An astronaut, an attorney, and a descendent of Robert E. Lee will make presentations at University of Lynchburg during the annual Race, Poverty, and Social Justice conference November 3 and 4.
The University of Lynchburg Department of Sociology and Human Services and Many Voices, One Community (MVOC) co-host the annual conference, which teaches people techniques for advancing social justice in their communities. The 2017 conference theme is “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Justice.”
The 2017 event begins with two pre-conference events that are free and open to the public. On Friday, November 3, the public is invited to Perspectives: A Conversation on Race, Poverty & Education at 7 p.m. in the University of Lynchburg Memorial Ballroom, in Hall Campus Center.
Guest speakers for “Perspectives” are Leland D. Melvin, former NASA astronaut, athlete, engineer and recent author of his memoir Chasing Space: An Astronaut’s Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances; and Arelia Langhorne, retired Lynchburg attorney, lifelong community advocate and recipient of the City of Lynchburg Mayor’s Award of Excellence for service to the community. The conversation will be moderated by Rophenia Crawley, attorney, community advocate, and graduate of University of Lynchburg and University of Richmond School of Law.
The public also is invited to view a screening of the new documentary Talking Black in America at 5 p.m. on November 3 in Hopwood Auditorium, on the second floor of Hopwood Hall. Produced as part of The Language and Life Project housed at North Carolina State University, the documentary explains how African American English is an integral, but misunderstood, part of cultural and historical legacy of all Americans. The screening will be held in the University of Lynchburg Hopwood Auditorium and is followed by a panel discussion with University of Lynchburg faculty members Carolyn Gross, MA and Lisa Pierce, PhD, with sociology professor Sharon Foreman, PhD, as moderator.
The Race, Poverty, and Social Justice Conference will continue Saturday in Elliot & Rosel Schewel Hall. The keynote lecture will be presented by Dr. Robert Lee IV — a descendant of Confederate General Robert E. Lee who, as an author, activist, and preacher, who has spoken out recently about racial reconciliation and the need to confront white supremacy through churches. Other presentations during the all-day conference on Saturday will cover topics such as school-to-prison pipeline, immigration rights, economic empowerment, racial equity through nonprofit partnerships, social justice theater, and more.
The conference will close with an enlightened panel discussion on Fear of a Brown Planet: Backlash and the Rise of White Nationalism with Dr. Khyati Y. Joshi (Fairleigh Dickinson University), Dr. Ted Delaney (Washington & Lee University), and Professor Carolyn Gross (University of Lynchburg), moderated by Dr. Charles Walton (University of Lynchburg).
Registration for the Saturday conference is free for students registering with a college ID, $20 for non-students. For more information and to register, visit www.mvocva.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org / (434) 226-0089.
Created in 2007 and formerly known as the Community Dialogue on Race & Racism, Many Voices, One Community (MVOC) has as its mission the creation of a racially equitable community where race and/or ethnicity are not predictors of success in any aspect of life, and where public policies, institutional practices, and social structures no longer favor one group of people over another.