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Although the Board of Education signed a consent decree with the federal government in 1981 to voluntarily desegregate its 595 schools, 322 of them remain racially segregated. The Monitoring Commission for Desegregation Implementation, the group that keeps track of the board’s efforts, hosts today’s forum, The Urgency of Educating Urban Youth. Congressman Walter E. Fauntroy is the keynote speaker at 3:30 at the Center for Inner City Studies, Northeastern Illinois University, 700 E. Oakwood. It’s free, but reservations are requested. A reception follows at 5. Call 890-8220.
In at least two new works styled after Japanese screens, Sam Walker has broken the tradition of flat, two-sided screens by using collages of three-dimensional elements. In “Prints and Constructions,” which opens at Lloyd Shin Gallery tonight, Walker also exhibits etchings and photo etchings. There will be a reception for the artist between 5 and 7:30 at the gallery, 300 W. Superior. Viewing is free from 10 to 5:30 Tuesday through Saturday. Call 943-0064.
It’s impossible to tell how many gays died during the Third Reich, but one Gestapo figure indicates that between 1936 and 1941 approximately 41,000 men were convicted for homosexual felonies. Many more gay men perished unregistered and unrecorded in early concentration camps such as Mauthausen and Fuhlsbuttel. Martin Sherman’s play Bent tells the story of Max and Horst–two men who meet, make love, and die in Dachau. Roosevelt University’s O’Malley Theatre, 430 S. Michigan, presents the play tonight and tomorrow at 7:30; half of the proceeds will go to Open Hand-Chicago, which provides meals for people with AIDS. Tickets are $8. For more call 341-3719.
Count on chaos at Theater Oobleck’s Eat My Fuck: An Obscene Celebration of Resistance to State Censorship, a one-night cabaret about obscenity, free speech, and censorship. The kids guarantee laughs, four-letter words, possible pornography, full frontal nudity, and probable law breaking. “We’re talking to some lawyers right now,” says Danny Thompson, an Oobleck member. All hell breaks loose at 9 PM at the group’s new space in the Broadway Arts Center, 3829 N. Broadway. Admission is $4 (or whatever you can afford; it’s free if you’re broke) and all proceeds will go to the 1989 Continental Anarchists Unconvention. For details call 384-3346.
When the Prairie Avenue Historic District got its landmark status, it was saved from runaway development. But the area around the district was still vulnerable to unwanted change. The Second Presbyterian Church on the near south side, a racially integrated neighborhood that includes bungalows and industry, is holding a community breakfast this morning to talk about development and what area residents can do about it. The menu consists of real buttermilk pancakes, fruit, juice, and coffee or tea at $2 for adults and $1 for kids, served from 8:30 to 10:30 at 1936 S. Michigan. Call 842-6242.
The recent Supreme Court decision allowing drug testing for public employees has a very narrow scope. But Joseph Tilson, a lawyer who recently published Drug Testing in the Workplace, says, “Lower courts will undoubtedly seize upon the language and logic of the court’s opinion in deciding private cases as well.” Testing, whether for the AIDS virus or drugs, provokes questions about privacy. AIDS and Drug Testing in the Workplace, sponsored by the Young Lawyers Section of the Chicago Bar Association, is today’s three o’clock seminar at association headquarters, on the 12th floor of 29 S. LaSalle. Harvey Grossman, state legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union, will debate Peter B. Bensinger, former head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Admission is $30, $25 for members. Call 782-7348.
“Medicine’s central premise is that all diseases can be cured,” wrote Susan Sontag in her 1978 book Illness as Metaphor. Sontag compared tuberculosis, which had become symbolic of a romantic fading away in the 19th century, with cancer. In her latest book, AIDS and Its Metaphors, Sontag discusses the meanings of the new AIDS stigma. She appears at 6 tonight in the Arthur Rubloff Auditorium of the Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Monroe. Admission is $5, free to SAIC students and staff. Call 836-0330.
“I started working on machinery when I was very young,” says artist Frederick Prescott. “I could build boats, abstract sculptures, anything. I would cut things out of steel using a handsaw, punch presses, grinders, mills, or lathes–and transform raw steel into objects of my imagination.” Prescott’s works–called kinetic landscapes–are large pieces in the shape of cars, jets, cowboys, helicopters, and other figures. Attached to pendulum weights and balanced on tall steel stands, they depict action scenes that will swing back and forth once they get a little push. His pieces will be on exhibit at the Prairie Lee Gallery, 301 W. Superior, through April 15. Viewing is free Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 to 5:30, Thursday until 8. For more information call 266-7113.
The Chicago Housing Authority has been in turmoil for years. Even Harold Washington didn’t have much success making things better at CHA, and he barely avoided a federal takeover of the agency. By the time acting mayor Eugene Sawyer put in Vincent Lane, pundits were predicting the mess would overwhelm him in little more than three months. Instead Lane, a private developer, kept the CHA from the feds. But some of his tactics–such as police raids on high rises–have raised a few eyebrows. He’ll make a case for his kind of reform at the Metropolitan Planning Council’s annual luncheon, beginning at 11:30 in the Red Lacquer Room of the Palmer House, 17 E. Monroe. Tickets are $32. For more call 922-5616.
Even conservative British prime minister Margaret Thatcher has discreetly called for parties in the Middle East to hold direct talks. Should Palestinians Have Their Own State? is today’s topic in the Public Library’s “Society in Focus” series. Professor Rashid Khalidi from the University of Chicago will make the case for a Palestinian state, and Professor Oscar Miller of the University of Illinois will argue against it. The fireworks begin at 12:15 in the theater of the Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. It’s free. Call 738-7634.
Dr. Samuel Betances–a sociologist, teacher, political consultant, and journalist–is an energetic and highly theatrical speaker. Widely published in the Latino press, Betances proposes that progress can only occur when we’re willing to see the fallacy of stereotypes in ourselves as well as others. His free lecture, Respecting Racial-Ethnic-Gender Differences While Building a Common Agenda for Positive Social Change, begins at 7:30 PM at Loyola University’s Centennial Forum University Center, 6525 N. Sheridan Road. For more call 508-3897.