Campus News Archives

UT Martin to host 18th-annual Civil Rights Conference, Feb. 18-24


Contact 1: Erin Chesnut


MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin will host the 18th annual Civil Rights Conference, Feb. 18-24, on the main campus in Martin. The 2018 conference will center on the theme “50 Years After Dr. King’s Assassination: From Dream to Woke.”

Bobby Seale, co-founder and first chairman of the Black Panther Party, will serve as keynote speaker at 7 p.m., Feb. 22, in Watkins Auditorium of the Boling University Center.

A special forum discussion titled “Heritage or Hate: A Forum on Confederate Monuments” will be held at noon, Feb. 14, in Watkins Auditorium before the official start of the conference. New this year is a public trip to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, sponsored by Trinity Presbyterian Church in Martin. Those wishing to attend will depart the Boling University Center parking lot at 7:30 a.m., Feb. 24. Admission to the museum is $10 per person.

The public is also invited to vote for the Popular Choice Award in the Civil Rights Conference Student Art Contest during the day Feb. 22. Awards will be presented at 1 p.m., Feb. 23.

All other events will be held in Watkins Auditorium free of charge unless otherwise noted. A schedule of events is as follows:

Feb. 18
•Movie screening: “Detroit”; 6 and 9 p.m.; sponsored by the Student Activities Council

Feb. 19
•Roundtable: “Black Writers Reading Roundtable”; Hortense Parrish Writing Center, Andy Holt Humanities Building, room 209; noon
•Performance: “From Dream to Woke”; Florence Roach and UT Martin theatre students original play; 7 p.m.

Feb. 20
•Speaker: “Double Jeopardy: Crossroads of Discrimination”; Marisa Richmond, professor of women and gender studies, Middle Tennessee State University; 1 p.m.
•Panel discussion: “Athletes and the Civil Rights Movement,” chaired by Dr. David Coffey, UT Martin Department of History and Philosophy; 2:30 p.m.
•Performance: Roots of Rhythm; Harriet Fulton Theatre, UT Martin Fine Arts Building; 7 p.m.; $5 admission charge

Feb. 21
•Workshop: “Understanding Cultural Diversity”; Boling University Center, room 206; 11 a.m.; sponsored by the UT Martin Social Work Association
•Performance: Roots of Rhythm; Harriet Fulton Theatre, UT Martin Fine Arts Building; noon; $5 admission charge
•Performance: “Night of Dance and Spoken Word”; Imani Cezanne, Samuel Hawkins and the Judith Jamison Dancers; 7 p.m.

Feb. 22
•Speaker: “The Last Year of Dr. King’s Life”; Ryan Jones, historian, National Civil Rights Museum; 9:30 a.m.
•Speaker: “From Memphis to St. Louis”; Adolphus Pruitt, chairman, St. Louis chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and Beverly Robertson, former president for the National Civil Rights Museum; 11 a.m.
•Speaker: “The White Church and the Civil Rights Movement”; Rev. George Pasley, pastor, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Martin; 1 p.m.
•Panel: Black Student Association presidents from various institutions; 2:30 p.m.
•Keynote speaker: Bobby Seale, co-founder and first chairman of the Black Panther Party; 7 p.m.; accompanied by a performance from the Voices of Harmony

Feb. 23
•Civil Rights Conference Student Art Exhibition awards reception; Watkins Auditorium foyer; 1 p.m.
•Speaker: “Art and Civil Rights”; Carl Moore, Memphis-based artist and contest juror; 2 p.m.

Feb. 24
•National Civil Rights Museum trip, sponsored by Trinity Presbyterian Church in Martin; leaves from Boling University Center parking lot; 7:30 a.m.; $10 museum admission fee

UT Martin is one of only two universities in the nation to host an annual civil rights conference, and the event has been held each year since 2000.

For more information on the Civil Rights Conference, contact Dr. David Barber, associate professor of history and conference organizer, at 731-881-7465 or by email at


PHOTO ID: Kwame Rose, a social activist, artist and writer, served as keynote speaker during the 2017 UT Martin Civil Rights Conference. Bobby Seal, co-founder and first chairman of the Black Panther Party, will be the 2018 keynote speaker.

Share this article

Link to share:


Campus News

Office of University Relations is the official source for all non-sports releases from the University of Tennessee at Martin. Materials on this page are updated on a regular basis.

View Campus News >



The Office of University Relations is ready to assist you with finding a speaker for your special event or an expert to comment on a current news story.

View Resources >


Photo Albums

Browse hundreds of campus photos in our University Relations archive.

View Photo Albums >