By Matt Fredmonsky
Record-Courier staff writer
The 40th commemoration of the May 4, 1970, shootings on the campus of Kent State University has brought with it numerous events on and around campus throughout this weekend and next week.
As part of the May 4 Voices Community Arts Project, a community story quilt will be stitched together with contributions from Kent residents and others interested in depicting their memories with thread and material. A quilting workshop will be held from noon to 2 p.m. today at the KSU School of Art’s Downtown Gallery, 141 E. Main St.
“Roots of Resistance Conference: Continuing the Struggle,” will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Sunday on the third floor of the Kent State Student Center. The two-day conference will include workshops and discussions on topics ranging from student activism to combating racism and sexual assault.
Participants will include Dr. Gene Young, an eyewitness to the Jackson State Shootings; Mark Rudd, a founder of Students for a Democratic Society and a former member of the Weather Underground; and Dr. Staughton Lynd, a veteran organizer of labor, peace and prisoner solidarity.
All conference events are free. A complete listing of workshops and film screenings is available online at RootsofResistance.wordpress.com.
The play “Voices — A Staged Reading,” will premiere at 7 p.m. Sunday in the E. Turner Stump Theatre on campus. David Hassler, director of the KSU Wick Poetry Center, drafted the script based on excerpts from the May 4 Oral History Project.
“I think the oral histories give us an incredible opportunity to hear the other, in an effort to get outside our own skins, and hear the emotional truth,” Hassler said.
Monday afternoon, the university will dedicate the marker acknowledging the placement of the shootings site on the National Register of Historic Places. The university also will cut the ribbon on the May 4 Walking Tour, which directs visitors around the 17-acre site with seven plaques and an audio tour. The dedications begin at 3 p.m. in Room 214 of Oscar Ritchie Hall.
U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a leader in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, will speak at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Kent Student Center Ballroom.
The May 4 Task Force will lead the annual candlelight vigil and march from the Commons to the Prentice Hall parking lot and the memorials of the four students shot and killed by Ohio National Guardsmen. The vigil starts at 10:30 p.m. Monday.
The May 4 remembrance day observation will begin at the Commons at noon Tuesday. Speakers include: Gerald Casale of DEVO; former Black Panther Bobby Seale; photographer John Filo; May 4 eyewitness Mary Vecchio; and Florence Schroeder, mother of William Schroeder, one of the students fatally shot on May 4, 1970.
Laurel Krause, sister of Allison Krause, who was among the four killed in 1970, will set up the Kent State Truth Tribunal at 110 S. Water St. today through Tuesday. The tribunal will record personal narratives of witnesses to the events of May 4, 1970.
“We’re really calling for all people that were the original participants of the 1970 Kent State shootings ... we’re going to ask them to come forward and share their truth,” Laurel Krause said.
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