Campus News

Civil rights leaders to visit campus as part of new lecture series

The School of Social Work is hosting a series of lectures this spring that will bring leaders and historians of the civil rights movement to campus. The lectures are part of the course, “The Civil Rights Movement and the Practice of Social Work” taught by Obie Clayton Jr., the inaugural Donald L. Hollowell Professor of Social Justice and Civil Rights Studies.

All lectures, which are blue card events, will be held in the M. Smith Griffith Auditorium at the Georgia Museum of Art. Because of limited seating, the lectures are only open to members of the UGA community.

Preston King, a prolific and widely respected political philosopher and civil rights icon, will open the lecture series Feb. 7 at 1:30 p.m. King earned his undergraduate degree in history from Fisk University in Nashville, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1956.

A native of Albany, King received military service deferments to continue his studies until the Albany draft board discovered he was African American. He lived abroad in exile for nearly 40 years after he was convicted of draft evasion in 1961. King spent his life building a distinguished academic career around the world. He received his doctorate from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1966.

King returned to the U.S. in 2000, when he was pardoned by President Bill Clinton. He now lives in Atlanta, where he is affiliated with both Morehouse College and Emory University. He serves as scholar-in-residence at the Leadership Center at Morehouse. At Emory, he serves as distinguished professor of political philosophy and is also editor of Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, which he founded.

Lonnie C. King Jr., a founding member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, will lecture Feb. 14 at 1:30 p.m.

King is also one of the authors of  “An Appeal for Human Rights,” published March 9, 1960, in various Atlanta area newspapers, which kicked off the Atlanta Student Movement. Days after the appeal was published, King, along with friend Julian Bond and others, helped organize nonviolent sit-ins and boycotts around the city. King was the plaintiff in the lawsuit that desegregated all court houses, public parks, swimming pools and recreational centers in Atlanta.

King is the former president of the Atlanta chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and was responsible for recruiting Alonzo Crim to serve as the first African-American superintendent in the South. He has held teaching positions from the elementary to the ­collegiate level. King opened the Peachtree Hope Charter School in Atlanta in 2010. He plans to organize several more charter schools throughout the state in the neighborhoods where students are under achieving.

After graduating from Morehouse College in 1969, King earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Baltimore. He lives in Atlanta and is currently teaching history at Georgia State University and completing his Ph.D., also in history.

Earl Lewis, the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Emory University, will close the lecture series March 6 at 3 p.m.

Lewis, who also is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of History and African American Studies at Emory, has held various academic positions across the country and received numerous national awards for his academic achievements. Lewis, who earned degrees in history and psychology, is an expert in African-American history and has published books, articles, essays and reviews on American and African-American history.

Lewis holds an honorary degree from Concordia College and was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008.