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Event briefs

For immediate use

March 19, 2007

Scholars to explore questions
of race and environment

“Race and the Environment” will be the topic of a conference hosted April 2-3 by the UNC Institute of African American Research, to be held at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History on South Road.

Experts and scholars from environmental groups and universities will examine environmental concerns of black communities worldwide, including sites in Ecuador and Kenya. Speakers, topics and schedules are posted on the institute Web site,

“The conference will provide a forum for scholars to examine environmental dilemmas through racial contexts, to the extent that minority communities bear a disproportionate burden,” said Demetria Howard-Watkins, program coordinator at the institute.

Discussion on April 2 will cover environmental issues including toxic waste, deforestation, hog farming and water quality. On April 3, speakers will address the environmental impact of Hurricane Katrina, as well as federal response, disaster management, rebuilding and questions about racial disparity.

The UNC African Studies Center is cosponsoring “Race and the Environment,” the institute’s ninth annual International Scholars Conference. The public is welcome to attend. The cost is $5 for students and $15 for others. Advance registration is encouraged via For more information, contact Howard-Watkins at (919) 962-0977 or


Registration begins April 9
for PlayMakers’ auditions

PlayMakers Repertory Company, the professional theater company based in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, will audition professional equity and non-equity actors for its 2007-2008 season April 22-23.

Joseph Haj, the company’s producing artistic director, will conduct the auditions in the Center for Dramatic Art on Country Club Road.

Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are strongly suggested. Appointment scheduling begins April 9. To schedule an appointment, members of Actors’ Equity Association should call (919) 619-4734.

Non-equity actors must submit a photo and resume by April 13 to Dave Hansen, company manager, PlayMakers Repertory Company, CB 3235, Center for Dramatic Art, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3235. Non-equity performers will be seen as time permits throughout the auditions.

PlayMakers is an equal opportunity employer; professional actors of diverse backgrounds and abilities are encouraged to audition. For more information, contact Dave Hansen at (919) 619-4734 or For next season’s lineup, visit


Creation-evolution controversy
to be topic of April 10 talk

Dr. Michael Ruse of Florida State University will discuss “The Evolution-Creation Controversy: A Very American Story” on April 10 at UNC.

Ruse, a philosopher and director of FSU’s program in the history and philosophy of science, will give the free talk at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Hanes Art Center, on South Columbia Street beside the Ackland Art Museum.

Ruse’s talk, constituting this year’s Michael Polanyi Lecture in the History and Philosophy of Natural Science at UNC, will examine the continuing controversy between creationists and scientific adherents of Darwin’s theory.

An expert on social and philosophical implications of Darwin’s theories, Ruse has written more than 30 books. They include “The Evolution-Creation Struggle,” which New York magazine named the Best Academic Book of 2005, and “Darwinism and Its Discontents” (2006).

“‘Darwinism and Its Discontents’ is vintage Ruse: clear, incisive, focused on fundamental and controversial topics, written with verve,” writes Dr. Francisco J. Ayala of the University of California-Irvine. “Michael Ruse is a philosopher, comfortably at home with the biology, and sensitive to the religious controversies.”

The Polanyi lecture in the College of Arts and Sciences honors the late chemist and author Dr. Michael Polanyi, who explored the groundwork of knowledge and the psychology of perception. The program is supported by an endowment by the late UNC physics professor Dr. Waldo Haisley and his wife, Doris Weaver Haisley.

This year’s lecture is co-sponsored by the Philosophy Club and the Biology Graduate Student Association.
For information, contact Dee Reid, (919) 843-6339,


Growth of global Pentecostalism
to be topic of April 11 talk at UNC

Donald E. Miller will discuss “Global Pentecostalism: The New Face of Christian Social Engagement” in a free talk April 11 at UNC.

Miller, a professor of religion and director of the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California, will speak at 7:30 p.m. in 116 Murphey Hall. The lecture is part of the Christianity and Culture Distinguished Speaker Series in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Last year, Pentecostalism celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles, considered to be the origin of their religious movement.
Miller has traveled in 20 different countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America to document the global expansion of charismatic Christianity. Using video clips from his research, Miller will illustrate the variety of different expressions of worship and social engagement by Pentecostals in the developing world.

Miller has written or edited seven books including “Armenia: Portraits of Survival and Hope” (2003), “GenX Religion” (2000) and “Reinventing American Protestantism” (1997). His current research focuses on faith-based non-governmental organizations in Rwanda, Tanzania and Armenia.

For more information, contact Sondra J. Smolek, (919) 962-3939,, or visit


Students to stage Sondheim musical
‘Sunday in the Park with George’

Students in the dramatic art department in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences will stage “Sunday in the Park with George” at 8:15 p.m. April 19-23.

Performances will be in the historic Old Playmakers Theatre on Cameron Avenue. Winner of the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for drama, the play features music by Stephen Sondheim and lyrics by James Lapine.

The UNC show will be produced by Mainstage, an advanced extracurricular production venue founded and supported by the dramatic art department. Mainstage allows undergraduates to work with faculty and guest artists. They also receive mentorship from professional artists, administrators and graduate students.

General admission tickets are $5. PlayMakers Repertory Company subscribers and department of dramatic art privilege cardholders are admitted free.
For more information, e-mail

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UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School contact: Allison Reid, (919) 962-8951,
School of Nursing contact: Jill Summers (919) 843-6167,
IBM discussion contact: Paul Jones,, (919) 962-7600