Chapel Hill: Community

On Faith: Slaver’s descendant to speak at United Church

Nija McKay,originally from Brooklyn but now living in Durham, wipes a tear from her face alongside her husband, Aziz McKay, as the call to prayer is broadcast over a public address system on the steps of the Duke Chapel on Friday in Durham.
Nija McKay,originally from Brooklyn but now living in Durham, wipes a tear from her face alongside her husband, Aziz McKay, as the call to prayer is broadcast over a public address system on the steps of the Duke Chapel on Friday in Durham. jhknight@newsobserver.com

James DeWolf Perry, executive director of the Tracing Center, a Boston-based effort to create greater awareness of the full extent of the nation’s complicity in slavery, will lead discussion at 3 p.m. Sunday at at United Church of Chapel Hill. His talk is part of a “Sacred Conversation on Race,” an ongoing series at the church since 2008.

Perry was nominated for an Emmy Award for his role as the principal historical consultant for the PBS documentary, “Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North.” The film chronicles descendants of the DeWolf family discovering their New England family’s complicity in slavery.

The Tracing Center, founded in 2000, engages people of all backgrounds in programming that blends the historical and the contemporary, the personal and the social as well as the head and heart. DeWolf, a descendant of James DeWolf, the leading slave-trader in U.S. history, attended Columbia Law School, and his graduate work at Harvard included research into the the transatlantic slave trade and its abolition.

“While forgetting our history has had tragic consequences and caused many to live as if no change is possible, the good news,” Pastor Richard Edens said, “is that rightly knowing our past creates hope and the possibility that our future can be different.”

The public is invited to take part in this conversation. The church is located at 1321 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Israeli film series

The first film in “Reel Israel,” the annual Israeli documentary film series at Kehillah Synagogue, will be shown from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday.

In five documentary films, viewers will go on a tour of Israel. Each screening will be followed by discussion led by Duke assistant professor Shai Ginsburg.

The series aims to diversify the vision of Israel, screening some of the most successful, both critically and commercially acclaimed films in recent years.

They will explore a wide range of issues and themes, including immigration and emigration, aging, gender, ethnicity, Israeli urban centers and the kibbutz, past dreams and present reality, the Israeli Palestinian conflict and the Jewish Holocaust.

Saturday’s film is titled “Life Sentences.” It received the Van Leer Group Foundation Award for Best Documentary at the 2013 Jerusalem Film Festival.

Suggested donation is $30 per person for the series or $6 per person for each film to be paid at the door.

Kehillah is located at 1200 Mason Farm Road in Chapel Hill.

Resistance in Auschwitz

A one-hour commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz is set at 7 p.m. Monday at the Cedars of Chapel Hill, located in Meadowmont.

The free program will include a 30-minute film “Choosing One’s Way: Resistance in Auschwitz” narrated by Academy-award winning actress Ellen Burstyn.

St. Paul fundraiser

The third annual St. Paul Village Community 3K Walk/Run will be held at McDougle Middle School in Carrboro on March 7.

The price for registration before Feb. 1 is $20 for individuals and $40 for a family. After Feb. 1, registration will increase by $5 for both groups.

Proceeds will primarily benefit St. Paul Village, a multi-use and multi-generational development that will provide amenities and resources to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community as well as fulfill the church’s need for expanded worship and fellowship spaces.

A percentage of the proceeds will be distributed to EmPOWERment, an afordable-housing organization, and Oxford House, which houses people in recovery.

Learn to meditate

A series of classes on beginning Zen practice is being offered at the Chapel Hill Zen Center, 5322 N.C. 86, beginning Monday, Jan. 26. Subsequent classes are set on Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23 and March 2.

David Guy will introduce participants to meditation and give them support as they develop a daily sitting practice.

The first class will begin with meditation instructions and a short period of sitting. Each week participants will continue to sit for a period at the beginning of class, gradually increasing the time.

The cost is $60, payable the first night. Partial scholarships are available.

For more information or to sign up, contact David Guy at 919-286-4952 or davidguy@mindspring.com.

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