'"Here We Stand:" Reflections on Luther College's Racial History and Legacy'

Luther alumna Maggie (Steinberg) Hagen to give Luther College religion forum Oct. 25

Through her senior project, Luther College alumna Maggie (Steinberg) Hagen examined Luther's history during key racialized moments in American history. That research led Hagen to delve further into the archives to understand the tensions she felt in her community during current historical moments.

Hagen will lead a discussion on Luther College's history and her experiences on campus during a public forum at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, in the Center for Faith and Life Recital Hall on the Luther campus.

The discussion, "'Here We Stand:' Reflections on Luther's Racial History and Legacy," is open to the public with no charge for admission. It's a part of Luther's year-long commemoration of the founding of the Black Student Union, 1968-69. For more information on the fall 2018 events, visit luther.edu/alumni/events/bsu.

Following the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, Hagen sought to better understand the tensions she felt in the Lutheran community as well as Luther's campus community. She searched the Luther archives to discover a benchmark to understand the tensions she was experiencing. Through her research, she uncovered stories of struggle during the Civil War when Luther was founded. She also found stories of student unrest, violence and racism during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and 1970s, when her parents were students at Luther. She used events from history to analyze her own experiences on campus in present day.

Hagen is a 2015 graduate of Luther, earning a Bachelor of Arts in religion and political science. She is currently a program assistant for workplace justice and education at the National Women's Law Center in Washington, D.C., where she focuses on issues of sexual harassment in the workplace and in schools, as well as issues surrounding the minimum age and wage gap, school discipline and educational equity. Following graduation, she served as a Lutheran Volunteer Corps member in Baltimore, Maryland, where she worked on creating protection for asylum seekers and those in immigration detention with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.

While a student at Luther, Hagen was a Peace Scholar in Norway and also studied abroad in South Africa, where she learned about democracy after Apartheid during J-term. She also completed a faculty/student summer research project where she analyzed the ways bias and stereotypes of Muslim women are reflected in laws, policies and media coverage. She stays involved with the Luther community by participating in the Washington, D.C. area Luther Gives challenge. She plans to attend law school next fall.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,005, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.