Campus News

Social Work lecture series to bring civil rights icons to UGA

Athens, Ga. – The School of Social Work is hosting a series of civil rights lectures this spring that will bring leaders and historians of the civil rights movement to the University of Georgia 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 will be held in the M. Smith Griffith Auditorium at the Georgia Museum of Art and are blue card events for UGA students.

The schedule of the lectures is as follows:

Preston King – Feb. 7, 1:30 p.m.
Preston King, a prolific and widely respected political philosopher and civil rights icon, earned his undergraduate degree in history from Fisk University in Nashville, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1956. A native of Albany, Ga., 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 almost 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 Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1966.

King returned to the U.S. in 2000 when President Bill Clinton pardoned him. 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, where he serves as distinguished professor of political philosophy, he also is editor of Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, which he founded.

Lonnie C. King, Jr. – Feb. 14, 1:30 p.m.
Lonnie C. King, Jr. is a founding member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and 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 courthouses, public parks, swimming pools and recreational centers in Atlanta. He has received countless recognitions and honors for his role in the civil rights movement.

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, Ph.D. to serve as the first African-American superintendent in the south. He has held teaching positions from the elementary to 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 neighborhoods where students are not achieving.

King graduated from Morehouse College in 1969 and earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Baltimore. He still lives in Atlanta and continues his involvement in the civil rights movement through his work commemorating the movement and working with disadvantaged Atlanta youth. He currently teaches history at Georgia State University and is completing his Ph.D., also in history.

Earl Lewis – March 6, 3:00 p.m.
Earl Lewis is the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of History and African-American Studies at Emory University. Lewis has held various academic positions across the country and has 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 acclaimed books, articles, essays and reviews on the subject.

Lewis is the author of In Their Own Interests: Race, Class and Power in 20th Century Norfolk (University of California Press, 1993) and the award-winning To Make Our World Anew: A History of African Americans (Oxford University Press, 2000). Between 1997 and 2000, he co-edited the 11-volume The Young Oxford History of African Americans. Lewis co-authored the widely acclaimed Love on Trial: An American Scandal in Black and White, published in 2001 by WW Norton. His most recent books are The African American Urban Experience: Perspectives from the Colonial Period to the Present, co-edited and published with Palgrave (2004), and co-wrote Defending Diversity: Affirmative Action at the University of Michigan, published by the University of Michigan Press (2004). He is co-editor of the award-winning book series American Crossroads (University of California Press). Lewis holds an honorary degree from Concordia College and was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008.

The School of Social Work recently established the Donald L. Hollowell Distinguished Professorship of Social Justice and Civil Rights Studies named in honor of Hollowell, the civil rights attorney who fought to desegregate UGA. The professorship is the first distinguished one named for an African American at UGA.

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