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Tag: Madison community

The Opioid Epidemic Hits Close to Home

We’ve discussed the opioid epidemic several times- whether it be on a national level, looking more closely at Hillbilly Elegy, or hearing more about it at the Keynote Event last month.

The opioid epidemic has also caught the attention of Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker, but there has been another group in the Madison area that has been focusing on this problem for years.

The opioid epidemic has been affecting the Madison community. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)

In a recent article following the progress of this group, it revealed that Safe Communities recognized this detrimental problem in Wisconsin as early as five years ago. They have increased the number of MedDrop boxes in the past several years, which has shown to be a huge help in recovering old medication.

Safe Communities also helped launch the recovery coach program and are hoping to expand it outside of SSM Health’s St. Mary’s.

Safe Communities is located right in the Madison area. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)

“They know about the pain and they know sort of how low people can feel and then, how hopeful they can be,” Cheryl Wittke, Safe Communities executive director, noted. “Having that message has made a big difference and we’ve seen 90 percent of folks who are going through that process sign up for treatment.”

While a lot has been accomplished to recognize there is a problem, Wittke believes there is a lot that still needs to be done.

“There’s a lot more to be done and things are not good. We’re not seeing a reduction in overdose deaths currently. I guess maybe the good news is we’ve seen a slowing in the rate of increase,” Wittke said.

There was a Stop the Overdose Summit on November 6th that created a to-do list and new goals for the upcoming months.

To learn more about how to combat the opioid epidemic in Madison, feel free to check out the Safe Communities website.

Gillian Keebler
Student Assistant, Go Big Read Office

International Women’s Day Event on 3/7/2015

University of Wisconsin-Madison librarian Emilie Songolo and AFRICaide are hosting an International Women’s Day event March 7th at Christ Presbyterian Church from 11:00-4:00 p.m.

The purpose of the even is to bring together women of all backgrounds to celebrate International Women’s Day. The theme this year is “Make It Happen!” Many people, organizations and institutions have been engaged in improving the lives of women locally, nationally, and internationally. They work in areas such as economic development, community development, education, health, science and technology, politics and government, the arts, and women’s empowerment. We would like to come together to celebrate their work, encourage others, and plan ways for improving the lives of women all over the world. We will also make items to donate to local communities.

You can find more information about the event here: Event Information

Watch and interview about the event below.

Woven Gardens of Hope: Afghan Women’s Carpets Exhibit

 

The Woven Gardens of Hope: Afghan Women’s Carpets Exhibit opens today at the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection in Nicholas Hall. The exhibition highlights a community-based program to empower Afghan women through weaving of carpets following centuries-old techniques to create a sustainable quality of life for their families. Their carpets will be shown within the context of historic carpets and textiles from this region and culture, extending a past tradition into the present.

The gallery is free and open to the public. The exhibit will be open from January 23rd through March 1st and will have five featured events during that time. The first featured event is an opening ceremony this Sunday, January 25. To learn more visit the exhibit’s site here

Smarty Pants Book Club: “I Am Malala”
Guest Blog Post by Leah Ujda


In my pre-Design Concepts work life, I was a
librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. One of my favorite
experiences there was serving multiple years on the book selection
committee for Go Big Read, the campus-wide common book program.
Sponsored
by the Office of the Chancellor in partnership with the Center for First-Year Experience, and many other units of the university,
the goal of Go Big Read is to “engage members of the campus community
and beyond in a shared, academically focused reading experience.” This
fall, our very own Smarty Pants Book Club joined thousands of others in
the Madison community in reading “I Am Malala” by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.

“I
Am Malala” is the true story of a girl in Pakistan who, along with her
father, is a vocal advocate for girls’ right to an education in spite of
the restrictions imposed by the Taliban. Malala’s father is a school
owner who encouraged her to speak out, write and attend school from an
early age. As a young student her story caught the attention of Western
journalists and media. Malala’s (then anonymous) blog detailing daily
life under the Taliban was picked up by the BBC when she was 11 years
old and she was profiled in the New York Times in 2009. She became quite
well known both internationally and in her home in the Swat Valley in
Pakistan, and her outspoken views gained the attention of the Taliban.
In October 2012, Malala was shot at point blank range by masked Taliban
soldiers while riding the bus home from school.

One of the things
we talked a lot about at book club was Malala’s perception of herself
and her life – as Chad put it, “until she was shot in the head she
didn’t think she was particularly incendiary or special.” To the members
of our book club – educated, employed, comfortable Americans – Malala
and the people in her village often seemed to be dealing with life close
to the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy. Their basic safety and security
was not a given. Regardless of the dangerous environment she and her
family lived in, Malala wrote about love, respect, independence and
betterment.

By reading the same book and coming together to talk about it, we take an individual activity and make it social.

Related
to this idea of perception, we talked a bit about Malala’s idealism and
optimism. At the risk of being cynical and jaded, we wondered how much
of her story and the presentation of it was coached. Christina Lamb, an
award-winning British journalist, co-wrote the book with Malala and book
club members agreed that it was very obvious that this story was being
presented to a Western audience. Ultimately, our discussion wound around
to the conclusion that it really didn’t matter how coached, edited or
polished the story may have been. Stories like Malala’s pull people out
of blindness and illustrate the powerful and destructive nature of
ignorance.

There were moments in the book that revealed how broken
the political system of Pakistan under the Taliban really is. For
example, after she was shot Malala was transported to a hospital in
England for treatment and it took two weeks for Malala’s family to gain
the necessary paperwork to join her there. Corin noted that a system
that prioritizes political favors and self-interest over the family of a
critically wounded 15-year-old girl has stepped completely outside of
human empathy. But this is not a “Pakistan thing” or even a “Taliban
thing.” It is a human thing. Corruption can thrive anywhere with right
set of circumstances, timing and luck.

We wrapped up our
discussion with some reflection on common reading programs such as Go
Big Read and the experience of participating in a book club. By reading
the same book and coming together to talk about it, we take an
individual activity and make it social. Corin participated in a
campus-wide common book program during her freshman year at Virginia
Tech, and both Roshelle and I previously took part in the Chicago Public
Library’s “One City, One Book” initiative. Even our little office book
club provides a forum for shared experiences that foster connections
among people and push us to pick up books we might not have otherwise
selected. All of us agreed that having a shared experience at the same
time is rare and precious. “I Am Malala” filled the Smarty Pants Book
Club with feelings of gratitude and connection just in time for the
holiday season… and it made us feel a lot smarter while we watch
“Homeland.”

Leah Ujda
Research Specialist
Design Concepts

Go Big Read Keynote Event 


If you have not finished this year’s Go Big Read book, “I Am Malala”, you will want to find the time this weekend to complete it before the keynote event on Monday!

On Monday Shiza Shahid will be visiting campus to deliver the Go Big Read keynote address. Shiza co-founded the Malala Fund with Malala and has been named on Forbes 30 under 30 list. She is a powerful and motivated woman that will no doubt deliver a powerful speech that you will not want to miss!

The event is at 7:00 p.m. at Union South in Varsity Hall on Monday, October 27th. You will want to arrive early since a large crowd is expected. The event is open to the public and no tickets are necessary.

There will be Q&A session after her speech. We hope to see you all there!

November 11th Lubar Institute Symposium: 
Embattled Ideologies: I Am Malala and the
Question of Women’s Education in South Asia

The Go Big Read program has been fielding requests from the reading community for a venue that allows for deeper conversation of the themes presented in “I Am Malala”, as well as an event that features UW faculty and experts in the region of study.
 

The
UW Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions is holding a
free, public symposium on November 11th entitled:  Embattled Ideologies: I Am Malala and the
Question of Women’s Education in South Asia

Event Description: Beyond the dramatic story of Malala
Yousafzai’s life and struggle for women’s education as recounted
in I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was
Shot by the Taliban
—UW-Madison’s Go Big Read book
selection for 2014—lie profound and complex questions: 

 –What are the larger and deeper
ideological forces that underpin the political and
humanitarian forefront of the “Malala” story? How do we make
sense of the perspective of the emancipators even as we want
to unravel the fury of the extremists?
 
Why are some people staunchly opposed
to extremism but also suspicious of the extraordinary
limelight that Yousafzai has received? And how have certain
claims made in the book offended many Pakistanis, so that
they question the extent of Yousafzai’s authorship? 

How and why do the politics and ethics
of international development aid sometimes backfire? Why are
universal concepts such as “womanhood,” “human rights,” or
even “education” often problematic?

    This symposium brings together scholars
    whose joint expertise cuts across the challenges of women’s
    education in tribal Pakistan, the historical encounter of Islam
    and modernity, and the cultural problematics of international
    aid. The goal of the program is to highlight how in South Asia
    and elsewhere debates about educational reform and women’s
    education in particular do not occur in a vacuum but are highly
    inflected by historically embedded ideologies, and culturally
    and politically vexed notions about human identity, education
    and development.
      
    PRESENTERS:
    Nancy Kendall is Associate Professor of Educational Policy Studies,
    University of Wisconsin-Madison, who specializes in ethnographic
    studies of comparative, international, and global education policy. She
    is affiliated with the UW African Studies Program, Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, Development Studies Program, and Global Health Institute.
    Her research has examined children’s sense-making and
    experiences with gender and education, political
    democratization, sexuality and HIV/AIDS education, and
    orphan-focused international programming.

    Omar Qureshi is currently the principal of the Islamic Foundation School (Villa
    Park, Illinois) with considerable experience of teaching at
    public and private schools in Saudi Arabia and the United States. He
    has studied the Islamic religious sciences with a number of traditional
    scholars in Syria and Saudi Arabia and holds specialization in Islamic
    law and theology. He is also a Ph.D. candidate in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies at Loyola University–Chicago. His dissertation explores the conception of the highest good in Islamic Education.

    Sidra Rind is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Educational Policy Studies
    at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She received the Virginia Horne
    Henry Award for her research on female students in the tribal parts of
    Pakistan. She studies how in the province of Balochistan competing
    pressures from the state, the separatists, and the Taliban have shaped
    the educational experience of Pakistani schoolgirls.


    MODERATOR:
    Tayyab Zaidi is a doctoral student in Educational Policy Studies,
    UW–Madison, working toward a dissertation on models of Islamic
    education in America. His research interests cut across the educational
    applications of multimodal and systemic-functional analysis,
    postcolonial studies, and the impact of Muslim organizations. He is a
    recipient of the Fulbright Award and the Higher Education Commission
    Pakistan scholarship. Tayyab holds masters degrees in English as well
    as Applied Linguistics from the University of Karachi, Pakistan, and in
    Educational Studies from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

    Madison Public Library Community Book Groups Continue Into the Fall

    Each year Madison Public Library’s nine locations participate in Go Big Read by hosting community book discussions. MPL’s book discussions are typically long standing groups with a core group of regular attendees who welcome newcomers ready to listen, discuss and share the floor in exploration of the book and author. The list of remaining discussions is below.

    Here are some reactions from librarians that have already hosted discussions this year.
    Each quote is from a different librarian and book discussion group:

    We attempted to understand the birth of the Taliban after the Soviet
    troop withdrawal in 1989– their rise from religious to militant– and
    why they had initial world support, including that of the Reagan and
    Clinton administrations. It was interesting to learn the the Clinton’s
    administration’s flirtation with the Taliban did not last long, as
    Madeleine Albright, incensed by the Taliban’s treatment of women, halted it when she became Secretary of State.

    Many found it a difficult read with the political overtones, the
    anti-Americanism, the detailed historical religious perspective, the
    terminology, and the American unfamiliarity with Pakistan specifically,
    and Islam in general.  Some felt that the book would have held more
    credibility if it hadn’t looked like Malala’s story was being
    manipulated by adults with an agenda to sell books while Malala was
    still in the headlines.  One attendee suggested that, ‘although he had
    great respect for Malala, the book was obvious propaganda.

    We discussed the amazing phenomenon of Malala herself and her wisdom
    beyond her actual years, everyday life and family dynamics in Pakistan,
    all things education, including who has the say over what goes into
    children’s textbooks, whether or not kids here take education for
    granted, etc., religion, religious extremism, the role of the U.S. in
    the Middle East, how the people always get caught between their
    government and the militants and often our government as well, and how
    well that works out for everybody. I think people enjoyed the book and
    Malala’s voice and loved Malala.

    Many in our group were pleased this was a Go Big Read pick because UW
    students would read it– and look beyond their borders and/or discover a
    perspective on ‘the news’ that is more personal. The group also
    appreciated reading more about the Taliban- both the history, the day to
    day changes in Malala’s life because of them, and her courage in
    standing up to them.

    Quite a bit of time was spent thinking about/discussing the issue of
    the co-author– how not knowing what Lamb’s role was or who wrote what
    was distracting to the reader and opened up the possibility that this
    book was not Malala’s story or beliefs totally. The group was very
    interested to hear of the negative reaction to the book (and not Malala)
    in Pakistan.

    *Discussions continue at our libraries and Book Discussion Kits are
    available for private book groups (see below):

    Wednesday, October 22, 6:30-8:00pm at Meadowridge Library, 5740 Raymond
    Rd., Madison, WI, 53711, 288-6160

    Thursday, October 23, 1:00-2:00pm at Sequoya Library, 4340 Tokay Blvd.,
    Madison, WI, 53711, 266-6385

    Wednesday, November 5, 6:00-7:30pm at Monroe Street Library, 1705 Monroe
    St., Madison, WI, 53711, 266-6390

    Thursday, November 6, 6:30-7:45pm at Lakeview Library, 2845 N. Sherman
    Ave., Madison, WI, 53704, 246-4547

    Thursday, November 13, 12:00-1:00pm at Lakeview Library, 2845 N. Sherman
    Ave., Madison, WI, 53704, 246-4547

    Tuesday, November 25, 7:00-8:00pm at Pinney Library, 204 Cottage Grove
    Rd., Madison, WI, 53716, 224-7100

    *Click here to borrow Book Discussion Kits from MPL

    Madison Public Library has bought over 100 copies of I am Malala to lend
    to private book groups. Kits are lent on a first come, first served
    basis– no holds or reserves allowed. While all kit copies are out as of
    this blog post, experience shows we’ll have many copies to lend again in
    the late fall- typically mid-November. To borrow a kit you’ll need a
    valid library card from one of the libraries in the South Central
    Library System (which includes Madison Public Library.) Call 266-6300
    for more information. You may borrow as many copies as your group needs
    and choose your due date (within reason!) The discussion guide included
    with the kit contains reviews, additional background information on
    Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai and discussion questions.

    Written by: Liz Amundson, Madison Public Library Reference Librarian

    Shiza Shahid: “There are no Superheroes, Just Us”
    “There are no superheroes, just us. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” These powerful words came from Shiza Shahid at the TEDxMidAtlantic 2013 conference. The theme of the conference was “Start Now”, and conference organizers asked Shiza to be a featured speaker on the theme. Shiza shared three lessons that helped her begin her journey to becoming a successful social entrepreneur, and have shaped her life choices. The talk focuses on human connections, creating change in the world, and following your heart.

    The presentation is a powerful introduction to the story of Malala and Shiza’s friendship, from their first meeting to the origins of the Malala Fund. Shiza’s voice is heavy with sorrow as she recalls the moment she learned that Malala had been shot. Yet, her sorrow turns to anger and then hope as she recounts how she realized that across the world people were protesting that a girl had been shot for going to school, and were praying and hoping for Malala’s recovery. Shiza ends her speech by saying “I am Malala”, and explaining how powerful of a statement that is to her.

    Shiza will be the keynote speaker for the Go Big Read program, and will be giving a public speech on October 27th at Union South’s Varsity Hall. This TEDxMidAtlantic talk is an indication of the enthusiasm and eloquence that Shiza will be bringing to her speech.  

    Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney at Central Library, 11/12

    Kamikaze Diaries by Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney

    If you attended Ruth Ozeki’s talk on October 28, you may have heard her mention Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney.  Ohnuki-Tierney wrote Kamikaze Diaries: Reflections of Japanese Student Soldiers and Kamikaze, Cherry Blossoms, and Nationalisms: The Militarization of Aesthetics in Japanese History, which Ozeki used for her research for A Tale for the Time Being.  In her interview with NPR, Ozeki says in reference to Cherry Blossoms:

    It was a collection, a study of the diaries of the kamikaze pilots who had been conscripted from Japan’s top universities. So these were the young, bright minds of Japan, and these men, these young men, were beautiful writers. And they wrote these just heartbreaking letters and diaries….Many of them did not want to participate in this at all but, you know, the situation was hopeless — there was no option for conscientious  objection, for example — so they were forced into this, accompanied by an enormous amount of angst. And so I think the idea for those three characters came from this reading and studying that I was doing.

    If you are interested in learning more about the experiences of the Japanese soldiers, Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney will be at the Central Library, 201 Mifflin St. on Tuesday, November 12 at 7:00 pm. Ohnuki-Tierney is the William F. Vilas Professor at the University of Wisconsin.

    Lisa, Librarian at Madison Public Library – Central Library

    Learning Lab: Lens on the Collection, featuring A Tale for the Time Being

    Lens on the Collection: Click to expand
    Tucked in and sometimes overlooked among its vast print holdings,
    the UW-Madison library system also offers students a dizzying array of movies. Some
    are popcorn classics, box-office hits widely known and loved worldwide.  Yet library patrons are likewise able to
    access thousands of film titles that didn’t set any box-office records but are
    perhaps more thought-provoking than their more famous compatriots.  Certainly, movies should entertain, however the
    best entertainment expands your outlook, and gives insight to the perspectives
    of people from different cultures and mindsets. With such a wide selection of
    films at our disposal, how does one sort through the vast, sometimes dispersed
    holdings to select the right film for the right situation?
    The LSS Learning Lab Library, located on the second floor of Van
    Hise Hall, is here to help.  Each
    semester, the Learning lab selects a new theme for its Lens on the Collection series, highlighting several related films
    from its extensive foreign film collection to provide patrons with a focused
    guide to the Learning Lab’s film holdings. 
    This Fall, Lens on the Collection
    focuses its attention on twelve feature films meant to complement Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being, this year’s Go Big Read selection. Ozeki’s novel delves deep into the troubles
    confronting contemporary Japanese culture, teenage angst, and the difficulty of
    forging meaningful relationships in the fast-paced modern world. As fans of foreign cinema are no
    doubt aware, many of these themes have already been explored by talented filmmakers
    from around the globe:  think of the work
    of Leos Carax, Michel Gondry, and Bong Joon-ho in Tokyo; Sofia Coppola in Lost
    in Translation
    ; Eric Khoo in Tatsumi,
    to name just a few examples.   
    While A Tale for the Time Being and each of our films remain
    thought-provoking works of art in their own right, our hope is that by pairing
    and partnering these works, book and film, we can help provide the broader
    campus audience a fuller appreciation of the themes these works raise. By
    combining these different forms of media, we believe that readers and viewers will
    be better able to consider the troubles of modernity, the challenges facing
    contemporary Japan, and the problems we all wrestle with as individual human
    beings.
    So as you finish this
    year’s Go Big Read, and head into the
    weekend wondering what to do for a bit of entertainment, don’t settle for the
    umpteenth re-watching of Twilight or Harry Potter. Dig deeper for something
    you haven’t seen before, something more thought provoking, something out of
    your comfort zone. You just might uncover a new favorite and challenge your
    perspective in the process.
    ~Lane Sunwall~
    The Learning Lab in 259 Van Hise Hall provides drop-in study
    space, audio and video playback equipment, computers, and an extensive media
    collection of thousands of DVD/video materials from over one hundred different
    foreign languages.  Past and current Lens on the
    Collection
    posters and selections can be found online or on the poster board in front of the Learning Lab in Van
    Hise Hall.  To check out movies from the Lens on the Collection, visit our
    friendly staff at the LSS Learning Lab, or order them online at www.library.wisc.edu.