NCHC23 Opening Keynote:
Deeper Than the Skin
Two friends… one Black, one White… one from the North, one from the South. Musicians, storytellers, students of history and world travelers… born 3 day apart! Two separate narratives forged into one powerful friendship aimed at finding common ground and helping others to do the same.
Deeper Than the Skin brings together a remarkable journey that started 30 years ago and is now offering hope to people all over the nation. It’s a presentation that ends with an open dialogue that moves the audience from emotion into action. It's an interactive, engaging invitation to take a step into a new reality. It’s an affirmation of the notion that a more perfect union begins with us!
Reggie and Greg have a unique story. Born three days apart, ancestry flowing through the same portal of history (Richmond, VA), they are on a pilgrimage together - one that began three decades ago. The racial divisions that are the reality of America started them in two different worlds, but the amazing bonds of music, respect, admiration, and shared vision have brought them together as friends and colleagues.
Reggie is the Music Education Director of the Living Legacy Project of the UUA, co-leading tours through the hallowed Civil Rights ground of the South. He is a Woodrow Wilson Scholar. Solo, and in the duo, Kim and Reggie Harris, he has led hundreds of programs on Race and Social Justice. Greg Greenway, one third of Brother Sun, was a part of the planning committee (at Reggie's request) of Marching in the Arc of Justice, the Unitarian Universalist conference commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Selma Voting Rights Action. He had the honor for two years of having his song, "Rosa Parks," play when rosaparks.com was opened. Greg led his song, "What Must Be Done," in the trio, Brother Sun, before thousands of UUs at the opening service of the Providence, RI General Assembly. Together and individually, Reggie and Greg have brought the issue of Race before audiences all across North America.
Where Do We Go From Here
The work of justice making is long and difficult. They share not only a story of overcoming, but providing a living, breathing example of celebration, creative resistance, and joy. There are many who say that they are the embodiment of those traits - that their talent and communication skills make their performances infectious. Both are committed professionally to inspiring people, to encourage others to take that step beyond their comfort zone. As they reach across the racial divide, they encourage others to foster the relationships that are, in the end, a path to healing.
Reggie Harris and Greg Greenway will also offer an interactive workshop, “Turning Stories Into Light” designed to uncover the hidden aspects of personal narrative storytelling. Using song and video, we’ll examine some essential narratives of past and present history makers (John Lewis, Rosa Parks, Tennessee Legislator Justin J. Pearson and Texas teen Trude Lamb…etc) to gain some insight into what compelled them from incident to action. With that as a backdrop, we’ll look at our own personal narratives and try to uncover some light from incidents in our lives that might be useful components in social change.
NCHC23 Plenary Speaker:
Dr. Henrik Syse
Dr. Henrik Syse is a man of many traits; philosopher, author, researcher, lecturer and public speaker. He is a Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Oslo Nye University College, Research Professor at the world renowned Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), and Chief Co-Editor of the Journal of Military Ethics.
For a full six-year term (2015-20), Henrik was a member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, serving as its Vice Chair for the last four years of that term. The Committee awards the prestigious annual Nobel Peace Prize. Henrik is a highly acclaimed speaker and travels extensively in Norway and abroad. He was nominated as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2007. He has also worked as Head of Corporate Governance at Norges Bank Investment Management (2005-07), where he helped start the group within the bank that works on ownership, governance, and ethics for the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global. He has also held academic positions at the University of Oslo and the Norwegian Defense College.
Henrik’s areas of research range from moral philosophy, political philosophy, and ethics of war to the relationship between religion and the use of military power and business ethics. Henrik holds a MA from the University of Boston and a PhD from the University of Oslo. He has published extensively and some of his works include, What we say to each other: On thought, speech and tolerance (2015) Religion, War and Ethics (2014), Ethics, Nationalism and Just War (2007), The Ethics of War: Classic and Contemporary Readings (2006) as well as numerous articles, monographs, book chapters, reports and media pieces. See his full publication list here https://www.prio.org/people/3469
At Oslo Nye University College, Henrik teaches Ethics of War and Peace. During his period as a member of the Nobel Committee he taught a cutting edge course on the Nobel Peace Prize, the only one in the world taught by a sitting member of the Nobel Committee!
During the spring semester of 2023 he is a Visting Professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania, USA.