UT Martin to host 20th-annual Civil Rights Conference

The University of Tennessee at Martin’s 20th-annual Civil Rights Conference will address the theme “Ordinary Heroes: The Struggle for Human Rights” with events the week of Feb. 17-21 on the UT Martin main campus.

Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, a civil rights icon who had participated in more than 50 sit-ins and demonstrations by the time she was 23 years old, will give the keynote address at 7 p.m., Feb. 20, in the Boling University Center Watkins Auditorium. She was a Freedom Rider, a participant in the Jackson Woolworth’s sit-in, the March on Washington, the Meredith March and the Selma to Montgomery March. She is also a recipient of the 2015 National Civil Rights Museum Freedom Award.

All events are free to the public and located in Watkins Auditorium unless otherwise noted. A schedule of events is as follows:

Feb. 17

  • “Elbert Williams: First to Die – Investigating the cold case murder of NAACP member Elbert Williams in Brownsville, Tennessee, in 1940”; Jim Emison, Tennesseans for Historical Justice; 1-1:50 p.m.
  • “Civil Rights Issues in Tennessee”; Mr. Tom Castelli, legal director for the ACLU Foundation of Tennessee; 2-2:50 p.m.
  • “Everyday Issues for Minority Students on Campus” panel; 3-3:50 p.m.
  • “Human Rights are Civil Rights” roundtable; Hortense Parrish Writing Center, Andy Holt Humanities Building, room 209; 4-4:50 p.m.
  • “Building Community: The Work Continues”; Weakley County Reconciliation Project; 6-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 18

  • Lunch with the Pedrito Martinez Group; Fine Arts Building Band Room; noon-1 p.m.,
  • “The History of Segregation and Education in Weakley County”; 1:15-2:15 p.m.
  • “The Ballot or the Bullet: The Next Generation”; LeLann Evans, community organizer; 4-5:15 p.m.
  • Concert: The Pedrito Martinez Group; Harriet Fulton Theater; 7 p.m.

Feb. 19

  • “LGBTQ+ couples’ experience post Obergefell v. Hodges”; 1-1:50 p.m.
  • “How Not to be ‘That Person’: Destroying the Bystander Effect”; Amy McLean, associate professor of social work; 2-2:50 p.m.
  • “Issues Faced by Immigrants in Tennessee”; 3-3:50 p.m.
  • Screening: “After Selma” followed by a question and answer with Loki Mulholland, director and screenplay writer; 4 p.m.

Feb. 20

  • Community Action Poverty Simulation; Boling University Center Duncan Ballroom; 9 a.m.-noon.
  • “The Sustaining Role of Religious Music in the Civil Rights Movement”; Rev. Courtney Pace; 1-2:15 p.m.
  • Screening: “The Uncomfortable Truth” followed by a question and answer with Loki Mulholland, director and screenplay writer; 2:30-4 p.m.
  • Workshop: “Minority Student Leadership Experiences on Tennessee Campuses”; Boling University Center, room 206; 4-5:15 p.m.
  • “Envisioning a Healthy LGBTQ+ Community”; Del Ray Zimmerman, director of the Office for Diversity Affairs and LGBTQ+ Health at Vanderbilt University Medical Center; 4-5:15 p.m.
  • Keynote: Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, civil rights icon; 7 p.m.

Feb. 21

  • Free student health fair; Boling University Center Duncan Ballroom; 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

For more information about the Civil Rights Conference, contact Dr. Lindsay Anderson, assistant professor of sociology and conference organizer, at civilrights@utm.edu.