Athens, Ga. – Billy Close, a faculty member of the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University, will speak on “Beyond Conceptual Incarceration”at the University of Georgia on Monday, Oct. 27 in Adinkra Hall (Memorial Hall-4th Floor), 12:15 -1:15 p.m.
Close will be joined by Garrett Johnson, a Rhodes Scholar and former student-athlete at Florida State University, later that day, 4:15 – 5:30 p.m. at the Boys & Girls Club on Oconee Street to speak on “Beyond the Athlete: Encouraging Life Skills Outside the Lines.”
Both events are free and open to the public and are sponsored by the Delta Psi Boulé of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and supported by UGA’s Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, Office of the President, Institute for African American Studies and the Black Male Leadership Society, the Athens Alumni and Zeta Iota Chapters of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and the Boys and Girls Club of Athens.
Close has served as both the assistant and acting director of the FSU Black Studies Program, co-principal investigator and director for the Brotherhood of Pride Academy for Young Black Males and as a research consultant to the Racial and Ethnic Bias Study Commission for the Florida Supreme Court. He is the recipient of many professional and academic honors including two FSU teaching awards, the Dr. Martin Luther King Distinguished Service Award, the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship, and the Russell V. Ewald Award for Academic Excellence and Human Service. His current research interests include theory and dynamics of minority criminality, racial profiling, sports and crime, mentoring strategies for African-American youth, ethnicity and methodology, black crimmythology, conflict reduction and multiculturalism.
Johnson is a native of Tampa and recently completed his master of Philosophy in migration studies at the University of Oxford. Johnson graduated magna cum laude in three years with a double major in political science and English from Florida State University in 2005. At FSU, Johnson was named the 2005 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. He was a three-time ACC Academic Honor Roll member and earned the Florida State Golden Torch Award given to the FSU student-athlete with the highest GPA. In addition to his academic success to date, Johnson is also the 2006 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Shot Put champion, currently ranked among the top 10 shot put throwers in the world.
Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity is the oldest black Greek-letter organization in the United States, founded in 1904 in Philadelphia. A mission of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity is to bring together like-minded men to provide service and outreach to the community. Towards this end, the Delta Psi Boulé of Athens is committed to sponsoring programmatic events and supporting educational endeavors that foster and project a more positive image of African Americans in general and black males in particular.