Stockton’s Fannie Lou Hamer Human and Civil Rights Symposium Set for Oct. 11

For Immediate Release


Contact:         Maryjane Briant
                        News and Media Relations Director
                        Galloway, N.J. 08205
                        (609) 652-4593

Galloway, N.J. - Stockton University will host its annual Fannie Lou Hamer Human and Civil Rights Symposium on Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 2:30 p.m. with a keynote speech by Donna Murch, an associate professor of History at Rutgers University, and a panel discussion on the theme, “Civil Rights Then and Now: Miles to Go Before We Sleep.”

Fannie Lou Hamer was a legendary figure in the civil rights movement who helped to organize the Mississippi Freedom Summer voter registration drive for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. “Her historic visit to Atlantic City, N.J. for the 1964 Democratic Convention has been etched in our memories,” said Donnetrice Allison, coordinator of Africana Studies and associate professor of Communication Studies. Hamer brought Mississippi’s civil rights struggle to the national stage during a televised speech at the convention.

The symposium is free and open to the public. It will be held in the Performing Arts Center in the M-Wing on the Galloway, N.J. campus.

Murch published the award-winning monograph, “Living for the City: Migration, Education and the Rise of the Black Panther Party in Oakland, California” with the University of North Carolina Press in October 2010, winning the Phillis Wheatley prize in December 2011.

Her teaching and research focuses on historical studies of mass incarceration/the war on drugs, black power and civil rights, California, social movements and postwar U.S. cities, according to her Rutgers biography. She is at work on a new book, “Crack in Los Angeles: Policing the Crisis and the War on Drugs.”  

Christina Jackson, assistant professor of Sociology, will moderate a discussion on civil rights then and now, with panelists: Adam Miyashiro, associate professor of Literature; John O’Hara, associate professor of Critical Thinking and First Year Studies; and Pastor William Williams of the Asbury United Methodist Church.                                                                              

The program will also feature performances by the Stockton Vocal Jazz Ensemble and Afro-One Dance, Drama and Drum Theatre, Inc.

“I am excited to continue the legacy of the event, started 13 years ago by Dr. Pat Reid-Merritt, Distinguished Professor of Social Work & Africana Studies, to shine a light on the incredible Fannie Lou Hamer, who demonstrated that one person can make a significant difference in terms of racial and social justice,” Allison said. “We continue to celebrate Mrs. Hamer’s contribution to the struggle for freedom and social justice in America.”

The event is co-sponsored by the Africana Studies Program, the Unified Black Students Society, the Office of Student Development, Office of the President, Office of the Provost, School of General Studies, the Council of Black Faculty and Staff and the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity.