointed Director of Development in 2006. In 2009 he went into private practice advising tribes and tribal businesses on a variety of matters. In 2013 Don returned to NARF and in 2017 was appointed Director of Development and House Counsel. Don served as a Board member of the National Indian Prisoners Support Group in Minneapolis, Minnesota and as a member of the NARF sponsored American Indian Religious Freedom Act Coalition where Don wrote both state and federal legislation regarding the right to worship for American Indian prisoners.

Additionally, Don is a frequent presenter on federal Indian law and Indian issues at academic institutions national and regional Native conferences.

G. Peter Jemison:

The illustrious career of G. Peter Jemison (Seneca, Heron Clan) spans decades across a wide swath of diverse accomplishments with an immeasurable worldwide impact. Through his art, Jemison has explored a variety of topics, from creating political works that portray contemporary social commentary to those that reflect his relationship with the natural world.

Widely shown and collected, Jemison’s works are rooted in the framework of Native American art. Known for his naturalistic paintings and series of works done on brown paper bags, his art embodies orenda, the traditional Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) belief that every living thing and every part of creation contains a spiritual force. His paintings, videos, and mixed media works have been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the U.S., the U.K. and Germany. He is also an esteemed administrator, curator, editor, and writer. In 2004, he was elected Board Member at Large of the American Alliance of Museums (formerly the Association of Museums) and was the founding director of the American Indian Community House Gallery in New York City.

From November 2017 through early 2018, Jemison’s works were featured in Unholding, a group exhibition at the Artists Space in New York City. During that time, he also was featured in related discussion programs at the venue. The exhibit received praise in reviews from The New Yorker, The New York Times, Artforum, and other art media.

In 2017, he curated The Elegant Eye: Contemporary Haudenosaunee Beadwork at Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, NY. Artists included Mary Clause (Mohawk), Samantha Jacobs (Seneca), Grant Jonathan (Tuscarora), and Sam Thomas (Cayuga). The same year, he was featured in the publication No Reservation: New York Contemporary Native American Art Movement by David Martine, edited by Jenifer Tromski with forward by Dore Ashton.

Jemison’s works are included in such significant collections as The Heard Museum, Phoenix; The Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, Santa Fe; The Denver Art Museum, Denver; The British Museum, London, UK; and the Museum der Weltkultern, Frankfurt, Germany. Jemison was one of six winners of the prestigious 2012 Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Award fellowship from the First Peoples Fund in Rapid City, SD for his accomplishments in Fine Art Painting, Mixed Media.

In 2013, Jemison’s works were exhibited in The Old Becomes the New: New York Contemporary Native American Art Movement and the New York School at New York City’s Wilmer Jennings Gallery at Kenkeleba. Jemison served as the producer, catalyst and inspiration for the multi-award-winning Iroquois Creation Story film, a 2015 collaboration among Friends of Ganondagan, Garth Fagan Dance, and the Rochester Institute of Technology School of Film and Animation. The film shows in the Orientation Theater of the Seneca Art & Culture Center at Ganondagan.

His films have been screened at the Native American Film + Video Festival at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City. Jemison and his son Brenden created a short film explaining the 1613 treaty between the Haudenosaunee and the Dutch. The film moves between a re-creation of the exchange and a discussion of the present day meaning of the treaty terms commemorated in a wampum belt known as “Guswenta” or “Two Row” in English.

Jemison received his academic arts education from the University of Siena in Siena, Italy, before earning a B.S. in Arts Education from Buffalo State College as well as an Honorary Doctorate.

A leading authority on the subject of Haudenosaunee history, Jemison co-edited the Treaty of Canandaigua 1794: 200 Years of Treaty Relations between the Iroquois Confederacy and the United States (Clear Light). He frequently contributes writings on the repatriation of sacred objects, cultural patrimony, and the human remains of the Haudenosaunee.

Jemison currently serves as the Historic Site Manager of Ganondagan State Historic Site, the location of a 17th- century Seneca town in Victor, NY, identified as a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Additionally, he is the representative for the Seneca Nation of Indians on the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) as well as an Indian Tribe/Native Hawaiian Representative of the Federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP).

Sustainable Agriculture: Gaining Ground & Growing Tomorrow

Featuring Forrest Pritchard

Sunday, January 26, 2020: – 4:00pm  |  Finger Lakes Community College

Forrest Pritchard is a seventh-generation farmer and New York Times bestselling author, holding degrees in English and Geology from the College of William & Mary.  Upon returning from college in the mid 90s, he took over his grandparents’ farm – primarily growing GMO corn and soybeans – hoping to make the land profitable for the first time in decades. On harvest day, when five tractor-trailer loads of grain reaped a meager paycheck of $18.16, he realized his family’s farm must radically change course. The following season, he devoted himself to farming organically and sustainably, raising free-range cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and chickens.

Twenty years later, his farm Smith Meadows is one of the oldest grass finished farms in the country and sells at leading farmers markets in Washington DC. Chronicling his farming adventures, Forrest’s book Gaining Ground, A Story of Farmer’s Markets, Local Food and Saving the Family Farm was named a top read by Publishers Weekly, The Washington Post and NPR’s The Splendid Table, and made the New York Times Bestseller list.

Forrest’s new book, Growing Tomorrow, goes behind the scenes with 18 extraordinary sustainable farmers from across the country, an inspiring farm-to-table journey in story, photos and recipes.

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