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'Blacktivism' is theme at student conference

By Leslie King | Emory Report | Feb. 18, 2015

A first-time, student-organized conference, Black at Emory University: Activism in a "Post-Racial" Society, will take place Saturday, Feb. 21, at the Math and Science Center.

Registration and check-in are from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. and the conference, which is free, ends at 5:30 p.m.

“The post-racial part is put in quotation marks to emphasize that we are not in a post-racial society at all,” says conference organizer Casidy Campbell, a junior in Emory College.

Campbell describes the conference as a continuation of Emory's own “blacktivism” movement: Black at Emory University. Inspired to plan a conference at Emory, Campbell finds synergy in national events, noting Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and the “I, Too, Am Harvard” movements.

The focus will be on black bodies that occupy white spaces as well as activism, she says, with the goal of providing students with a heightened sense of identity by affirming their experiences in these white spaces and of their own self-worth.  Another goal, Campbell says, is to give students the tools “to create ‘safe spaces’ and be effective activists in their respective communities.”

The keynote panel will feature Nsenga Burton, founder of the TheBurtonWire.com and editor-at-large for TheRoot.com and a professor and chair of communication and media studies at Goucher College. Another panelist will be Chanel Craft Tanner, associate director of Emory’s Center for Women and a writer for and member of the CrunkFeministCollective. 

There will be 90-minute workshops, theoretical table talks, and a Black Lives Matter photo shoot.

Sponsors include the Center for Women, the Office of Student Leadership and Service and the Black Student Alliance.