UA Little Rock to Host Virtual Lectures to Celebrate National Day of Racial Healing

National Day of Racial Healing

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is celebrating the 2022 National Day of Racial Healing with two special virtual lectures.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation started the National Day of Racial Healing (NDORH) in 2013 as part of its new Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation initiative aimed at revolutionizing the way that foundations fund nonprofits working on social issues.

UA Little Rock will join communities and campuses across the state in celebrating a weeklong schedule of events in observance of the National Day of Racial Healing.

The first event, “Dave Tell Talks: Remembering Emmett Till,” will take place from 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18, via Zoom. The event is free and open to the public. Participants may register for the event at this link.

UA Little Rock Downtown, Racial Barriers Committee, Student Government Association, and Center for Arkansas History and Culture as well as CALS Roberts Library will present an evening of conversation and learning with Dr. Dave Tell, co-director of the Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities at Kansas University, facilitated by Dr. Guy Lancaster, Arkansas historian and author.

Since 2014, Tell has been the lead investigator on the Emmett Till Memory Project, a collaborative, public, and digital humanities project. His 2019 book “Remembering Emmett Till,” tells the complete story of Emmett Till’s commemoration in the Mississippi Delta.

The first event, “Dave Tell Talks: Remembering Emmett Till,” will take place from 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18, via Zoom. The event is free and open to the public. Participants may register for the event at this link.

Till was a 14-year-old African American teenager who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955 after he was accused of offending a white woman in her family’s grocery store. Till’s killers were found not guilty by an all-white jury in 1955. They publicly admitted to the crime in a 1956 magazine article.

UA Little Rock will also host a virtual panel, “The State of Diversity and Equity in Arkansas,” from 6-7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, via Zoom. The event is free and open to the public. Participants may register for the panel at this link.

Donald Wood, executive director of Just Communities of Arkansas, will facilitate an engaged conversation about diversity, equity, and inclusion in sectors across the state with perspectives from UA Little Rock scholars and community professionals in education, city management, law, religious studies and cultural affairs.

The panelists include:

·  Dr. Melvin Beavers, assistant professor of rhetoric and writing and inaugural chancellor’s fellow for diversity, equity, and inclusion at UA Little Rock. Beavers has been engaged in national conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion with specific attention on antiracist pedagogies and writing assessment.

·  Tamika Edwards, special advisor to the CEO on diversity, equity, inclusion, and engagement at Central Arkansas Water. She has 20 years of experience in public policy and community development. Prior to Central Arkansas Water, she served as the executive director of the Social Justice Institute at Philander Smith College, director of governmental affairs at Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, director of public policy at Southern Bancorp Community Partners, and community affairs specialist for former U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

·  Dr. Rebecca Glazier, associate professor in the School of Public Affairs at UA Little Rock. Her research is focused on religion, framing, and U.S. foreign policy. Since 2012, Glazier has directed the community-based research project, Little Rock Congregations Study, which seeks to understand how congregations’ community engagement impacts the community, places of worship, and their members.

·  Dr. Dionne Jackson, chief equity officer for the City of Little Rock. Jackson has previously served as Hendrix College’s first chief diversity officer and executive director of AR Kids Read.

In addition to the lectures, UA Little Rock will also hold a virtual open mic night from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21, with the theme of racial healing. This evening of music, poetry, comedy, and inspiration will be centered around equity, diversity, and healing. Anyone who would like to perform or attend should register via this link.

Sponsored by the UA Little Rock Racial Barriers Committee and the Graduate Student Association, the evening will be emceed by Ron McAdoo, aka Ron Mc the Hiphoptimist, a nationally recognized spoken word poet, sought out personality, exhibiting professional artist, motivational speaker, actor, author, and seasoned educator.

The special featured guest will be Osyrus Bolly, artist and activist, who combines his passion for the arts and social justice to create his own platform for liberation arts. He is also a member of the nationally-ranked poetry slam troupe Foreign Tongues.

Visit this website for more information about the 2022 National Day of Racial Healing events.

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