DUBUQUE, Iowa – Loras College will host a series of free events Sept. 17-25 around the theme “Who is an American” during Peace and Justice Week. The celebration includes “A Peace of My Mind: American Stories,” an art exhibit by renowned artist John Noltner and International Day of Peace speaker Jim Bear Jacobs, a member of the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nation and the associate pastor of the Church of All Nations.
“In a time of great divisions across our country and beyond, this week highlights the importance of dialogue and learning other people’s stories, leading to greater compassion and understanding,” said Anastacia McDermott, director of Spiritual Life and Peace and Justice and a 2003 graduate of Loras.
Peace and Justice week at Loras officially kicks off at noon Sunday, Sept. 17 with a chalking for peace party at the Father Ray Herman Peace and Justice House at the corner of Belmont Street and Loras Boulevard. The Peace and Justice House community hosts monthly meetings as part of the Peace and Justice Community at Loras to discuss social justice issues, raise global and local social justice awareness, advocate for peace, and sponsor service and charity fundraisers.
“A Peace of My Mind: American Stories,” will be on display Sept. 18 to Sept. 25 inside the Loras Alumni Campus Center (ACC). The inspiring collection is built around Noltner’s 40,000-mile journey across the United States, asking the simple question, “What does peace mean to you?” Fifty-eight people from diverse backgrounds share stories of hope, redemption, and forgiveness, paired with compelling color portraits.
Designed to encourage thoughtful dialog, the exhibit is connected to online content that allows viewers to interact with audio clips, slideshows, videos, and discussion questions. The book based on Noltner’s display has been awarded first place in the Beverly Hills Book Awards for Multicultural Nonfiction and runner-up for Photography/Art for the New England Book Festival.
Other events include:
- 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 19, members of the Loras community will take part in a portable photo shoot with Noltner highlighting efforts for peace on college campuses.
- 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 20, Noltner will host a Talk Back about his exhibit in the Arizona Room of the ACC.
- 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 21, inside the ACC Ballroom, Jacobs will explore the topic “Who is An American.” He will speak on current and historical views of what it is to be an American, an immigrant, and/or a refugee, and the ways that race enters into the discussion, as well as the need to take into account the indigenous perspective on these issues.
ABOUT LORAS COLLEGE
Loras leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan institutions to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. Loras ranks among 450 NCAA Division III athletic programs in Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings, 11th out of the Top 100 baccalaureate colleges, according to the 2016 Washington Monthly College Rankings, 13th Best Regional College, according to Midwest U.S. News Best Colleges and is among the 200 Best-Loved Colleges in the nation, according to Forbes Magazine.