Campus News

UGA’s Parham Policy Day to focus on civil rights history and minority health issues

Athens, Ga. – Noted civil rights activists Lonnie C. King Jr. and Roslyn Pope, and minority health policy expert Travis Patton will speak at the University of Georgia School of Social Work’s Parham Policy Day, which will be held Nov. 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Tate Student Center on the UGA campus.

The annual event, which highlights the lasting positive impacts of well-crafted social policy, also features a discussion panel and display of student research posters. King, Pope and Patton will address attendees beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the Reception Hall of the Tate Student Center. This year’s theme is “Looking Back and Moving Forward: A Celebration of 50 Years of the Civil Rights Movement.”

Following the guest speaker presentations, there will be a panel discussion with speakers from local Athens area agencies. They will discuss the impact of civil and human rights in relation to recent social justice movements. The event will also feature a display of policy research posters presented by graduate students in Hopps’ social welfare policy class. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. The event is free and open to the public.

In 1960, both King and Pope played key roles in the Atlanta Student Movement, which advocated for the civil rights of African Americans in that city.

King helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and with the committee oversaw development of the document known as “An Appeal for Human Rights.”

Pope, then president of the Student Government Association of Spelman College, drafted the declaration, which described social inequities and called for complete racial desegregation by nonviolent means. The declaration, further shaped with input from the SNCC, was approved by students representing six Atlanta-area African American institutions of higher education. Its publication in major newspapers sparked widespread civil disobedience.

King and Pope continued their activism throughout the 1960s, participating in numerous sit-ins, boycotts and marches.

Pope worked as an organizer behind the scenes not just for desegregation but also for fair wages and hiring practices. She went on to become a lecturer of English and humanities at Atlanta Metropolitan State College. She recently received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Spelman College.

King acted as the plaintiff in a lawsuit that desegregated public parks, swimming pools, recreational centers and courthouses in Atlanta. He also served as president of the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP. King taught history at Georgia State University and remains active in education issues for disadvantaged youth.

Patton is former project director of the National Minority Male Health Project, a multi-institutional collaborative dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles among minority males. Member institutions work within their communities to address issues such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, accidental injuries and sexually transmitted infections. Patton oversaw a project that tackled childhood obesity through an intervention intended to change the attitudes and behaviors of youth toward healthy eating and exercise. He also provided technical assistance and training to organizations supplying reproductive health services to men. Patton currently serves as an adjunct professor of sociology at Morehouse College.

Parham Policy Day is named for the late Thomas M. “Jim” Parham, who was a professor in the School of Social Work and the first commissioner of the Georgia Department of Human Resources under Jimmy Carter. The event is organized by graduate students studying social policy in the School of Social Work and directed by June Gary Hopps, Parham Professor of Family and Children Studies. Hopps was also a member of the Atlanta Student Movement while attending Spelman College and Atlanta University.

School of Social Work
Founded in 1964, the University of Georgia School of Social Work provides instruction, research and hands-on training in social work practice while emphasizing the integration of social work with social justice. For more information on the School of Social Work, see