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FRANK Talks

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Free, thought-provoking discussions on important issues facing our communities produced in partnership with Arizona Humanities and the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records.

What are FRANK Talks?

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FRANK Talks are interactive conversations on ideas that matter. Attendees discuss issues of local and national importance in local libraries at a 75-minute program. FRANK Talks encourage participants to weigh facts, provide the opportunity to put them in context, and consider different points of view. 

The goal of FRANK Talks is to inspire people to practice the skills of citizenship – to listen respectfully and engage thoughtfully with one another on important issues that affect our communities. Topics can include education, immigration, religion, civil rights, and more.

How can my library host a free FRANK Talk?

At this time, FRANK Talks are only available for Arizona libraries. Libraries review topics, contact facilitators to schedule a program(s), and complete an online application.

  1. Review the FRANK Talks facilitators and topics below.
  2. Contact the facilitator to schedule their participation and confirm date and time. Facilitator contact information is available below.
  3. Go to the Arizona Humanities online Grants and Programs Dashboard and complete the online application form. You should contact the facilitator and submit your application to book presentations. We encourage organizations to book FRANK Talks 4-6 weeks in advance.
  4. Once your application is processed, we will provide follow-up steps to administer your program.
  5. FRANK Talks are free for libraries. A partnership between Arizona Humanities and the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records pays for honorarium and travel for scholars.

FRANK Talks Cycles – New topics are updated each cycle. Libraries can book unlimited FRANK Talks per cycle.

  • October 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020
  • April 1, 2020 – September 30, 2020

NEW   FRANK Talks Topics

NEW Nice is not Enough: Understanding Systemic Oppression

Rory Gilbert, Rory Gilbert LLC

Current events across the nation are challenging us to take a hard look at how some groups of people are being treated differently from others on a daily basis. Why does this happen? What systems intentionally or implicitly benefit some people at the expense of others? How does systemic oppression impact certain groups at work, at school, and in the community? As the beneficiaries of these systemic decisions, policies or laws, we are often not even aware of the impact on us, or the harm to others. This program provides an opportunity to explore how systems impact people differently, and the steps we can take personally to eliminate unfair treatment and harm to others.

NEW Do You See What I See? - Implicit Bias For Better or Worse

Rory Gilbert, Rory Gilbert LLC

We come from different places and backgrounds. Our life experiences and backgrounds can affect the way we see the world and each other, for better or worse. What is implicit bias, and how does it shape our attitudes and actions towards others? How do stereotypes affect our understanding, actions, and decisions? “Implicit bias” can cause us to have feelings and attitudes about other people based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, age, ability, and appearance. How can we learn to navigate the world as seen through the eyes of people different from us? How can we share what we have learned with people at home, at work, and in the communities we live in?

NEW White Allies: Be The Change

Rory Gilbert, Rory Gilbert LLC

What is an ally? What is white privilege? As a White person, do you struggle with how to respond to racism at work, at home or in your community? If so, you are not alone. Many allies seek effective tools to engage in honest and productive conversations about race. How do you talk to White co-workers, friends, relatives and neighbors about race? Is the conversation different when you talk to co-workers, friends, relatives and neighbors of color? How do you address conflicting opinions about current events, politics or cultural differences? What are “gaps” that can affect your ability to be an ally? How can you fill in the blanks? This program focuses on developing specific skills to engage productively with people who are skeptical that racism exists, and to learn how to take specific actions to foster racial equity.

NEW Re-Thinking Masculinity

Rowdy Duncan, Phoenix College

Masculinity is generally defined as “the qualities — habits and traits that society considers to be appropriate for a man.” So then what’s the buzz about “toxic” masculinity? Are all parts of masculinity bad? Are there good parts of masculinity? What are some notions of masculinity that have changed in the past – how did they change – why did they change? Big boys don’t cry. Real men don’t eat quiche. Boys will be boys. Don’t be a sissy. Man-up. How might we rethink the role of masculinity in a changing world? Participants will explore these questions in a unique, interactive program that will improve their communication skills, facilitate learning, and help them navigate gender differences at work and at home.

NEW Not Racist or Anti-Racist? Talking About Race in America

Rowdy Duncan, Phoenix College

What is the difference between race and ethnicity? What does it mean to be ani-racist versus not racist? Understanding the history of race in America, and its impact on all of us is important. Race is not just a complex subject of study, but a lived experience that is unique to everyone. This means you can’t just read and learn about it from textbooks; you must talk to, and listen to others. It is more important now than ever to be culturally competent. Is it possible to be “not-racist” in our society? What does it mean to be anti-racist? How can we be proactive in our anti-racist efforts? Participants will explore these questions in a unique, interactive program that will improve their communication skills, facilitate learning, and help them navigate cultural differences at work and at home.

NEW The History of Police and Policing in the U.S.

Matthew Whitaker, Diamond Strategies LLC

What is the history of policing in the U.S.? Where did police come from, and what was their role? How did police interact with communities in the past? How do police interact with communities now? Recent clashes between the police and the public have thrust the nation into a period of social unrest and violence not seen since the 1960s. The public has called for immediate and dramatic change. Do we still need the police? How do communities ensure public safety in the future for everyone? Participants will explore these questions in a safe, interactive discussion, that will help them understand and improve the relationship between the police and community.

NEW Gender, Race, Class and Election 2020

Matthew Whitaker, Diamond Strategies LLC

It has been said that the 2020 Presidential election is a “battle for the soul” of a divided America–a quaking nation whose fault lines include race, class, gender, urban, rural, north, mid-west, south, rich, poor, middle class, young, middle-aged, and senior. How have these divisions influenced recent elections? Does the forthcoming election promise to conform to, or deviate from, these divisions? Participants will explore these questions in a safe, interactive discussion, that will help them navigate election 2020 as informed and perspicacious voters

NEW Our Right To Assemble: The History of Protest and Civil Disobedience in the U.S.

Matthew Whitaker, Diamond Strategies LLC

The First Amendment prohibits the government from abridging “the right of the people peaceably to assemble.” This basic freedom ensures the right of people to come together and collectively express, promote, pursue, and defend their collective or shared ideas. When and how have people engaged in protest? Who has engaged in protest? What is civil disobedience? Does everyone have the same right to assemble? In recent days the brutal murders of African Americans by the police has sparked widespread protest across the U.S. and even abroad. How do we balance public safety and human rights? How do race, power and class impact access to free speech and the right to assemble? Participants will explore these questions in a safe, interactive discussion.

What are Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?

Rowdy Duncan, Phoenix College

The words diversity, equity, and inclusion are often used to describe educational priorities and corporate values, but what do they mean in our daily lives? How do we identify obstacles to achieving diversity, equity and inclusion? What are the words, behaviors and actions that can exclude or limit others from full participation in our neighborhoods, schools and workplaces? Participants will explore these questions in a unique, interactive program that will improve their communication skills, facilitate learning, and help them navigate cultural differences at work and at home.

Native American Signs and Symbols: Pee-Posh/Kwatsan

Yolanda Hart Stevens, Artist

Native Americans in the U.S. are diverse, and their contributions have enriched our lives in countless ways. People do not always realize the origins of Native contributions to the language, culture, and traditions of the U.S. What are Native signs and symbols? What do they mean? Where do they appear? They can represent animals, astrological signs, spirits, and much, much more. Explore the traditions and history of the Pee-Posh/Kwatsan. Learn about the signs and symbols which have been passed down for generations, and the meaning of tattoos and markings for this tribe.

Free Speech: Can I Tell You How Much I Hate You?

Gail Rhodes, Arizona State University

Freedom of speech is fundamental in a democratic society. It means that a person or a community can express their opinion or ideas without fear of retaliation or censorship. But what happens when the opinions expressed are unpopular, violent or dangerous? Whether expressed in person, or through social media, words can have a powerful effect on our sense of safety, inclusion or exclusion, and equality or inequality. What is “hate speech?” Who decides what speech is protected, and what is not? Who regulates social media content? What is the impact on individuals and communities who are silenced? Explore the complex history of first amendment freedoms of speech, expression and assembly in America.

Facilitator Information

Bios and Contact Information

Rory Gilbert, M.Ed., SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Rory specializes in supporting organizations committed to enhancing diversity, and creating more inclusive cultures. She is a certified professional coach and mediator trained in interest-based problem resolution. Rory’s consulting work specializes in supporting organizations committed to enhancing diversity, and creating more inclusive cultures. Rory worked with the Maricopa Community Colleges (MCCCD) for a decade providing strategic direction to MCCCD’s diversity, inclusiveness and engagement plan. She developed the MOSAIC curriculum for MCCCD’s Talent Management initiative as lead curriculum designer, and provided facilitation, mediation and coaching for the Leadership Advancement Program, and for faculty, administrators and employees. Rory collaborates with social justice advocates in Arizona to address racism, hate crimes, white supremacy and health care disparities through public speaking, community dialogues, training, and media communications. Rory is co-founder of the Healing Racism Public Dialogue Series, winner of the 2008 National League of Cities Promoting Inclusive Award.

Rory Gilbert

roryaz@gmail.com

602-538-1154

Rowdy Duncan, Phoenix College

Rowdy has worked in the field of diversity and inclusion for over a decade. Currently he is full time faculty in the field of Communication with an emphasis in Interpersonal Communication, Public Speaking, and Intercultural Communication. He has lead peer Mentoring groups that educate youth about drug prevention, educational success, and college and career readiness.  Rowdy completed director training from the Anytown/Ourtown programs and teaches young people and their leaders about power, privilege, equity, and inclusion. He also sits on the curriculum board for Anytown AZ. An engaging and passionate presenter and facilitator, Rowdy is also the director of Phoenix College’s Diversity Incorporated., a program that teaches students how to present the MOSAIC inclusiveness program, and he is an active member of the Healing Racism Public Dialogue Series, winner of the 2008 National League of Cities Promoting Inclusive Award.  He also produces and delivers his Inclusive Activism Podcast bi-weekly to his thousands of listeners about how the intersections of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity work are a form of Personal Leadership. 

Contact:

rowdyduncan@cox.net

602-697-9274

Matthew C. Whitaker, Ph.D., Diamond Strategies LLC

Matthew Whitaker is a decorated educator, historian, author, social justice advocate, motivational speaker, and founder of the ASU Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, where he taught for 16 years. Whitaker’s expertise lies in U.S. history, African American history, race relations, social movements, cultural competency, equity and inclusion, teaching excellence, and community partnerships.  Whitaker has received numerous awards including the 2016 DLA Diversity and Inclusion Award, ASU’s 2015 Pioneer Award for work on African American life and culture, and 2014 DLA Inclusive Workplace Award. Whitaker has spoken throughout the U.S. and abroad, and has been featured on CNN, NPR, PBS, WVON, and KEMET. His books include Hurricane Katrina: America’s Unnatural Disaster, Race Work: The Rise of Civil Rights in the Urban West, and his forthcoming memoir, The Undisputed Truth: A Revolutionary Journey to Black Manhood. 

Contact:

mw@dstrategiesllc.com

480-366-5980

Yolanda Hart Stevens, Artist

Yolanda Hart Stevens is Pee-Posh/Kwatsan from the Yuman Peoples of the Colorado River. She is a successful artist and community activist. An artist in residence at the Heard Museum, her art has been featured in exhibitions as far away as New Zealand. Yolanda is passionately involved in spreading knowledge of, and appreciation for, Native American art and culture. She shares her knowledge of bead working and traditional dance with youth and elders through various community events. She volunteers at the Boys & Girls Club Komatke Branch Gila River. She also works with the Bureau of Indian affairs, and Indian Health teaching medical professionals how to effectively communicate with Native American patients and their families.

Contact:

ndncouture@gmail.com

602-826-2280

Gail Rhodes, Arizona State University

Gail Rhodes is an Adjunct Professor and PhD student at the Cronkite School with more than 16 years of professional experience working as a television reporter. She worked for the Fox Sports Network in Chicago and helped to launch the Comcast Sports Network. Rhodes has been an adjunct professor for Cronkite since 2014, where she teaches advanced television sports reporting, and advanced topics in sports media. Her doctoral studies focus on the intersection of sports culture, media and society.

Contact:

glrhodes@asu.edu

312-671-8141

Michelle Dew, Scottsdale Community College

Michelle Dew is an advisor at Scottsdale Community College’s Office of Service-learning & Leadership, where she facilitates opportunities to connect classroom instruction with real-world experience through two main methods, service learning and leadership lessons. Through these methods students learn to be engaged and aware citizens by addressing needs within local and global communities.  Dew is a former co-leader of Paradise Valley Community College’s Diversity, Inc., a yearlong program that teaches students the MOSAIC ((Maximizing Our Strengths as an Inclusive Community) program, and an active member of the Healing Racism Public Dialogue Series, winner of the 2008 National League of Cities Promoting Inclusive Award. Michelle was also a 2014 Arizona Diversity Alliance Champion award winner.

Contact:

michellemdew@gmail.com

602-487-4848

FRANK Talks Program Materials
Marketing Toolkit

Have a FRANK Talk scheduled? For each program, you will find press releases, images, and sample social media posts 

  • FRANK Talks Sample Press Releases 
  • Stock Imagery 
  • Social Media Sample Posts and Tweets

Access the FRANK Talks Marketing Toolkit via dropbox.

Attend FRANK Talks
Manage your FRANK Talks program
WATCH FRANK Talks Library Webinar 2019
For questions, contact:

Chris Wells, Program Manager

602-257-0335 or cwells@azhumanities.org

 

Why the name FRANK Talks?

Lorraine Frank 400x265FRANK Talks is named in part to honor Lorraine W. Frank, the founding Executive Director of Arizona Humanities. During her tenure from 1973 to 1989, she elevated public discourse and understood that engaging communities in dialogue was critical to the life of our state. Lorraine W. Frank passed away in 2005, and in 2015 she was inducted into the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame.