Campus News

15th Annual Civil Rights Conference runs through Feb. 27; Florence Roach performance cancelled Monday, Feb. 23


Contact 1: Erin Chesnut


MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin’s 15th annual Civil Rights Conference runs this week through Feb. 27 and will focus on the theme “LBJ and the Great Society at 50.” Mark Updegrove, director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, will deliver the keynote address at 7 p.m., Feb. 26, in Watkins Auditorium of the Boling University Center.

In addition to his duties as library director, Updegrove is also an analyst for ABC News and a contributing editor for PARADE Magazine. He has authored three books relating to the American presidency and has conducted exclusive interviews with five U.S. presidents. Updegrove has served as U.S. publisher of Newsweek, president of TIME Canada and manager of TIME Los Angeles, and has written for American Heritage, The Nation, National Geographic, Parade, Texas Monthly and TIME.

A performance by Florence Roach, an actress and producer from Memphis, scheduled for 7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 23, is cancelled because of inclement weather. The remainder of the conference will continue as scheduled.

A presentation titled “50 Years of Juvenile Literature – Focus on African American Civil Rights” is scheduled for 12:15 p.m., Feb. 24, in the Paul Meek Library Media Center. Dr. Julie Hill, associate professor of music, and her percussion students will present “Roots of Rhythm” at 7:30 p.m., Feb 24, and again at noon, Feb. 25, in the Harriet Fulton Theater of the Fine Arts Building. Also at noon, Feb. 25, there will be a black writers roundtable discussion in the Hortense Parrish Writing Center.

The final day of the conference will begin at 9:30 a.m. with a presentation by Dr. Rebecca Miller Davis, assistant teaching professor of history, University of Missouri, Kansas City, titled “Crossing the Bridge: Selma and Voting Rights.” The day will continue with presentations by Dr. Henry Parker, professor, UT Martin Department of History and Philosophy, and Dr. Laurie Green, associate professor of history, University of Texas at Austin. Green is also an Organization of American Historians distinguished lecturer. Parker will speak on “One Man’s Fight for Equality” at 11 a.m., and Green will discuss “Hunger and Race in Memphis” at 1 p.m. Tammy Wade, Head Start program manager, will then present a history of Head Start and its importance in the lives of poor children at 2:30 p.m. Updegrove will speak at 7 p.m.

All events will be held in Watkins Auditorium of the Boling University Center, unless otherwise noted. Events are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Dr. Renee LaFleur, assistant professor, Department of History and Philosophy, at 731-881-7534 or by email at


CUTLINE: President Lyndon B. Johnson (far right) meets with Martin Luther King Jr. (center) and other civil rights activists Jan 18, 1964. (LBJ Library Digital Collections)


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