Butler University's Communication and Media Studies Department Presents:
Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza: "How Queer Justice Could Dissolve White Supremacy Culture"
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 | 6:00 PM | Virtual Event via Zoom Webinar | BCR Credit
Made possible by the generous support of Andre Latia and Chuck Bright and the NEH/Frederic M. Ayres Fund | Cosponsored with Indy Pride, Inc.
What is queer justice? When we imagine a transformational path toward accountability and healing, we often need to look to alternative ways of being. Queerness offers ways of being that allow for wholeness and complexity; methods distilled from living on the margins. When we leverage queer ways of thinking, doing, and being, we can create conditions for healthy, relational modes of justice making and equity to emerge. Queer justice opens up more possibilities and points us away from the harms of white supremacy culture. When we learn this kind of justice work, we build and steward new realities in which transformation and resilience are central.
Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, PhD, is a non-binary Transgender and queer Latinx activist scholar. Their dynamic and inspiring presentations explore the Intersections of queer justice and anti-racism, working to dismantle supremacy cultures and displace the toxic culture of whiteness. They are passionate about gender justice as human rights work, and bridging differences within our communities, campuses, and churches. Dr. Robyn is the author of Activist Theology, published by Fortress Press (2019), in its second printing, and is also available on Audible. This searing and personal book bridges the gap between academia and activism, bringing the wisdom of the streets to the work of scholarship, all for the sake of political liberation and social change for marginalized communities. Robyn is currently at work on their second book, Becoming Embodied: a Vision for Democracy. Trained as an interdisciplinary scholar, they are the founder of the Activist Theology Project, a collaborative project based in Nashville, TN, working to incubate sustainable change for social healing. They are also a Visiting Scholar at the Vanderbilt University Divinity School and Visiting Professor at Duke University Divinity School. Robyn was named one of 10 Faith Leaders to Watch in 2018 by the Center for American Progress.
CCOM DISTINGUISHED LECTURE
Jerry Mitchell: "The Power of the Press"
Tuesday, September 12, 2020 | 7:00–8:30 PM | Virtual Event | BCR Credit
The stories of investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell have helped put four Klansmen and a serial killer behind bars. His stories have also exposed injustices and corruption, prompting investigations, state reforms, and the firings of boards and officials. He is a Pulitzer Prize finalist, a longtime member of Investigative Reporters & Editors, and a winner of more than 30 other national awards, including a $500,000 MacArthur “genius” grant.
His memoir for Simon & Schuster, Race Against Time, follows him on his journey as he pursues unsolved murder cases from the Civil Rights Era. The book, which reads like a detective story, has already drawn the praise of Pulitzer-winning historians and others. Author John Grisham raved after reading Race Against Time,“For almost two decades, investigative journalist Jerry Mitchell doggedly pursued the Klansmen responsible for some of the most notorious murders of the civil rights movement. This book is his amazing story. Thanks to him, and to courageous prosecutors, witnesses and FBI agents, justice finally prevailed.”
After working for three decades for the statewide Clarion-Ledger, Mitchell left in 2019 and founded the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting, a nonprofit that exposes corruption, malfeasance and injustices, investigates cold cases, empowers citizens and raises up the next generation of investigative reporters. This event is free and open to the first 500 attendees.
THE OFFICE OF THE PROVOST AND THE COLLEGE OF COMMUNICATION PRESENT
Wendi C. Thomas: "Pursuing Dr. Martin Luther King's Dream of Justice Through Journalism"
in Celebration of Black History MonthWith generous support from the NEH/Frederic M. Ayres Fund
Monday, Feburary 17, 2020 | 6:00 PM | Johnson Room | BCR Credit
Wendi C. Thomas is the editor and publisher of MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, a nonprofit newsroom in Memphis focused on poverty, power and public policy. As part of ProPublica’s 2019 Local Reporting Network, her investigation into a nonprofit hospital that sued thousands of patients led to the hospital erasing at least $11.9 million in debt for more than 5,300 defendants. She is also part of ProPublica’s 2020 Local Reporting Network. Previously she was metro columnist and assistant managing editor at The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal. She’s also worked for The Charlotte Observer, The (Nashville) Tennessean and The Indianapolis Star. Thomas was a 2016 fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.
In 2019, Thomas received the National Association of Black Journalists’ Best Practices award. In 2018, she was named Journalist of the Year by Journalism and Women Symposium. She was inducted into the Scripps Hall of Fame for commentary in 2008. She’s a proud product of the Memphis City Schools and a 1993 graduate of Butler University.