Category Archives: Civil Rights

Professor perspective: bring back our girls!


Mary Frances Pipino, Ph.D., Director of the Ursuline Studies Program

Recent events in Nigeria—the mass kidnapping of nearly 300 girls from a boarding school by the extremist group Boko Haram (which translates as “western education is sin”)—have galvanized the international community. Leader Abubakar Shekau has laughingly declared that Allah has commanded him to sell the girls; the girls are either being sold as wives to militia members (and the bride price collected), or used as sex slaves.

Several have died, according to reports, and many more are seriously ill. An attack on a village at Nigeria’s border with Cameroon on Monday, resulting in hundreds of deaths, is believed to be motivated by the village’s use as a base of operation to track down the kidnapped girls.

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Ursuline supports #BringBackOurGirls


Information from and

One year ago this month, Boko Haram’s (“Western education is sin” in English) leader Abubakar Shekau released a video announcing a new front in its attempt at forced Islamism: his fighters will begin abducting girls and selling them.

It is the recent abductions of nearly 300 girls taken from a school in Nigeria that has spawned global outrage and horror. The girls taken from a school by armed militants are still missing, possibly sold into slavery or married off.  In an attempt to raise awareness, a #BringBackOurGirls campaign began on Twitter and has quickly spread with demonstrators taking to the streets around the world to demand action.

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Celebrate Women’s History Month with International Women’s Panel March 31


The College is hosting a panel discussion titled “Transnational Perspectives on Women’s Rights as Human Rights” at 6 PM March 31 in the Mullen Little Theater, 2550 Lander Road, Pepper Pike, Ohio 44124. The discussion is free and open to the public and will be followed by a dessert reception.

“The theme for Women’s History Month 2014 is Women of Courage, Character and Commitment. Ursuline College, through its women-focused identity and mission, seeks to educate and encourage such women and prepare them to participate bravely and passionately in a global society,” Mary Frances Pipino, Ph.D., Director of Ursuline College’s Ursuline Studies Program, said.

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Dying young: the Birmingham bombings

Photo Credit: Google Images

By Timothy K. Kinsella, Ph.D.,  head of the History Department and Director of the Master of Liberal Arts Program at Ursuline College. 

Addie May Collins (age 14)
Carole Robertson (age 14)

Cynthia Wesley (age 14)
Denise McNair (age 11)

For many of us, these names are unknown. They are the four young African-American girls killed, with twenty-two others injured, in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama on September 15, 1963. This bombing took place only eighteen days after Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” in Washington D.C. and at the very beginning of integration efforts in Birmingham.

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Fannie Lou Hamer. Photo Credit: Google Images.

Voting can be a pain.

Many of you are eligible to vote in this upcoming election. Voting can be a pain. You might have to wake up early, drive to the polling place, find a place to park, go into the booth and see unknown names running for equally unknown offices. Furthermore what difference can one vote possibly make?

Maybe a broader context will help think about this voting idea. Fannie Lou Hamer, a civil right worker from Mississippi, participated in the so-called Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964. She was arrested and beaten several times for trying to register black voters in Mississippi, many too scared to register because of feared reprisals by klan members.

Fannie Lou Hamer. Photo Credit: Google Images.

Fannie Lou Hamer. Photo Credit: Google Images.

Three young men (James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner), also involved in registering black voters in Mississippi, went missing and later found murdered–by klan members. One of the state’s senators, James Eastland, told President Lyndon Johnson that these men purposely went missing as part of a large publicity stunt to gain attention for their voter registration efforts.

Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman. Photo Credit: Google Images.

Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman. Photo Credit: Google Images.

Voting can be a pain – even the voter registration process.

Timothy K. Kinsella, Ph.D. is head of the History Department and Director of the Master of Liberal Arts Program at Ursuline College