2009 Archives

Keeping the Faith:

Civil Rights and Social Justice 45 Years After Freedom Summer

March 5, 2009

DALLAS (SMU) — Southern Methodist University is presenting a week-long symposium that focuses on the importance of understanding and the importance of valuing diversity in how we conceive of and practice communication.

The symposium, which begins March 16, will feature participants in the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer Project and artists, professionals and politicians who have kept the organizing tradition of civil rights alive in America. It includes lectures, panel presentations, a musical performance, a photography exhibit and an award-winning documentary.

The symposium is sponsored by the Meadows School of the Arts’ Division of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs (CCPA) in conjunction with SMU’s Office of the Provost, Cox School of Business, Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Policy, Annette Simmons School of Education and Human Development, the Meadows School's Division of Journalism, and the African American Museum of Dallas.

Events, which are free and open to the public, include:

March 16 at 6 p.m. — Crum Auditorium in  SMU's Collins Executive Education Center
Keynote address by Dr. Brenda Allen, Associate Dean and Professor, University of Colorado-Denver

March 17at 12:45 p.m. — Smith Auditorium in SMU's  Meadows Museum
Panel discussion on the Freedom Schools, established in the summer of 1964 to address and transform the educational experiences that had limited the opportunities of African Americans in Mississippi for centuries. Speakers include Wally Roberts, a Freedom School coordinator in Shaw, Miss. in 1964; Dr. George Chilcoat of Brigham Young U. and Dr. Jerry Ligon of National-Louis U., both of whom have written extensively about the Freedom Schools; Arelya Mitchell, founder, publisher and editor of The Mid-South Tribune Newspaper, the first African American-owned newspaper to receive a National Media Excellence Award; and Amy Ward, SMU honors student and CCPA major.

March 17 at 7 p.m. — Greer Garson Theatre in SMU's  Owen Arts Center
Music and storytelling concert featuring one of the last of the great Mississippi Delta bluesmen, 93-year-old Grammy-winning blues legend David “Honeyboy” Edwards, and narrator Michael Dyson. Presented in cooperation with the Texas-based nonprofit Blue Shoe Project (www.blueshoeproject.org).

March 18 at 6 p.m. — O’Donnell Auditorium (Room 2130) in SMU's  Owen Arts Center
“Corporate Responsibility, Racial Redemption, and the Legacies and Lessons of Freedom Summer,” lecture by Richard Molpus, CEO of the Molpus Woodlands Group of Jackson, Miss., and a long-time supporter of civil right activities and legislation across the South.

March 19 at 6 p.m. — African American Museum, 3536 Grand Ave. in Fair Park, Dallas
Noted photographer Herbert Randall leads a gallery talk through his exhibit, Faces of Freedom Summer, at the African American Museum. Randall spent the summer of 1964 in Mississippi documenting the social and political efforts of the civil rights movement and the hardships of blacks living in a racially discriminating society. Randall’s work is held by such notable institutions as the Metropolitan Museum and Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Library of Congress.

March 20 at 6 p.m. — O’Donnell Auditorium (Room 2130) in SMU's Owen Arts Center
Screening of the award-winning 2008 documentary Neshoba, which tells the story of the Mississippi town still divided about the meaning of justice, 40 years after the “Mississippi Burning” murders of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner in Neshoba county. The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers, Micki Dickoff and Tony Pagano, as well as civil rights activist Steve Schwerner, brother of one of the murder victims, and Rachel Lyon, Emmy-winning filmmaker and chair of the Meadows School’s Cinema-Television Division.

For more information, call 214-768-1574.

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