UT Martin to host 22nd annual Civil Rights Conference

The 22nd annual Civil Rights Conference, sponsored by the University of Tennessee at Martin, will feature in-person and virtual events throughout the month of February, including a presentation from Cyntoia Brown Long titled “My Journey to Redemption.” The 2022 Civil Rights Conference is sponsored by the university’s Office of Student Life and Multicultural Affairs. All registrations and virtual events can be accessed at www.utm.edu/civilrights.

“We have some dynamic speakers, engaging topics and panels, and we look forward to creating opportunities for broadening horizons intellectually.”

“We are excited about creating a space for healthy dialogue and discussion during this year’s conference,” said Anthony Prewitt, co-interim director for student life and multicultural affairs. “We have some dynamic speakers, engaging topics and panels, and we look forward to creating opportunities for broadening horizons intellectually.”

Four scheduled speakers are featured during the conference along with panels, trivia events and other student activities. LaTosha Brown, a social strategist and co-founder of the Black Votes Matter Fund, will kick off the expert speaker sessions with a virtual discussion at 6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 3.

On Feb. 7, Cyntoia Brown Long, an author, speaker and advocate for criminal justice reform and victim of trafficking, will share her story at 6 p.m. in the Boling University Center’s Watkins Auditorium. Long is a victim of trafficking and was convicted of murder. While serving a life sentence, former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam granted her clemency, and she is now using her platform to shine a light on injustice.

Hannibal Johnson, an attorney, author and independent consultant, will discuss his book “Black Wall Street” at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 17, in Watkins Auditorium. In his book, he follows the history of Tulsa’s African American community.

Tim Wise, an activist and writer, will address the topic “White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son” at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 24, in Watkins Auditorium. Wise was an adviser to the Fisk University Race Relations Institute in Nashville and now regularly appears on CNN and MSNBC to discuss race issues.

More events scheduled for the 2022 Civil Rights Conference include:

  • Feb. 1: Alumni Engagement Panel, 7 p.m. (virtual)
  • Feb. 9: Braver Angels’ “Bridge Builders Across Differences” Workshop, 2 p.m. in Boling University Center 206; registration required.
  • Feb. 10: “Critical Race Theory: What it is and what it isn’t,” Weakley County Reconciliation Project, 6 p.m. (virtual)
  • Feb. 16: “Freedom Libraries: The Untold Story of Libraries for African Americans in the South,” Mike Selby, 7 p.m. (virtual)
  • Feb. 21: “Farming as a Revolutionary Act of Food Sovereignty,” The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network, 6 p.m. (virtual)
  • Feb. 25: Free Health Fair, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Boling University Center’s Duncan Ballroom
  • Feb. 27: “Music of Black Composers,” INCLUDE UTM, 3 p.m., Fine Arts Building 122
  • Feb. 28: “Nothing to Debate: The Confederate Flag and Other Symbols of Hate in the Age of Trump,” Dr. David Coffey, UT Martin professor and department chair of history and philosophy, 5 p.m., Watkins Auditorium.

Visit www.utm.edu/civilrights to download the full schedule of events. Lindsay Anderson, an associate professor of sociology, and Henri Giles, a lecturer of communications, along with Prewitt, are co-chairs of this year’s conference. For more information about the Civil Rights Conference, contact Prewitt at aprewitt@utm.edu.


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