Annual Conferences

Teaching Studying and Promoting Civil Rights and Social Change

The annual conferences of the Hooks Institute have become signature events in the university and greater community. Conferences are constructed around in-depth explorations of local

or national problems that might provide strategies or tactics for addressing local concerns in Memphis.  In this way, the Institute implements its mission of teaching, studying, and promoting civil rights and social change.

Join us in Memphis on April 18- 20, 2012 for our annual conference, Toward a More Perfect Union: Civil Rights, Human Rights, and Creating A New Age of Social Responsibility, at the Michael D. Rose Theatre and other locations at the University of Memphis.  To encourage maximum participation, the Hooks Institute does not charge conference participants a registration fee.  However, a ticket fee will apply to a theatrical performance on April 18, 2012, the first day of the conference.

Please check our website for updates on this performance.

In addition to panels of scholars who will address various civil and human rights issues, highlights of the conference include the following:

April 18, 2012.  Plenary Address.  Kevin Cassidy, External Relations Officer for the International Labour Organization (ILO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, charged with promoting social justice throughout the world by reducing poverty, human, and labor rights violations.

April 19, 2012.  Panel Discussion.  The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same?:  Blacks and the Media. Panelists, Cornelius Moore, California Newsreel; Henri Giles, independent producer, and director, Blacks in Country Music;  Andrew Rojecki, University of Chicago, co-author, The Black Image in the White Mind: Media and Race in America.

April 19, 2012. Special Address.  Professor George Chauncey, Yale University, New Haven, CT.  Gays in America and the African American Experience.

April 19, 2012.  Keynote Address.  Julian Bond, Civil Rights Activist; former Chairman of the NAACP; narrator of the award winning documentary series, Eyes on the Prize; and narrator Duty of the Hour.

April 20, 2012.  Corporate Social Responsibility Panel.  Speakers to be announced.

While there is no registration fee for the conference, we do encourage persons who plan to attend to confirm their attendance by registering their name and other contact information on the Hooks Institute’s conference page.  Noting your attendance allows us to better anticipate space requirements; however, registration is not required for attendance.

Our annual conference will complement the public release of Duty of the Hour, a documentary on the life of Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks, at 5:30 pm on April 20, 2012 at 5:30 pm at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, TN.

Tickets for the Premiere are $125 each. Faculty, staff and students of the University of Memphis are eligible for discounted tickets.