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September 9, 2002

Variety of 9/11 events held this week

By Michael Terrazas

One year ago Wednesday, the world changed.

Students, faculty and staff at Emory were enjoying a quiet, sunny Tuesday morning on
Sept. 11, 2001, and then a plane 850 miles away hit the World Trade Center and everything was different. Just like the rest of America and much of the world, the campus stopped. And watched. And wondered what would happen next.

This week the University community—just like the rest of America—will take time to remember the events of 9/11, memorialize the victims and continue to wonder what the future holds. A range of activities, with the theme of “Looking Back, Looking Forward,” has been planned to commemorate the anniversary, including a gathering on the Quadrangle and a moment of silence the morning of Sept. 11, beginning at 8:45 a.m.

That night, a University Gathering will be held at 7 p.m. in Glenn Auditorium. Marshall Duke, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Psychology, will deliver the main address, followed by prayer, dance and music from many faith traditions. Following the event in Glenn, a candlelight vigil will be held on the Quad.

“We really wanted to have a Universitywide service on the 11th that was in some ways like what we did last September,” said Susan Henry-Crowe, dean of the chapel and religious life. “We want to do some things to remember and memorialize Sept. 11, but in addition to that we wanted to look at how we were changed, and how [9/11] changed our view of caring for the world and for the community and for one another in different ways.”

Two lecturers are visiting campus to deliver 9/11-related addresses: cartoonist Aaron McGruder, creator of The Boondocks, will speak on “Free Speech in a Time of War.” McGruder’s comic strip, which tells the story of African American children growing up in white suburbia, is printed in more than 200 U.S. newspapers. He and other cartoonists recently were featured in Utne Reader as being some of the only consistent voices of opposition to the war on terrorism in American newspapers. McGruder’s visit is sponsored by the Center for Ethics.

The afternoon of Sept. 11 at 4 p.m., Robert Hefner, professor of anthropology at Boston University, will deliver a lecture titled “Clash of Civilizations or an Islamic Reformation?” Focusing on events of the last decade in Indonesia, Hefner will examine “liberal Islam” and how Indonesia—the largest Muslim-majority country in the world at 215 million people—handled a movement toward a more pluralist, democratic form of Islam.

In brief, Hefner said, many if not most Muslims are in favor of democratic reforms—but that doesn’t mean they want to be like the West. “Democracy is a culturally adapatable institution, but it’s not always going to lead to the same practices as it does in the United States,” Hefner said. “People can subscribe to participatory government and reach different conclusions about public morals and public policy.”

Hefner also will lead a noontime panel discussion the next day on Islam and Southeast Asia. Both events will be held in the Jones Room of Woodruff Library and are sponsored by the Institute for Comparative and International Studies (ICIS) Vernacular Modernities program.

Service opportunities are available earlier in the week. Today, Sept. 9, a blood drive will be held from 1–7 p.m. in the P.E. Center; on Tuesday, the Interfra-ternity Council (IFC) is sponsoring a Volunteer Day in the Dobbs Center, where people can participate in an “assembly line” project, bagging up toiletries, clothing and other items to donate to homeless shelters.

Work to coordinate the activities began in the spring, according to Alta Schwartz, outreach coordinator for ICIS. Schwartz chaired the committee charged with pulling together the various activities planned around 9/11, and she said departments from across campus contributed, including ICIS, Emory College and various academic departments within the college, Religious Life, Campus Life, Goizueta Business School, Student Programming Council, Inter-Religious Council, Ethics Center, Student Government Association, and other organizations.

“I think the amount of activities we have is just right,” Schwartz said. “It’s not too little, it’s not too much. The main idea for the coordination was that we do something and do it well—and that’s what we’ve accomplished.”