Recognizing that differences are a source of vitality, strength, and growth for a congregation, the mission of the Multicultural Committee is to increase the multicultural inclusivity of Fourth Presbyterian Church.
This committee seeks to further a culture of inclusion through intentional, ongoing planning and leadership. By building relationships at both interpersonal and intergroup levels and by generating initiatives that recognize and celebrate the gifts of a diverse membership, we hope that people of many racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds feel a sense of welcome and belonging.
Movie Night: "Flying Down to Rio"
Author Event: Escape From Nigeria
Dramatic Reading: "Railway to Freedom"
Interracial Peace Circles
Classic Movie Night: Flying Down to Rio
Friday, February 17
Second Presbyterian Church
(1936 S. Michigan)
Second Presbyterian Church invites you to join them for a free Black History Month event: Classic Movie Night, an event that will launch the congregation's yearlong celebration of their 175th anniversary.
Come enjoy a screening of the classic film Flying Down to Rio, which features Chicago's own Etta Moten Barnett. Barnett, a longtime member of Second Presbyterian Church, was famous for her title role in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess on Broadway. She was also featured in a number of films throughout the 1930s and 1940s.
Free popcorn and soft drinks will be served. (Children must be accompanied by an adult.)
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Escape From Nigeria: A Memoir of Faith, Love, and War
Sunday, February 19
Page Smith Room
We are delighted to welcome Chicago Sun-Times columnist and author Maudlyne Ihejirika to Fourth Church on Sunday, February 19 to talk about her book, Escape From Nigeria: A Memoir of Faith, Love, and War.
Escape From Nigeria: A Memoir of Faith, Love, and War chronicles the early life of Ihejirika's mother and her struggles to protect six small children while attending college overseas during the brutal Nigerian-Biafran War (July 1967-January 1970). Maudlyne's father was studying overseas when the war erupted, severing all communication between Biafra and the outside world. For nearly three years, her father and mother didn't know if the other was alive or dead, until an Irish missionary nun in Biafra set off a chain of miracles after smuggling a letter halfway around the world to Northwestern University. An instructor there—with his wife and four other North Shore couples—would undertake a desperate mission to find the family and effect their escape to the U.S., involving churches and synagogues to raise money, leveraging congressional contacts, and negotiating with the Biafran government for the family's freedom.
In this true, compelling, and heartrending story, readers will gain a new context for understanding the current global refugee crisis triggered by the largest number of forcibly displaced people worldwide since World War II and the anti-refugee backlash taking hold in American political discourse. "A riveting and heartwarming memoir," this book is, says one reviewer, "a love story, full of wisdom, pain, and unwavering optimism, a testament to the resilience and ultimate triumph of the human spirit."
Maudlyne Ihejirika is an award-winning Chicago Sun-Times urban affairs reporter/columnist with nearly thirty years experience in newspaper journalism, public relations, and government. She writes the Sun-Times' "Chicago Chronicles" column: long-form stories on "people and places that make Chicago tick," with particular focus on African American and Hispanic communities. With the Sun-Times twenty-three years, she has served as assistant city editor and covered beats from crime and inner-city issues to housing and education, politics and philanthropy. She left the Sun-Times in 1997 to serve as Governor Jim Edgar's press secretary for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and in 1999 left to launch the Ihejirika Media and Communications Group. Returning to the Sun-Times in 2003, she has won numerous awards, including the 2016 Chicago Defender Women of Excellence Award; 2015 Studs Terkel Award; 2015 NABJ Salute to Excellence Award for best newspaper series; NABJ Salute to Excellence Awards for best newspaper features in 2014 and 2011; 2013 Vernon C. Jarrett Par Excellence in Journalism Award; and two Society of Professional Journalists Lisagor Awards in 2008. A frequent guest contributor on WTTW-11's "Chicago Tonight: Week In Review" and FOX-32's "Good Day Chicago," she has appeared as a political analyst on CNN, TV One, ABC and CBS as well as pn NPR, WBEZ, WVON, and V103 radio stations.
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Dramatic Reading of Railway to Freedom
Monday, February 27
Please join us for a dramatic reading of Richard Durham's Railway to Freedom, a radio play originally broadcast in July 1948. Railway to Freedom is a beautiful story about the mother of America, Harriet Tubman, and her journey through and for the Underground Railroad.
Richard Durham's Destination Freedom radio program—which aired on Chicago's WMAQ from June 27, 1948, until its cancellation in August of 1950—was unlike anything else being broadcast over the airwaves at the time. For more than two years audiences tuned in every Sunday morning and were treated to dramatized stories featuring prominent African Americans.
Please join us in honoring black history and celebrating those who paved the way to freedom as a nation. There will be a talk back with the actors and refreshments following the performance.
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Interracial Peace Circles
Fourth Church is forming small peace circles composed of people from different racial backgrounds with the goals of deepening relationships with one another, being in dialogue about racism, and engaging in advocacy and actions to dismantle racism. If you would like to be part of one of these peace circles, please contact Vicky Curtiss.
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Photos of Some of the Events Planned by the Multicultural Committee
MLK Service Projects 2013 | January 19, 2013
Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend Service Projects 2012 | January 14, 2012
For more information about multiculturalism at Fourth Church, contact Vicky Curtiss, Associate Pastor for Mission, (312.981.3598) or Anne Ellis, Program Manager for Congregational Life (312.573.3369).