Events Responding to General Pace

A variety of responses to Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace's Keynote Address at the U of C GSB's 55th annual Management Conference, Friday, May 18


"As a student and then faculty member at the GSB, I have always been proud to be attending an institution that led the way in providing same-sex domestic partnership benefits.  Today, as a parent in a loving same-sex domestic partnership with two children I am confused and, frankly, ashamed by the GSB's decision to lend credence to the dangerous and bigoted opinions of General Peter Pace."   

- Prof. Christie L. Nordhielm

University of Michigan Ross School of Business

(University of Chicago BA '81, MBA '84, and Ph.D. '98)

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INFO ABOUT THE EVENTS:

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Here are three of the events that have been organized to respond to General Pace's GSB address:

1) WORKING AS A HEBREW LINGUIST IN THE NAVY

Featuring Discharged Gay Military Officer Jason Knight

(Thurs 5/17, 3-4pm, U of C Hyde Park campus, Cobb 302)

 

2) UPHOLDING THEIR STARS AND STRIPES: GAY DISCHARGED SOLDIERS ON DAILY LIFE IN THE MILITARY – A RESPONSE TO GENERAL PACE

Featuring Discharged Gay Servicemembers Jason Knight and Jean Albright

(Fri 5/18, 9-10am, U of C Hyde Park campus, Social Sciences 122)

These two events are sponsored by the University of Chicago’s Center for Gender Studies, Near Eastern Literatures & Cultures, and Divinity School. 

 

3) PROTEST AGAINST GENERAL PETER PACE

Guest Speaker: Discharged Gay Military Officer Jason Knight

(Fri 5/18, 11am-1pm, Hyatt Regency, 151 E. Wacker Dr., E of Michigan Ave.)

 

This event is sponsored by more than two dozen community-based organizations. 

 

General Peter Pace is scheduled to give the Keynote Address at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business 55th annual Management Conference on Friday, May 18th at 12 noon at the downtown Hyatt (151 E. Wacker Dr.).  The GSB and its sponsor Harris Bank refused to cancel Pace’s address, even after 1,400 alumni, students, faculty, staff, and other community members signed a petition, endorsed by the GSB’s GLBT student group, asking for the keynote address to be cancelled.

 

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1) WORKING AS A HEBREW LINGUIST IN THE NAVY
Thursday, 3 – 4 pm
Cobb 302, U of C Hyde Park campus
 
Former Navy linguist of Hebrew, Jason Knight, will talk about his decision to study Modern Hebrew, and about working in general as a linguist for the military.  Knight was part of a team that intercepted communications in Hebrew and worked alongside the Israel government on military exchanges. Sponsored by the University of Chicago’s Center for Gender Studies, NELC, and the Divinity School.  (More info:
agonzalez@uchicago.edu)

 

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2) UPHOLDING THEIR STARS AND STRIPES: GAY DISCHARGED SOLDIERS ON DAILY LIFE IN THE MILITARY – A RESPONSE TO GENERAL PACE
Friday, 9 -10:30 am,

Social Sciences Building, Room 122, U of C Hyde Park campus

Come hear former Petty Officer Jason Knight and other former military
personnel speak on life before and after Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell -- and the personal ramifications of the military's approach to homosexuality.  This event is being held on the same day that General Peter Pace – who as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has been criticized for his recent denunciation of homosexuality as “immoral” – is scheduled to talk to the Graduate School of Business.  This UC event is sponsored by the Center for Gender Studies, NELC, and the Divinity School, and provides a response to General Pace in the spirit of freedom of speech and full public discourse. Food provided!  (More info:
agonzalez@uchicago.edu)

 

About Jason Knight:

Knight is the only military officer known to be discharged under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and then to be recalled and to serve a second time.

In 2001, Knight was unmarried and looking for an alternative to college.  He enrolled in the military and soon began an intensive training program as a Navy linguist of Hebrew.   He met his future wife, and the couple, which was abstinent until marriage, had a brief honeymoon: over time, Knight realized that he was gay.  When the couple divorced in 2005, Knight was forced to explain his reasons to the Navy -- and he told them.  Immediately, he was discharged under Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Then, he was recalled.  Knight served eight months in Kuwait, and began to wonder if the Navy had made a mistake.  In March, General Peter Pace’s denounced homosexuality as “immoral,” and Knight spoke up.  He was yanked from Kuwait and taken back to California, and was discharged last Friday – for a second time.

About Jean Albright:

Former Master Sergeant Jean Albright, retired from the U.S. Air Force, has a "distinguished career in the military and media. She has served as Manager of Public Affairs for the U.S. Military Entrace Processing Command at Great Lakes Naval Base in Illinois, as the News Bureau Chief for Stars & Stripes in Bitburg, Germany and as the Print Media Coordinator for the National Committee for Employers Support of the Guard and Reserve.

Albright received her MS in Adult Education.. from Northern Illinois University. She also holds a BA with dual majors in Journalism and Sociology from George Washington University and an AA in Public Affairs from the Community College of the Air Force."


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3) PROTEST AGAINST GEN. PETER PACE

Guest Speaker: Discharged Gay Military Officer Jason Knight

Friday, 11am – 1pm

Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Drive, E of Michigan Ave.

 

More than two dozen LGBT and anti-war organizations organizations have joined together to support a student- and GLN-initiated protest against General Peter Pace set for 11 AM, Friday, May 18th in front the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 151 E. Wacker Drive (about 1 block east of Michigan Avenue).  

 

University of Chicago students launched a petition drive asking their school to uninvite Pace, which was signed by more than 1,400 students, alumni, faculty, and community members.  According to an April 24th Crain’s Chicago Business article, “Comments by the nation's top military officer calling homosexual acts ‘immoral’ have ignited a firestorm at the University of Chicago where the Marine general is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at a management conference next month.”

 

Harris Bank, sponsor of the GSB’s management conference, has released a statement saying, “We do not support Gen. Pace's viewpoints.”   Please take a moment to contact them and let them know how you feel about their sponsorship of Pace’s talk.  Their general phone number is 1-888-340-2265 (M-F 7am-10pm, Sat 8am-5pm), or drop them an email at onlineservices@harrisbank.com.  Their PR department can be contacted at (312) 461-6055.  Letters can be written to William Downe, President and Chief Executive Officer, BMO Financial Group, Harris Bank, 111 W. Monroe Street, Chicago, IL 60603

 

Click here for downloadable 5/18 protest posters & handbills

 

A Message from Chicago GSB Gays & Lesbians in Business (GLiB), May 3, 2007

May 3, 2007

To: Chicago GSB Community

From: GLiB 2007 Co-Chairs, GLiB 2008 Co-Chairs

GSB Students & Faculty Called to Action: Urgent School-Wide Diversity Issue Needs Your Response

As you may have seen in today's ChiBus, GLiB calls upon the administration of the GSB to rescind the invitation made to General Peter Pace to speak at the upcoming 55th Annual Management Conference. General Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has publicly made anti-gay comments while in uniform representing the Armed Forces and the Federal Government, and has used his private anti-gay views as justification for a public policy of discrimination. Despite widespread outrage over his comments, Pace has refused to apologize for his remarks.

The administration defends General Pace's visit as part of the school's mission to promote free speech and to make the GSB a "stronger institution by including people with wide-ranging views and encouraging dialogue." We highly value freedom of speech. Yet, there is a distinction between free speech and extending the privilege of a keynote address in a setting in which no debate takes place.

Moreover, the GSB has an obligation to uphold the ethical values that allow freedom of thought to flourish, and to provide an environment that respects the individual, regardless of background. The time for the GSB administration to show leadership on these issues is now. This is not a gay rights issue; it is a fundamental human rights issue that deserves attention and has implications for all of us regardless of sex, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religious background.

Whether or not you personally believe that General Pace's invitation should be rescinded, GLiB encourages every member of the GSB community to think of what you would do if General Pace had commented about your background.

If you are dedicated to an open, respectful environment at the GSB, in which debate and discussion are encouraged and discrimination of any sort is unacceptable, please join several hundred GSB community members, including 12 of our faculty, in the petition to Unask Pace at http://www.petitiononline.com/PaceUofC/petition.html.

Please also see our article in today's ChiBus and the website http://unaskpace.googlepages.com for a more detailed discussion.

Thank you for your time and your interest in this school-wide issue.


GLiB 2007 Co-Chairs Eric Lewis, Eric Lo, and Penny Petropoulos

GLiB 2008 Co-Chairs Laura Barnard, Jacob Rothschild, and Patrick Wacker

Class of 2007 GBC President, GLiB member Carlos Ontaneda

 

In the Media

 

 

 About this Campaign

General Pace has become America's most visible advocate of anti-gay public policy. At a time when gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans are fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan, he has used his leadership position to endorse discrimination and intolerance. For General Pace to be offered a podium as keynote speaker under the University of Chicago's auspices sends a message that is incompatible with the University's core values, longstanding nondiscrimination policies, and ongoing efforts to create a climate welcoming of diversity.

More than 1,200 community members, including more than a dozen of their own faculty colleagues and a vast number of GSB students and alumni, have called upon Dean Snyder to rescind Peter Pace's invitation to speak.  The overwhelming response to the petition drive demonstrates the profound shock and outrage of many members of University's GLBT community, and its allies, about the GSB's plan to go ahead with Pace's scheduled address under its auspices.

In addition, University of Chicago Queers & Associates is sponsoring a demonstration outside General Pace's talk at the Hyatt on May 18th.  The protest is co-sponsored by GLBT student organizations from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Business, other Chicagoland college and university groups, and nearly 30 community organizations, including Chicagoland Pride at Work, the Gay Liberation Network, Code Pink, and the Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism. (Email here for more info or to endorse the protest.)

Read and sign the petition!