Smile Politely

Listen Up: March 12 – 18

WHAT: Communicating about Energy and Climate Change,” Maggie Koerth-Baker, BoingBoing

WHEN: Monday, March 12 @ 3 p.m.

WHERE: 335 Mechanical Engineering Building, 1206 W. Green St., Urbana

From the event announcement: “Ms. Koerth-Baker is a science editor/writer who frequently covers the topic of communicating about energy and climate change to the public. She is the author of a new book, Before the Lights Go Out: Conquering the Energy Crisis Before It Conquers Us, to be published in April 2012, and a regular contributor to the site”


WHAT: Tough Calls: An Insider’s Account of the Financial Crisis,” Kevin Warsh, former chief liaison to Wall Street for the Federal Reserve System

WHEN: Monday, March 12 @ 4 p.m.

WHERE: Deloitte Auditorium of the Business and Instructional Facility, 515 E. Gregory Drive, Champaign

Possible excerpt: “It was really no one’s fault, you see? This financial markets stuff is extremely complex and sometimes things can get out of control despite everyone involved having the best of intentions. It couldn’t be helped. But trust the system, because the system works.”


WHAT: The Politics of Gender and Single Mothers’ Right to be Helped in Soviet Russia between 1917 and 1950,” Maria Galmarini, PhD Candidate, Department of History

WHEN: Tuesday, March 13 @ 12 noon

WHERE: 101 International Studies Building, 910 S Fifth St Champaign

Per the event announcement, Ms. Galmarini’s talk “traces the course of ethically founded notions of rights in the Soviet experience from 1917 to 1950, focusing on the ‘right to be helped’ as the entitlement to assistance felt by marginalized individuals. She is the author of scholarly articles in English, Russian, and Italian. Her most recent publication ‘Defending the Rights of Gulag Prisoners: the Story of the Political Red Cross, 1918-38’ appeared in The Russian Review in January 2012.”


WHAT: Cleveland Model of Economic Development: the Evergreen Cooperatives,” Roy Messing and Jim Anderson

WHEN: Tuesday, March 13 @ 1 p.m.

WHERE: 407 Levis Faculty Center, 919 W. Illinois St., Urbana

From the event announcement: “The Evergreen Cooperatives are part of a regional initiative to rethink how economic development is done, and what it means to be a worker in the 21st century. Evergreen cooperatives are owned and managed by the workers. Evergreen Cooperatives are designed to create meaningful jobs, revitalize hard-hit neighborhoods, and work with local anchor institutions (hospitals, museums, city government, etc.) to keep community wealth rooted locally.”

Here’s a helpful video of what the Cleveland Model is:


WHAT: Braceros: Migrant Citizens and Transnational Subjects in the Postwar United States and Mexico,” Deborah Cohen, History. University of Missouri at St. Louis

WHEN: Thursday, March 15 @ 12 noon

WHERE: 101 International Studies Building, 910 S. Fifth Street, Champaign

According to that eminent historian Wikipedia, the Bracero Program “was a series of laws and diplomatic agreements, initiated by an August 1942 exchange of diplomatic notes between the United States and Mexico, for the importation of temporary contract laborers from Mexico to the United States.”


WHAT: Getting People to Live Green: Helpful? Diversionary?

WHEN: Thursday, March 15 @ 4 p.m.

WHERE: 100 Noyes Laboratory, 505 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana

From the event announcement: “The call has gone out for people to make changes in their daily lives to help alleviate environmental ills.  In what ways can people make a difference, and on what issues is individual action likely to accomplish little? More generally, is it wise to focus attention on individual change or is such effort largely diversionary and unhelpful if our main need is to foster structural change through legal means?”


You live near a major university and a community college. There are smart people that come here every week to talk to the general public about interesting topics. Perhaps you were not aware of this fact, or were overwhelmed by the sheer number of opportunities for possible enlightenment. If that’s the case, Smile Politely understands and is here to help. Here are several events going on in town this week. Check out one or more of them if you have time. Get your learn on, as they say, and join the cognoscenti. It’s free, you know. Plus, sometimes there’s free food, too!

If you have a community event, speaker, or film event that you’d like to see featured on Listen Up!, send the event information to joelgillespie [at] smilepolitely [dot] com by Friday the week prior to the event. Listen Up! runs on Mondays when classes are in session.

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