Virtual Reality Experience: Traveling While Black

  • Presenting Series
Tue, 01/31/2023 - 4:30pm
Zoellner Arts Center - Butz Lobby
Registration required; Pay-if-you-wish: FREE, $5 or $10

Installation Begins Friday, January 27 and ends Sunday, April 2

Traveling While Black is a cinematic virtual reality experience* that immerses viewers in the long history of restriction of movement for Black Americans and the creation of safe spaces in our communities.

This film by Academy Award winner Roger Ross Williams and Emmy Award-winning Felix & Paul Studios transports viewers to historic Ben's Chili Bowl restaurant in Washington, D.C. Viewers share an intimate series of moments with several of Ben’s patrons as they reflect on their experiences of restricted movement and race relations in the United States.  Confronting the way we understand and talk about race in America, Traveling While Black highlights the urgent need to not only remember the past but to learn from it, and to facilitate a dialogue about the challenges minority travelers still face today. *Participants will wear Oculus GO virtual reality headsets that will be cleaned and disinfected between each showing.  Headsets recommended for those ages 12 and up.  Click HERE for artist's website.

Online registration required for installation timeslotREGISTER HERE
LU Students attend for FREE, click for more info. 

Join us for our opening night reception and panel discussion:
FRI JAN 27 |  6:30pm | Opening Night Reception | Zoellner Arts Center's Goodman Lobby
Free Panel Discussion immediately follows the reception at 7:15pm in Diamond Theater 

PANEL Members: Paul Raphaël* (Felix & Paul Studios), Senior Pastor Phillip Davis (Greater Shiloh Church), Dr. Donald A. Outing, Ph.D. (Lehigh University VP for Equity and Community), Bonnie Nelson Schwartz (Executive Producer of Traveling While Black), moderated by Jaciel Cordoba (anchor at WFMZ-TV). (*via Zoom)


Traveling While Black Community Conversations

No registration is required for the following FREE events. Please note: these events take place at various locations around the Lehigh Valley.
View the Traveling While Black Community Conversations Passport.

Traveling While Black & Queer - THU FEB 9 | 7:00pm | Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, Allentown
A conversation about the intersection between race, sexual orientation and gender identity, with Anthony Smith Jr. (visual and mixed-media artist), Kenny Screven (Valley Youth House), Dr. Ashleigh Strange (PA Stands Up), Kevelis Matthews-Alvarado (cofounder of the Institute on Critical Race and Ethnic Studies), Deirdre Van Walters (President of Basement Poetry), moderated by Ashley L. Coleman (Executive Director of Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center).

Traveling (Internationally) While Black: Black Students’ Study Abroad Experiences | WED FEB 15 | 6:00pm | Lehigh University Fairchild-Martindale Library, CIRCLE
In this panel, Lehigh students will discuss their experiences “Traveling While Black” as they studied abroad. Our student panelists will share why they chose to study abroad and what resources they consulted to help make their decision; describe the joys, surprises, and challenges they encountered in their journeys, and offer advice for others who are interested in the travelling abroad. This panel will be moderated by Antonio Ellison from Lehigh Study Abroad and Jasmine Woodson from Lehigh Libraries.

Traveling While Black Through the Education System | WED FEB 15 | 7:00pm | Lehigh University Fairchild-Martindale Library, CIRCLE
A conversation about the intersection between race and higher education, with Lehigh University students Risa Nkululeko, Justin Burrell, Margaret Robinnette, moderated by Roman Mitchell; opening remarks provided by Annie Balles.

Traveling While Black Through the Arts | WED FEB 22 | 7:00pm | Muhlenberg College
A conversation about the intersection between race and the arts, with Calvin Alexander Ramsey (author and playwright), Anthony Smith Jr. (visual and mixed-media artist), Deirdre Van Walters (President of Basement Poetry), Michael Freeman (abstract artist), moderated by Camille Armstrong a.k.a. CAMILLE WHO (performing and teaching artist).

Traveling While Black: National & Local Perspectives | WED MAR 1 | 7:00pm | Shiloh Baptist Church, Easton, PA
A conversation about the intersection between the local and nationwide experiences of Black Americans, with Tafeni L. English-Relf (Director of Southern Poverty Law Center, Alabama), Esther M. Lee (President, Bethlehem NAACP), Rev. Dr. Gregory Edward (Resurrected Life Church), moderated by Holona Ochs (Lehigh University Associate Professor of Politcal Science); opening remarks provided by Senior Pastor Phillip Davis (Greater Shiloh Church).

Traveling While Black: Up the Corporate Ladder | WED MAR 8 | 7:00pm | Northampton Community College, Fowler Family Southside Center, Room 605
A conversation about the intersection between race and corporate America, with Monica Brooks (PPL), Natasha Ljuiljic (Air Products), Derrick Brown (Metz), William Brown (FIA NYC), Veronica Hunter (Delta Upsilon), moderated by Kevin Greene (COO of Faces International).

Traveling While Black: Co-Pilots & Co-Conspirators | WED MAR 29 | 7:00pm | Resurrected Life Church, Allentown, PA
A conversation about the intersection between standing by and standing up, with Lee Butz (Chairman of the Board of Alvin H. Butz, Inc.), Marci Ronald-Lesko (United Way), Michael J. Seiden, Megan Briggs (Lehigh Valley Community Foundation), and Annie Balles (Lehigh student).

Closing Reception | FRI MAR 31 | 5:30pm | Zoellner Arts Center
Join us for our closing reception and final discussion surrounding the Traveling While Black installation. This discussion will feature those involved in the Traveling While Black film including Virginia Ali, Courtland Cox, Sandra Butter-Trusdale, and Roger Ross Williams, director*, moderated by Jaciel Cordoba (anchor at WFMZ-TV).
*joining via Zoom.


With Generous Support From

                 Enid M. and Michael J. Seiden '63 '64