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UT Martin Hosts Nation's Oldest Civil Rights Conference


This week, the University of Tennessee at Martin hosts "Freedom Summer: Fifty Years Later." It's their 14th Annual Civil Rights Conference featuring keynote speaker Mr. Dave Dennis, who participated in the first Freedom Bus ride from Montgomery, Alabama and in voter registration efforts during the 1964 Freedom Summer. Today, he works as the director and CEO of the Southern Initiative of the Algebra Project, a nonprofit that aims to improve mathematics education for minority children. UTM Department of History faculty member Dr. Renee LaFleur is coordinator for the conference and speaks with Kate Lochte about its events on Sounds Good.

"There's been quite a bit of work in the last 15 years or so emphasizing the Black Power and Black Panther side of the Civil Rights movement. Most people are very familiar with martin Luther King, Jr. and non-violence, and Black Power and the Black Panther party are things that people are less likely to talk about because they're associated with violence...but they're an important part of the black experience and an important part of Civil Rights."

  Tonight, February 25, one can attend "Roots of Rhythm" featuring Dr. Julie Hall and the UTM Percussion Students, beginning at 7:30 in Fulton Theatre of the Fine Arts Building. There's another performance tomorrow (February 26) at noon. Thursday's (February 27) conference speakers are in Watkins Auditorium.

More about UTM's 14th Annual Civil Rights Conference.

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