Annual Civil Rights Conference Underway at UTM

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By Emma Bruner

UTM University Relations

The 23rd annual Civil Right Conference, sponsored by the University of Tennessee at Martin, will feature several events throughout the month of February. The conference will address the theme “Who Will Stand in the Gap? – A Clarion Call for Justice Seekers.”

“Once again, the UTM Civil Rights Conference is bringing nationally recognized individuals to share their experiences and perspectives on justice and equity,” said Henri Giles, conference chairperson and lecturer of mass media and strategic communications. “I am proud to be associated with a university that sees the value in expanding the classroom for our students and faculty and providing a platform to address issues on justice.”

The conference begins with the opening of “I Am a Man,” a photography exhibit of the Civil Rights Movement. The exhibit will be in the J. Houston Gordon Museum in the UT Martin Paul Meek Library from Feb. 1 – March 10. Keynote speakers for the month-long conference include Tamika D. Mallory, social justice leader and movement strategist; Anthony Ray Hinton, justice advocate and author of “The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row”; Torri Yates-Orr and Kahlil Greene, Generation Z historians and advocates; Jarrod Benjamin, Florida International University Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Program Director; and Jemele Hill, Emmy-award winning sports journalist and host.

All events are free to the public and located in Watkins Auditorium unless otherwise noted. A schedule of events is as follows:

Feb. 9: Student and Professional Networking Event, Boling University Center Room 206; 6 p.m.

Feb. 13: “The Economics of Slavery,” John Ashworth; 6 p.m. (presented by the Weakley County Reconciliation Project)

Feb. 15: Roots of Rhythm, presented by the Department of Music; 7 p.m.

Feb. 17: “A Cautious Look at Cancel Culture,” Jarrod Benjamin; 6 p.m.

Feb. 20: “Indigenous Contributions to the World Around Us,” Kimberly Bugg; 6 p.m.

Feb. 21: “An Uphill Journey through Sports, Journalism, Politics, and Pain,” Jemele Hill; 6 p.m.

Feb. 22: “Intersections of Trauma, Mental Health, and Addiction in the Black Community,” Tamika D. Mallory; 6 p.m.

Feb. 22: Movie Night: “Till,” a movie based in the life of Mamie Till-Mobley; 6 p.m.

Feb. 24: Student Health Fair, Boling University Center 2nd Floor Lobby; 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Feb. 27: “Democracy & Race,” Joyce Washington; 6 p.m.

For more information about the Civil Rights Conference, contact Giles at hgiles1@utm.edu or visit www.utm.edu/civilrights.