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Past Events

Posted By Michele Simon On March 6, 2012 @ 1:25 pm In | Comments Disabled

The White Fund’s purpose is to have a free series of interactive presentations for Lawrence area adults, youth, and children. The audience is encouraged to seek wisdom, cultural enrichment and intellectual enhancement by attending and participating.

Fall 2013

October 29, 2013 – Inocente – Screening and Q&A with Inocente and Matt D’Arrigo

September 24 – What it Means to be American Richard Blanco

October 9, 2013 – Becoming Comfortable in the Skin of Your Own Voice Carlos Contreras

Spring 2013

May 3 – What is Activism in Today’s World? author Ernesto Quiñonez

March 7 — The Passion of Poetry & the Power of Artistic Expression Mayda Del Valle, Spoken Word Poet

Fall 2012

November 11, 2012 — The Ghost Army: Artists of Deception

October 9, 2012 — Hispanics in America: The Next Successful Immigrant Group: Juan Rangel

September 26, 2012 — Show Me the Monet: Join David Meehan, a trip to the Museum of Fine Arts

September 12, 2012 — Unguarded: Former NBA Boston Celtic Basketball Player Chris Herren

Spring 2012

April 22 & 23, 2012 — Dr. Franklin Chang-Diaz: My Personal Journey Through the American Dream

February 17, 2012 — A Morning with U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz: Top Priorities of a Federal Prosecutor

February 12, 2012 — The Lawrence Strike of 1912: Women, Protest, and Déjà Vu All Over Again

Fall 2013 Events

Date Time Location
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 8:45 a.m. Lawrence High School
70-72 North Parish Road, Lawrence, MA

Join us for the screening of Inocente along with a Q & A with Inocente and Matt D’Arrigo.

Inocente is an inspiring coming-of-age story of a 15-year-old girl in California. Though homeless and undocumented, she refused to give up on her dream of becoming an artist, proving that the hand she has been dealt does not define her – her dreams do.

As a young child, Inocente and her family immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico. After her father’s arrest and deportation for domestic violence, most of Inocente’s childhood was spent moving from one homeless shelter to the next. Inocente discovered the power of art when she was 12 years old. Since then she has been able to use art-making as a vehicle to rise above many great life challenges.

Matt D’Arrigo is Founder and CEO of ARTS | A Reason To Survive, the nationally recognized non-profit agency dedicated to changing the life trajectory of youth facing adversity through the arts and creativity. He’s a recognized leader, speaker, and advisor in the use of the arts as a prevention and intervention vehicle for at-risk youth.


Date Time Location
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 8:45 a.m. Lawrence High School
70-72 North Parish Road, Lawrence, MA

Since childhood, RICHARD BLANCO felt caught between two worlds: the imaginary world of his Cuban heritage as seen and heard only through his parents nostalgic stories about the “homeland;” and the other imaginary world of the “real” America that he envisioned from TV shows and history books—a very different place from the predominantly Cuban community in Miami where he grew up. America seemed like someplace else, someone else. He will share poems and commentary that explain how he navigated a cultural identity between these two worlds, culminating with his experiences as inaugural poet when for the first time he came to a real understanding of his place in America as an American.

Blanco was selected by President Obama to be the fifth inaugural poet in history, and at the inaugural ceremony in January he read his original poem One Today. Blanco also wrote Boston Strong, a poem written to help heal the emotional wounds of the Boston Marathon bombing, that he performed at the TD Boston Garden Benefit Concert and at a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park.

The White Fund Enlightenment Series is presented by Northern Essex Community College. For more information or to request communication access, please call 978-738-7403.


Date Time Location
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 8:45 a.m. Lawrence High School
70-72 North Parish Road, Lawrence, MA

Join Carlos Contreras on a journey in spoken word, how it heals, helps, and informs you about who you are, where you are from, and who you come from—but most of all, why that matters to us all!

Carlos Contreras is a national champion performance poet who got his start in the area of competitive spoken word, or slam poetry. He teaches high school English in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and leads writing workshops in the adult jail facility at the Metropolitan Detention Center, where he is the poet in residence. Carlos also hosts the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s Voces program, a writing institute for youth.

The White Fund Enlightenment Series is presented by Northern Essex Community College. For more information or to request communication access, please call 978-738-7403.


Spring 2013 Events

Date Time Location
Friday, May 3, 2013 8:45 a.m. Lawrence High School
70-72 North Parish Road, Lawrence, MA

Join author Ernesto Quiñonez, as he discusses activism in today’s world and what small actions we might be able to do in our everyday lives, in order to contribute to social causes and bring change.

Quiñonez was raised in Spanish Harlem and is a product of the New York City public school system. His debut novel, Bodega Dreams, was chosen as a Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers, Borders Original Voices, the New York Public Library’s 25 Books to Remember, as well as a Los Angeles Times and New York Times Notable books of the year. Since then, Bodega Dreams has become a landmark in contemporary literature; it is required reading in many high schools and colleges around the country and it was heralded as a “New Immigrant Classic” by the New York Times.

Quiñonez is an associate professor at Cornell University’s MFA program. His essays have appeared in Esquire, The Sunday New York Times Magazine, The Sunday Times, Newsweek, El Pais, (Spain) and he has been a fellow at the Sundance Screenwriters Lab as well as other institutions.

The White Fund Enlightenment Series is presented by Northern Essex Community College. For more information, please call 978-738-7403.

Date Time Location
Thursday, March 7, 2013 8:45 a.m. Lawrence High School
70-72 North Parish Road, Lawrence, MA

Join White House performer and Oprah favorite Mayda Del Valle, acclaimed poet and spoken word artist. She is a unique, powerful voice who fuses profoundly personal and thought-provoking work with the rhythm and pulse of Hip Hop culture.

Del Valle was chosen by Oprah’s O Magazine as one of 20 women on the first “O Power List,” and has performed for President Obama and the First Lady at the White House. In 2001 she won the National Poetry Slam Individual Championship, becoming the youngest poet and the first Latino person to win the title. She appeared in several episodes of HBOs Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry. Del Valle was an original cast member and contributing writer of the Tony award winning production of Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, and toured internationally with the show.

The White Fund Enlightenment Series is presented by Northern Essex Community College. For more information, please call 978-738-7403.

The views expressed in the White fund Enlightenment Series presentations are the views of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Northern Essex Community College.

Fall 2012 Events

Date Time Location
Sunday, November 11, 2012 2-4 p.m. Louise Haffner Fournier Education Center
The White Fund Room, LA-101
78 Amesbury Street, Lawrence, MA

Documentary filmmaker Rick Beyer details the true story of an extraordinary U.S. Army unit that used inflatable tanks, sound trucks, and sheer showmanship to stage a traveling road show of deception on the WWII battlefields of Europe.

Among the soldiers carrying out this bizarre mission were many artists, some of whom went on to become famous, such as fashion designer Bill Blass and painter/sculptor Ellsworth Kelly. In stolen moments of spare time, these “artists of deception” painted and sketched their way across war-torn
Europe, creating a unique and poignant visual record of their war.

Rick has spent seven years researching the story. He will share some of the amazing history of this little-known band of deceivers, and show clips from his documentary film on the unit set to premiere on PBS next year. Rick Beyer is a successful author, an award-winning documentary producer, and a lifelong history enthusiast. He has made documentaries for The History Channel, A&E, National Geographic, the Smithsonian and others.

Date Time Location
Tuesday, October 9, 2012 8:45pm Lawrence High School
70-72 North Parish Road, Lawrence, MA

Don’t Miss Juan Rangel, CEO for the United Neighborhood Organization

Join Juan Rangel for a presentation on why he believes that Hispanics have the potential to be the next successful immigrant group in America. In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Rangel states that “Hispanics must be challenged to take full advantage of American possibilities through civic participation and deep investments in family, neighborhoods, and education.”

Juan Rangel is the Chief Executive Officer for the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO), metropolitan Chicago’s largest Hispanic community-based organization. Over the past 25 years, UNO has focused on three direct principles: improving education, promoting citizenship, and cultivating leaders, all to ensure the economic advancement for generations of Hispanics and to set an example of what’s truly possible.

The Presentation is free and open to the public. For more information, please call 978-738-7403.

Date Time Location
Wednesday, September 26, 2012 3:00 pm Meet the bus at the parking lot of Corpus Christi Church,
35 Essex Street Lawrence, Massachusetts

Lawrence’s White Fund Art Collection and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Join David Meehan, veteran art teacher and tour guide, for a trip to the Museum of Fine Arts. You will view the White Fund Art Collection, including the jewel of the collection, Field of Poppies near Giverny by Claude Monet. You will also be guided through other major collections including those in the new Art of the Americas Wing.

Register early!

This event is free and open to adults 18 or older but is limited to the first 30 registrants. To register, please call the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council at 978-681-4905. The bus leaves the parking lot of Corpus Christi Church at 3 pm. and returns by 6:45 pm.

Date Time Location
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 8:45 am Lawrence High School
70-72 North Parish Road, Lawrence, MA

Former Boston Celtic Chris Herren chronicled his struggles with addictions on and off the court and shared his journey in the hope of encouraging people of all ages to stand up to drugs and alcohol.

Chris Herren, a 6′2″ guard from Fall River, MA, scored 2,073 career points while at Durfee High School, was a Boston Globe Player of the Year, and was recruited by Boston College. Drafted in the 2nd round of the 1999 NBA Draft, Chris played for the Denver Nuggets his rookie year prior to being traded to the Boston Celtics in 2000. Chris struggled with substance abuse for much of his basketball career.

Chris has been sober since August 1, 2008 and has written his memoir, Basketball Junkie, with Bill Reynolds of the Providence Journal. He is also the subject of the ESPN Films documentary Unguarded.

Spring 2012 Events

Date Time Location
Sunday, April 22, 2012 2:00–4:00 pm Lawrence Senior Center
155 Haverhill Street, Lawrence, MA
Monday, April 23, 2012 8:45–10:00 am Lawrence High School
70-71 North Parish Street, Lawrence, MA

Both presentations were part of a series of events celebrating the college’s 50th anniversary and the Inauguration of President Lane A. Glenn.

Dr. Franklin Chang-Diaz, the first Hispanic NASA astronaut, presented a lecture titled “My Personal Journey through the American Dream.”

When Chang-Diaz arrived in the United States in 1968 from Costa Rica, the 18-year-old had $50 in his pocket and couldn’t speak English. By 1977 he had earned his Ph.D. in applied plasma physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1981 he became the nation’s first Hispanic NASA astronaut. He went on to become a veteran of seven space missions logging more than 1,600 hours in space, including 19 hours in three space walks.

He is also founder and current chairman and CEO of Ad Astra Rocket Company, a US firm developing advanced plasma rocket technology with operations in Houston, Texas, and Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Today, he is an adjunct professor of physics at Rice University and the University of Houston.

Date Time Location
Friday, February 17, 2012 8:45 am Lawrence High School
70-72 North Parish Road, Lawrence, MA

U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz talked about the role of the federal prosecutor, with emphasis on the priorities of her office of 200 employees in Boston, Springfield and Worcester. Ms. Ortiz, who has worked as a lawyer for three decades and a federal prosecutor for more than 12 years, also shared her personal journey—with emphasis on empowering young people to foster their self-confidence and future success. She discussed the importance of making good decisions and the right choices, at an early age, which will position young people with an opportunity to reach their full potential.

Carmen M. Ortiz has dedicated much of her professional career to public service. Nominated by President Barack Obama as the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, Ms. Ortiz was confirmed by the United States Senate in November 2009. She is the first Hispanic and the first woman to represent Massachusetts as United States Attorney.

During the presentation Dr. Ardis Cameron read excerpts from her book “Radicals of the Worst Sort: The Laboring Women of Lawrence, Mass, 1880-1912

Date Time Location
Sunday, February 12, 2012 2:00–4:00 pm White Fund Room (LA-101)
Louise Haffner Fournier Education Center
78 Amesbury Street, Lawrence, MA

One hundred years ago on January 11, a group of about 100 women nervously waited in the weave room of the Everett Mill to see if their pay envelopes were cut. When their worst fears were confirmed, they threw down their aprons, grabbed picker sticks, and organized “flying squadrons” to recruit others and shut down the machines. The famous Bread and Roses Strike had begun.

Ardis Cameron explored the strike of 1912 and why it remains meaningful in today’s world. Based on her book, Radicals of the Worst Sort, Cameron focused on the actions of the city’s women, their place in and out of history, and why the vision of “Bread and Roses” can help labor’s comeback.

Ardis Cameron is an author and director. She is professor of American and New England Studies at the University of Southern Maine.

About the White Fund Enlightenment Series


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