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"The Fire This Time: Citizenship, Civil Rights, and New Racisims in the 21st Century"

When Mar 25, 2016
from 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM
Where Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library
Contact Phone 814-863-4243
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The Fire This Time Flyer

Brief overview of the Symposium:

Since the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in August 2014, the #BlackLivesMatter movement has emerged as a forceful political response to police killings of unarmed Black civilians. The development of this new social movement coincided with the 50th anniversary of several watershed events in the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, including the Freedom Summer voter registration campaign (1964) and the passage of the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Voting Rights Act (1965). While these milestones clearly warrant commemoration and celebration, the growth of the Black Lives Matter movement demonstrates that these landmark gains remain imperiled despite the triumphant narrative of social progress that characterizes much of contemporary mainstream. racial discourse. The Fire This Time symposium brings together scholars, artists, and activists to reflect on the legacy of the Civil Rights movement for the current historical moment and the implications of new black social justice movements that focus on race and criminalization, mass incarceration, and the broader impacts of the War on Drugs. This symposium engages in interdisciplinary debates about how ongoing forms of structural anti-black racism have been reconstituted in the era of neoliberal multiculturalism, the militarization of domestic policing in the post-Civil Rights era, the multiple forms through which state violence is enacted in Black communities throughout the Diaspora, and how a new generation of anti-racist, feminist, and queer activists are interrogating and rearticulating commonsense understandings of race, democracy, citizenship, protest, and the meanings of racial justice in the 21st century.


Symposium schedule:

9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Welcome from the College of the Liberal Arts

Paul Taylor, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, College of the Liberal Arts, Associate Professor of African American Studies and Philosophy


9:15 a.m. –  9:30 a.m.

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Kathryn Gines, Head of African American Studies at Penn State University, Associate Professor of Philosophy


9:30 a.m. – 9:35 a.m.

Keynote Lecture Introduction

Courtney Desiree Morris, Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


9:35 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Keynote Lecture

Opal Tometi, Co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Movement


11:05 a.m. – 12:25 p.m.

Movement Building: Youth, Art and Activism

Moderator: Juli Grigsby, Postdoctoral Fellow, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Vee Bravo, Media Activist and Vice President of Education Programs, Tribeca Film Institute
Jasmine Burnett, Sex Educator and Reproductive Justice Advocate and Founder of Aunt Betty’s Basement
H. Lavar Pope, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science, Ohio University


12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.  

Lunch (we will return at 2:00 p.m.)


2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

From We Are Penn State to Black Lives Matter: Student Activism at Penn State

Moderator: AnneMarie Mingo, Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Anna Diaz, Community Narrative Project
Brian Davis, President, Social Justice Coalition
Genevieve Longerie, President, The Black Caucus
Wideline Seraphin, Community Narrative Project


3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The Constant Struggle: Reflections on Civil Rights and Racial Justice

Moderator: Crystal Sanders, Assistant Professor of History and African American Studies
Diana Freelon-Foster, Founder and Director of Activists with a Purpose and Organizer for Southern Echo
Nan Woodruff, Professor of Modern U.S. History and African American Studies



Co-sponsored by the Africana Research Center (ARC), Institute for the Arts & Humanities (IAH), the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center, the College of the Liberal Arts offices for Undergraduate Studies, and the University Libraries

Department of African American Studies, The Pennsylvania State University
133 Willard Building, University Park, PA 16802
Ph: 814-863-4243 | Fax: 814-863-3578 | Email: