Syracuse University

Cold Case Justice Initiative

CIVIL RIGHTS CONFERENCE PROGRAM AND REGISTRATION

LOOKING BACK, MOVING FORWARD: 50TH ANNIVERSARY

COMMEMORATION OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT 1964-2014

SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY, MARCH 21-23, 2014

The Cold Case Justice Initiative (CCJI), at Syracuse University College of Law, is an interdisciplinary program that investigates unsolved racially-motivated murders that were committed during the Civil Rights Era. Professors Janis McDonald and Paula Johnson are the co-directors. CCJI is spearheading a conference to commemorate the civil rights movement and era. The conference, "Looking Back, Moving Forward: 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Civil Rights Movement 1964-2014," will be held at Syracuse University, March 21-23, 2014. The conference is free and the public is welcome to attend.

Major events that occurred during 1964 include Freedom Summer; the murders of civil rights activists; passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act; launching of the War on Poverty; and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize. Family members of victims of civil rights era cold cases will attend and the conference will provide educational awareness about the Civil Rights Movement and Era and will include presentations, workshops, cultural performances, and intergenerational dialogue with students, faculty members, community activists, and grassroots leaders on social justice issues.

In addition to the panels and workshops, the dinner on Saturday, March 22nd, will honor Civil Rights Movement icons such as Rev. C.T. Vivian and Diane Nash, as well as local social justice activists. Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon and her daughter Toshi Reagon will perform together at the dinner. Dr. Reagon is a founder of the Freedom Singers and the a capella group Sweet Honey in the Rock. Toshi Reagon is a socially-conscious artist in her own right. We invite all members of college campuses and local communities to join us at Looking Back, Moving Forward in March 2014. Educators at all levels should encourage their students to attend Looking Back, Moving Forward, and consider providing course credit to students who attend these events. There will not be a fee to attend the conference; however, registration is required so that we can plan for meals and session rooms. To register, click here. In addition, see links for the Civil Rights Essay Contest, the Friday evening poetry and exhibit event, and contributions to the conference.

Conference co-sponsors include SU College of Law Office of Student Life Diversity Programs, Democratizing Knowledge Collective, Office of Advancement and External Affairs, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Office of Enrollment Management, Imagining America, School of Information Studies, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, Department of Women's and Gender Studies, Community Folk Art Center- Department of African American Studies, Light Work, Black Law Students Association, National Association of Black Journalists; and area universities, including SUNY Oswego and SUNY Cortland.

Please contact Prof. Paula Johnson, Prof. Janis McDonald or Sheila Welch at (315) 443-5019 and swelch@law.syr.edu for more information.

We hope you will attend and look forward to seeing you in March!


LOOKING BACK, MOVING FORWARD

CONFERENCE PROGRAM

FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014

(Friday Events will be held at Syracuse University College of Law)

9:00-9:45 am

CONFERENCE OPENING

Invocation, Welcome, and Conference Overview

10:00-11:30 am

PANEL: Why This Conference-1964 in Context

· Shelton Chappell, Son of Johnnie Mae Chappell who was killed in Jacksonville, FL, 1964

· John Steele, The Mississippi Movement and Freedom Summer

· Howie Hawkins, Economic Justice and Anti-War Activist and Green Party Member

· Robert Lewis, Member of Deacons for Defense and Justice, Civil Rights Self-Defense Group

· Paula Johnson, Civil Rights Era Laws - Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act of 1965

11:30 am-1:00 pm

LUNCH & CULTURAL PERFORMANCE

· Vanessa Johnson, Griot & Performance Artist

1:15 pm-2:45 pm

PANEL: Civil Rights Era Cold Cases

· Janis McDonald & Paula Johnson, Work of the Cold Case Justice Initiative

· Rosa Morris Williams, Granddaughter of Frank Morris who was killed in Ferriday, LA, 1964

· Stanley Nelson, Editor, Concordia Sentinel, Ferriday, LA, who has written over 250 investigative reporting stories on the civil rights era murders of Frank Morris, Wharlest Jackson and Joseph Edwards

· Donald Washington, Fmr. U.S. Attorney for Western District of Louisiana

3:00-5:00 pm

MARTYRS' ROLL CALL

Remembering the Victims of Civil Rights Era Racial Violence and Civil Rights Activists

· Interfaith Community of Central New York

· Redemption A Capella Gospel Group, Syracuse University

· Dance Performance, Cheryl Wilkins-Mitchell, SUNY-Oswego

5:30 pm-7:00 pm

DINNER

8:00-9:30 pm

EXHIBIT AND POETRY JAM

Exhibit, "Making the Movement: Objects, Objectives, and Civil Rights," curated by David Crane; and "Poetry Jam for Civil Rights," coordinated by Cedric Bolton. These events will be held at the Community Folk Art Center (CFAC), in the Syracuse University Department of African American Studies, 805 E. Genesee Street, Syracuse, NY, (315) 442-2230. Free and open to the public. See link for further information about participating in the Poetry Jam for Civil Rights.

SATURDAY, MARCH 22, 2014

(Saturday events will be held at the Newhouse School of Communication)

8:30-9:00 am

Welcome and Program Overview

9:00-10:30 am

BREAKFAST AND CONCURRENT WORKSHOP SESSIONS

Workshops are designed for participants to identify social justice issues and devise agenda items to address them. Workshops will be facilitated by community activists, students, and faculty members with knowledge and involvement in the particular areas. Participants can take advantage of networking and collaboration opportunities.

· Violence on Campuses and in Communities

· Social Media in Social Justice Movements

· Racial, Gender and Social Economic Justice

· Access, Equality and Diversity in Education (K-12 & Higher Education)

11:00 am-12:30 pm

PANEL: Political, Artistic and Journalistic Representations of the Civil Rights Movement and Era

· Dorothy Gilliam, Journalist, First Black woman reporter at the Washington Post

· Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, Musician & Cultural Artist, Founder of the Freedom Singers and Sweet Honey in the Rock Black Women's A Capella Group

· Napoleon Jones Henderson, Mixed-media Artist, In 1968, during the apex of the Chicago Black Arts Movement, Jones-Henderson became involved with a Chicago-based artists’ collective called COBRA (Coalition of Black Revolutionary Artists). The collective changed their name in 1969 to AfriCOBRA (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists). During the formative years of AfriCOBRA, Jones-Henderson created large pictorial weavings that were included in the group’s important series of exhibitions mounted at the Studio Museum in Harlem in the early 1970s. He has been an active member of AfriCOBRA since 1969 and is the longest standing member of the group. In 2011, Jones-Henderson produced Africobra: Art for the People (2011), a documentary about the groups’ involvement with the 1960s Black Arts Movement.

12:30-1:30pm

LUNCH AND CONCURRENT WORKSHOP SESSIONS

Workshops are designed for participants to identify social justice issues and devise agenda items to address them. Participants can take advantage of networking and collaboration opportunities.

· Criminal Justice System and Mass Incarceration

· International Human Rights

· Preserving the History of Racial Justice and Other Social Justice Movements

· Emmett Till Act & Cold Cases: Where Do We Go From Here?

1:30-3:00 pm

MASTER CLASS IN NONVIOLENT ACTIVISM

· REV. C.T. VIVIAN and DIANE NASH

Legendary Civil Rights Movement Activists and Strategists, Organizers of Freedom Rides and Mass Non-violent Protests and Activists in current Social Justice Movements. This will be an interactive session on the use of nonviolent activism on issues in contemporary movements.

3:00-4:30 pm

ACTIVISTS ROUNDTABLE

On December 10, 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. accepted the Nobel Prize for Peace, stating in part, "I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits." This panel will discuss the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement and the ways in which social justice movements influence each other, what social justice activists can learn from each, and where they see the future of social justice activism generally and for their respective movements. The panel will be comprised of intergenerational, multi-movement activists on a variety of social justice fronts, including racial profiling and "stand your ground laws;" disability rights; peace and anti-war activism; gender rights; immigration; Indigenous Peoples' rights. Among the panelists are:

· Philip Agnew, Director, The Dream Defenders, Tallahassee, FL (Stand Your Ground Laws)

· Elvia Arriola, Northern Illinois University (Gender and LGBT Rights)

· Aly Wane, Syracuse Peace Council (Anti-War Activism)

· Diana Reyes, Citizen Action of NY (Immigration)

· Larry Williams, Gang Violence Prevention for City of Syracuse

· Members of Student Organizations

6:30-9:00 pm

Conference Awards Dinner

· Presentation of the Frank Morris Award for Civil and Human Rights

· Honoring Civil Rights Era Activists and Local Social Justice Activists

· Announce Creative Writing Contest Winners

· Performance by Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon and Toshi Reagon

· Evening Concludes

SUNDAY, MARCH 23, 2014

9:00-Noon

Looking Back, Moving Forward Conference Town Hall

· Discuss conference experiences and agenda items for further action

CONFERENCE CONCLUDES