Race and Hate Crimes in America Forum

Jillian Melero

FAU hosts the South Florida premier of the documentary “Hate Crimes in the Heartland” Feb. 11, 5-7 p.m. with a discussion panel to follow

Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot and killed while walking home in Sanford, Fla. in February 2012.

Jordan Davis, 17, was shot and killed while sitting in his car, listening to music with some friends in Jacksonville, Fla., in November 2012.

Jonathan Ferrell, 24, was shot 10 times and killed by police after surviving a car wreck and seeking help at a nearby home in Charlotte, N.C., in January 2013.

None of these men were committing any crimes.
None of them were armed.
All three of them were black.
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Since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and even the 2008 election of America’s first black president, the U.S. has taken many strides in the pursuit of equal rights — but, many feel that despite the leaps we have made toward equality, we still have a long march ahead of us when it comes to social justice.
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On Tuesday, Feb. 11, Florida Atlantic University will be hosting a forum titled “Race and Hate Crimes in America” honoring Black History Month. The event will take place from 5–7 p.m., in the Sean Stein Pavilion, in BU 120.

Tickets are free, but guests are strongly encouraged to RSVP through:
http://www.hchfloridascreening.eventbrite.com

The forum will include a screening of a new documentary, “Hate Crimes in the Heartland.” The film focuses on two particular hate crimes committed in Tulsa, Okla., in 1921 and 2012.

The documentary’s writer, director and producer, Rachel Lyon will also be participating in the discussion panel.

The event is being presented by FAU’s Agora Project, the Division of Student Affairs and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

“We are very fortunate to host the Florida premiere of this important documentary and are honored to have such expert panelists participating in this important conversation,” says Dr. William Trapani, director of FAU’s Agora Project.

The Agora Project aims to encourage civil discourse and civic engagement through forums and events.

The discussion panel will include community and civil rights activists from FAU campus and the surrounding communities, including:

Graham Brown — President of the FAU chapter of Dream Defenders
The Dream Defenders focus is on educating and organizing students and citizens in the use of civic engagement, civil disobedience and nonviolent protests to effect positive change.

Bill Diggs — Founder of 100 Black Men of South Florida
100 Black Men is a civic organization dedicated to the intellectual development and economic empowerment of the African American community through mentoring, education, and health and wellness programs.

Pablo del Real — Community activist and head of Aurora’s Voice.
Aurora’s Voice is a non-profit organization that aims to continue the works of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. through projects such as Ppoll Now, Sow Share and the Interfaith Café.

Dr. Christopher Strain — Professor of American Studies at FAU’s Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College
Dr. Strain specializes in recent U.S. history with an emphasis on African-American studies. His research covers civil rights, hate crime, violence and the American dream.

Rhonda Swan — Palm Beach Post editorial board member and columnist
Swan has covered topics ranging from local and national politics and legislative issues to religion. Swan has taken a special interest in stories such as the Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis cases.

The forum session will be moderated by Dr. Derrick White, associate professor of history at FAU. Dr. White is the author of “The Challenge of Blackness: The Institute of the Black World and Political Activism in the 1970s.” He is also the co-editor of “Civil Rights and the Presidency from Nixon to Obama” (2013)

Forum organizers hope this event will help guide students forward in the long march toward equality and social justice.

“Hate crimes against all peoples continue to rise and in this — the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act — it is important for all of us to reflect on the constructive dialogue and steps we can take to reduce intolerance and incidences of hate crimes in our communities,” says Trapani.
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Related Links-

Tickets to Hate Crimes in the Heartland screening can be reserved at www.hchfloridascreening.eventbrite.com

dreamdefenders.org
100blackmen.org
aurorasvoice.org

For more information on the Agora Project visit:

Agora Project

FAU Agora News