UTM to host Civil Rights Conference
Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013 6:00 pm
The University of Tennessee at Martin’s 13th annual Civil Rights Conference is Feb. 17-22 and will focus on the theme: “The Civil Rights Movement and Social Change in the 21st Century.”
Diane Nash, one of the main leaders of the Nashville Civil Rights Movement, will deliver the keynote address at 7 p.m. on Feb. 21.
Dr. Vincent Harding, a historian and civil rights activist, will also serve as a featured speaker, delivering his address titled “The Civil Rights Movement’s Significance for Today” at 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 21.
Harding and his wife, Rosemarie Freeney Harding, participated in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and co-founded Mennonite House, an interracial voluntary service center and gathering place in Atlanta, Ga. Harding also served as an advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., drafting one of King’s most famous speeches, “A Time to Break Silence.”
UT Martin’s conference is one of only two civil rights conferences sponsored yearly by any public university in the United States.
The week’s activities will begin on Feb. 17 with the movie “Red Tails,” which highlights the bravery of the Tuskegee Airmen, shown at 6 and 9 p.m. The movie is sponsored by the UT Martin Student Activities Council.
At 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 18, Florence Roach, an actress who recently played a maid in the film, “The Help,” will present a one-woman performance on the Civil Rights Movement, “She-roes.”
At noon and again at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 19, Dr. Julie Hill, associate professor of music, along with her percussion students, will present “Roots of Rhythm.” Designed to demonstrate the migration of rhythm through the slave trade, the performance will provide a multi-sensory experience, encouraging audience members to observe how different societies are formed and interact through music. There is a $5 admission charge for this event.
On Wednesday, Feb. 20, the Hortense Parrish Writing Center, Humanities Building, room 209, will sponsor a workshop on the work of black writers.
Harding’s address will start the conference’s main day, Thursday, Feb. 21, at 9:30 a.m. A group of teachers from Jackson will follow Harding with a seminar titled “Education and Race Today: the Case of Jackson, TN.” At 1 p.m., a group of students born in Africa will speak on “An African Perspective on Race in America.”
Dr. Adam Wilson, lecturer of history, and Dr. David Coffey, chair of the department of history and philosophy, will then present “On the African American Military Experience and the Struggle for Civil Rights” at 2:30 p.m. Nash will speak at 7 p.m. following a performance by the UT Martin collegiate gospel choir.
On Feb. 23, interested students, faculty and community members can participate in a trip to the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.
The public is encouraged to attend. For more information, call (731) 881-7465. Published in The WCP 1.31.13