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Interdisciplinary Conference on Race

Cognizant of the current economic and societal climate, the Race Conference committee is waiving registration fees for this year’s event in order to further the goals of open, active, and unhampered engagement.

Monmouth University’s Seventh Biennial Interdisciplinary Conference on Race
Public Spaces, Private Places: Constructing Race and Liberation 
Virtual Conference

Program of Events

Thursday, November 3: Opening Event (Registration Required)

3-4 p.m. — Fighting Time

In-person opening event in Pollak Theatre.

Friday, November 4: Virtual Conference (Registration Required)

8:30-9:50 a.m. — Reclaiming Physical and Mental Spaces

Placing the Mind: Race and Caste in the New Thought Movement in early 20th century United States. Tuhina Ganguly, Ph.D.

The New Thought movement, a metaphysical movement focusing on the power of the mind, rose to prominence in early 20th c. United States. Broadly speaking, New Thought leaders promoted mind-body healing based on the premise that the mind can be trained to attune itself to the Divine/Christ within. Although considered quintessentially American, a closer look at some of the key proponents compels us to interrogate the complex socio-political context of its making. By focusing on the life and thought of a Bengali Indian man Akhoy Kumar Mozumdar (1881-1953), founder of a Christian Yoga Society and New Thought proponent, first Hindu American citizen, and early Indian immigrant film maker, the paper reveals how discourses of racial purity in the United States were implicated in discourses of caste and Aryan race theory transposed to American shores from overseas. The paper argues that Mozumdar’s universalist teachings on the power of the human mind jostled with discourses of racial and caste purity that were crucial to him gaining American citizenship and garnering acceptance as a spiritual teacher among white audiences. Mozumdar’s work also alerts us to the ways in which the New Thought movement, positing that the inner mental world is the only reality, was not immune to the external conditions of race, class, and caste as formed in the United States and elsewhere. Thus, attempts to ‘place’ the American mind in history takes us well beyond its own geopolitical borders to longer and wider networks of race-caste continuums.

Criminalize or Support: A case for changing state education code Jodi Moon

Given Exclusionary discipline, or the act of removing a student from the school without services (e.g. out-of-school suspensions and expulsions) remains a common practice, despite mounting evidence that it should be all but eliminated. Students who have been suspended or expelled are more likely to utilize SNAP benefits as an adult, less likely to graduate, and more likely to have contact with the court system. Research shows not only that excessive discipline is disproportionately applied to students of color, it has disparate impacts on them as well. And, contact with the juvenile justice system simply increases the negative impacts. Our study seeks to address one facet of student behavior that frequently results in students missing school or entering the criminal justice system: drug-related incidents. How do states prescribe the school district response to drug-related incidents in school or at a school related function? What is required, and what is left to discretion? We analyze the state education code of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, and present findings to support the premise that there may be reason for some states to examine their codified law.

Video Evidence, Excessive Force and The Hyper-Visibility of Black Mobility on Public Transit Chante Barnwell

Complex discriminatory lines are often drawn when the effects of seeing, race, space and gender are considered in tandem. Scholar Lyndsey P. Beutin notes that “racialization remains a way of seeing—power’s embedded gaze—even if, and perhaps especially when, liberal institutions no longer “see” race” (Beutin, 2017, p. 12). In my proposed presentation, I will explore how racialized seeing has manifested and affected Black mobility on public transit, examining the case of a Black Toronto resident who was stereotyped as a criminal, ridiculed and subsequently violently assaulted near a Toronto streetcar by off-duty Transit Fare Inspectors. It was the young man’s prolonged gaze that sparked the severity of his surveillance. A mundane bodily gesture that was considered a threat to the passengers using a communal mode of transportation. Both CCTV and bystander video captured the incident. Therefore, I suggest that the video evidence, the institutional investigation following the assault and the subsequent creation of an anti-racism strategy, speak to the “paradoxical role video evidence holds”,(Beutin, 2017, p. 1) in race-based cases where racialized ways of seeing play a role. Furthermore, through my presentation, I will demonstrate that the video footage fits what scholar J. Brendan Shaw has defined as open and closed temporalities,(Shaw, 2018, p. 43) as it upholds and denounces the “gaze of the state” (Shaw, 2018, p. 44). Therefore, I determine that the video evidence contributes to a vilifying and vindicating outcome for the young man, which feeds a sliding scale of justice.

10:05 a.m.-11:25 a.m. — Identity through Spatial Construction

Freedom and Identity During The American Revolution Alexandra Riley

This paper is based on African-American individuals that were able to develop their own personal identity during the Revolutionary War. In this paper, I go in detail about poet Phillis Wheatley, Boston Massacre martyr Crispus Attucks, slave turned hero James Armistead Lafayette, and Colonel Tye. These four have their own stories that make them unique and how they contributed to the American story.

Enslaved People and the Making of their Own Space: Archaeology at a Late 17th to early 18th Century Plantation in Burlington County, New Jersey Adam R. Heinrich

When Restore Lippincott, a very prominent New Jersey Quaker leader, died in 1741, he passed two enslaved people on to a son. The complex documentary history reveals the family engaged in owning Black and Native American laborers as well as hiring indentured and seasonal labor. In 2018, excavations at the Restore Lippincott Homestead site (28-Bu-921) examined an out-building that served as a quarters for these laborers until it burned c. 1730. The building contained subfloor deposits along with a sub-floor pit containing a range of spiritual objects, faunal remains, tobacco pipes, lithic scrapers, a grinding stone, and sewing equipment representing their work and culture. The archaeological finds within this buildings show how the enslaved peoples created a space where they were able to express their identities through the practice of their traditional cultures outside the gaze of their enslavers. The artifacts and features show a continuation and creolization of Chesapeake, West African, as well as pre-Contact Native American culture.

Apparent Invisibility: Religio-Racial Place-Making, History, and Memory in Virginia’s New River Valley, from the Nineteenth Century to the Present Geoffrey Pollick

Nestled in a wide bend of the New River Valley, Radford City was incorporated in 1887, structuring space in the Appalachian borderlands of Southwest Virginia. At the city’s center, on the edge of a high bluff, stands an abandoned brick house called Arnheim. Barely visible from Main Street, below, this structure holds the stories of the city’s beginnings, stories that remain largely forgotten. The house was commissioned by John Radford around 1838, as he established a home and began a family with his spouse, Elizabeth Radford. But the Radfords weren’t the only residents. They enslaved at least 15 people of African descent, whom they bound to labor in the household and surrounding estate. As nearby settlements expanded, this complex community formed numerous Christian congregations during the mid-nineteenth century. Tracing effects that flowed from the formation of various Christian groups, their diversification, and the location of their buildings throughout the area’s geography, this paper explores the role of religio-racial identity, à la Judith Weisenfeld, as an influential component in shaping the sense of place in this area, both historically and in recent acts of remembrance and forgetting. I construct what John Corrigan theorizes as a “genealogy of emplacement” to contemplate religious community formation as a strategy to express collective identity in an environment of contested racial power. Still standing, but obstinately ignored, Arnheim presents the common American puzzle of clearly apparent, longstanding racial inequalities that recede into everyday invisibility, whether from their ubiquity or from public resistance to accountability and change.

Claiming Panel Space: Black History in Early History Comics Maryanne A. Rhett

This paper will look at the narrative of Black history in early history comics, appearing between the middle of the 1800s through the early 1940s. History comics while often written by and presented to a largely white audience, intentionally or not, _colored_ historical narratives in the process. Two titles in particular, “What American Histories Omit” and “Your History” bucked this trend, presenting historical narratives focused on African American and African diasporic experiences. Moreover, other titles did some to incorporate Black narratives in their stories as well, making even these early examples of history comics more narratively diverse than may have been expected.

11:40 a.m.-1 p.m. — Storytelling, Representation, and Authenticity

Race, Racism and Privilege on Campus: Sociology meets Theatre Rachelle J. Brunn-Bevel

This presentation focuses on an interview and reflection paper assignment that I designed for an undergraduate Sociology of Education (SOCI 2300) class. For the interview portion, I collaborated with theatre colleagues who were developing a play on race and privilege. Project X is an original performance produced by faculty members in response to the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter Movement in 2020 due to the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor.

The Project X script is based on interviews with current students, alumni, faculty, staff and administrators detailing first-hand experiences with race and racism on campus. Students in SOCI 2300 interviewed another undergraduate student about race and privilege in Spring 2021. The interviews were recorded and shared with the Project X team. Students submitted a 3-5-page reflection paper discussing the interview and their own experiences of race, class and gender inequality at the university.
This assignment assesses two student learning outcomes. Analyze your own social identities, cultural values and privilege by writing reflection papers to assess how your race, ethnicity, class, and gender have shaped your educational experiences. Recognize the importance of educational context – a predominantly white, private university- for understanding students’ outcomes and experiences.

In December 2021, Project X highlighted the marginalization that many students, staff and faculty of color experience at the university. The assignment underscored the importance of place and space illustrating how minoritized students and employees of color often struggle to feel a true sense of belonging in mainstream campus life.

A Hypocritical Annexation: Black Culture in the LGBTQ+ Community Tiersa Lené Curry

This proposed session will explore the intra-group conflicts within the LGBTQ+ community between white and Black individuals. Black culture in the United States has shaped much of the LGBTQ+ community into what it is today, but the creators are not recognized for their efforts. Their ostracism led to the creation of modern-day ball culture, which began in the early 1900s, as well as the fight for queer equality in the late 1950s through the 1960s. Although some of these events are discussed in modern society, Black LGBTQ+ individuals are rarely credited, even with the evidence of their influences in modern-day drag, in the ever-popular vernacular seen on websites like Twitter and TikTok, and in music and dance; the LGBTQ+ community’s identity is shaped by Black culture. I hope my target audience will come away with a better understanding of the ways in which the promotion of white gay liberalism in turn diminishes, demeans, and invalidates the existence and identities of Black members of the LGBTQ+ community. I would like to create an open dialogue about the problems with equating racism and homophobia, the different ways in which racism is perpetuated in the LGBTQ+ community, as well as give credit to the Black individuals who are and have been at the forefront of the shaping of LGBTQ+ culture and politics in the United States. Another goal is to talk about the ways that we as a community can push for equal rights that take all peoples’ intersectionalities into account.

Differential Accessibility and Recognition: Examining Disparities in Spain’s Ley Trans among Native-Born and Foreign-Born Trans Individuals within the LGBTI+ Collective Mirtha Garcia

In this research paper, I address the following research question: Does the government of Spain and the media outlets represent the experience of trans migrants? I examine this question through a nested case study in Spain. At the national-level, I ask: Are native-born and foreign-born individuals represented equally in national media outlets and does the ley trans provide equal rights and protections for native born and foreign born trans individuals? At the subnational level, I will ask: Do LGTBI+ organizations represent the issues of both native-born and foreign-born trans individuals? And finally, at the individual-level, I ask: Do foreign-born trans individuals in neighboring European countries have similar experiences navigating the immigration system as foreign-born trans individuals in Spain?

1:15 p.m.-2:35 p.m. — The OK Trenton Project

Screening of the play The OK Trenton Project, followed by a talkback and Q&A
Jonathan Conner

This session will include a screening of the play “The OK Trenton Project” followed by a talkback and Q&A diving into the topics and takeaways from the play which revolve around race, artistic intent, policing, community building, and education in an underserved city like Trenton, NJ.

In 2017, a group of Trenton students spent their summer creating a sculpture entitled “Helping Hands.” They learned the skills necessary to build something out of nothing with the promise of their work being publicly displayed in their community. Four days after installation, the sculpture was removed due to anonymous complaints that the piece too closely resembled a gang symbol. 

Based on a true story and composed of verbatim interviews from those directly involved, “The OK Trenton Project” is an experience that explores the role art plays in our community and the consequences we face when it’s taken away. 

Through the course of researching the play, ensemble members made connections to other events related to public art before and after, providing additional context to how art can uncover power dynamics and ultimately effect a community.

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. — Darnell Moore, Vice President, Inclusion Strategy at Netflix

A Discussion with Darnell Moore Moderated by Zaneta Rago-Craft, Ed.D.

Darnell L. Moore is a media maker, educator, writer and thought leader whose work on marginal identity, equity, and social justice has enabled him to be in community with those creating impact in the U.S. and abroad over the past two decades.

He is currently vice president of Inclusion Strategy for Content and Marketing at Netflix and was the former head of Strategy and Programs at Breakthrough US, a global socially innovative creative hub that uses media, art, and tech to shift gender norms. In his recent past, he served as editor-at-large at CASSIUS (an Urban One/iOne digital platform) and a former senior editor and correspondent at Mic. In both roles, his editorial content, both video and textual, centered on issues of diverse identities, equity, and social transformation. He directed and hosted, for example, CASSIUS’s content on manhood/masculinity as well as its 4-part mini-doc series exploring Black LGBTQIA+ life in Atlanta. He also was the host of Mic’s digital series, The Movement, through which he covered the people working to address social justice issues across the country. The series was subsequently nominated for a Breakthrough Series: Short Form Award at the 2016 IFP Gotham Awards.

In addition to the work he has contributed to public dialogue on race, he has been an advocate for gender equity and sexual diversity. He has served as the co-managing editor at The Feminist Wire since 2010 and an editor of The Feminist Wire Books (a series of University of Arizona Press). He is also a writer-in-residence at the Center on African American Religion, Sexual Politics and Social Justice at Columbia University and was a 2019 Founding Fellow at the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the UCLA.

A prolific writer, Darnell has been published in various media outlets including the New York Times, Vanity Fair, MSNBC, The Guardian, Quartz, Playboy, Huffington Post, EBONY, The Root, The Advocate, OUT Magazine, Gawker, VICE, Guernica, Thought Catalog, Good Men Project and others, as well as numerous academic journals including QED: A Journal in GLBTQ World Making, Women Studies Quarterly, Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media & Technology, Transforming Anthropology, Black Theology: An International Journal, and Harvard Journal of African American Policy, among others.

Darnell is the author of the 2019 Lambda Literary Award nominated memoir, No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black & Free in America, which was listed as a 2018 NYT Notable Book and a 2018 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick.

Saturday, November 5: Virtual Conference (Registration Required)

8:30 a.m.-9:50 a.m. — Migration, Gentrification, and Belonging

The Social Effects of Gentrification: The Implications of Housing William Gorman

As a historian who has background in Economic History, I have always been fascinated by the changes in housing as a result of gentrification. In this session, I would like to focus and have a round table discussion on gentrification as a social an economic occurrence. The goal of the session would be for me to present a five minute overview on the issue and then have a discussion of how gentrification has changed populations drastically in these areas given their development. I also would want and direct the session to examine the demographic changes that have occurred. I will in my initial presentation to start the discussion use and refer to the examples of gentrification that have occurred in parts of Atlantic City and Long Branch.

Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn: Defining Hospitality and Urbanity in Post-Uprising Newark, New Jersey John Wesley Johnson, Jr.

The reverberations of the 1967 urban rebellion cast a pall over Newark, New Jersey. Dubbed the worst city in America, it seemed that institutions of hospitality, and indeed urbanity, fled with the exodus of businesses and citizens from a city beleaguered by deindustrialization, persistent poverty, timeworn housing, and crime. It was peculiar then, when in the decade after the rebellion, two motels opened: the Lincoln Motel and the Downtowner. What forms of hospitality did these Newark motels proffer? The Downtowner was part of an urban renewal project called the Gateway Center, which was hailed as “a city within the city.” Connected to Newark Pennsylvania Train Station by an enclosed pedestrian bridge, the Downtowner tendered a limited, exclusionary form of urbanity. In contrast, the Lincoln Motel opened in a red-light district on the fringes of downtown Newark. The Lincoln created a broader, more inclusive form of hospitality, as it accommodated displaced Newarkers, New York City’s homeless, sex workers, and johns. Moreover, the Lincoln redefined urbanity when it opened the nightclub, Zanzibar, where homo- and hetero-sexual bodies bumped up against each other to the sound of underground dance music. Using local newspapers, archival evidence from the Downtowner, the Lincoln, and Zanzibar, and textual analysis of photos as well as Zanzibar’s song list, this paper will survey the history of Newark through the frameworks of hospitality and urbanity. The history of the Lincoln Motel and the Downtowner provides a lens to observe the ways in which class, race, gender, and sexual orientation determined who was, and was not, welcome in post-rebellion Newark.

Reconstructing Home: Abolition Democracy, the City, and Black Feminist Political Thought Revisited Jasmine Noelle Yarish

This presentation is an overview of my book manuscript wchich aims to extend W.E.B. Du Bois’s theory of abolition democracy by exploring the political thought of Black women in and around the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1850 and 1880. As the historical site of the nation’s founding, the U.S. abolitionist movement, and the largest concentration of Blacks in the United States at the end of the 19th century, Philadelphia is central to the American democratic imaginary, yet Black women’s contributions to the city, the nation, and that imaginary, even by those exploring black political thought, remain largely unexplored. By returning to how six women negotiated and transgressed the newly drawn boundaries of the expanding city, the “splendid failure of Reconstruction” that Du Bois documented in Black Reconstruction takes on gendered and urban dimensions. Attending to these Black women as they adapted to global trends of enclosure, industrialization, and urbanization, I find that the political concept of fugitivity that spurned the democratic movement for the abolition of slavery retains theoretical significance beyond the antebellum period. Having a history in Black political thought, fugitivity is a paradigm through which people in their everyday practices escape the capitalist impulse to confine, detain, and commodify their existence as both capital and labor. Black women as political thinkers complicate the spatialized reality and romantic idea of “home” that underpinned both the hunting and freeing of fugitives in the years leading up to the U.S. Civil War. Their work raises the following question: what does democracy mean when the nation is built from and by those deemed “homeless”?

Kosovo—A Transatlantic Liberation Space. The Serbian National Defense League of America and its impact in the United States and in Europe Eva Tamara Asboth

At the beginning of the 20th century, the young kingdom of Serbia was barely known in the US public, although it often hit the headlines of the US press due to the events that happened in the Balkans. It was a major interest of the Serbian migrant community in the USA that their narratives about those events, like the uprisings and wars against the Ottoman Empire and the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy, were heard. Hence, they started to promote their idea of a leading Serbian nation among all ‘South Slavs’ in the US public discourse. ‘Yugoslavia’, in their notion, should be a uniting state against the neighboring powers, and need to include those who still lived under Ottoman rule on Kosovarian soil. Therefore, one highlight was the celebration of ‘Kossovo Day’ in New York in 1918, which was organized by the Serbian National Defense League of America (SNDL). 

This paper deals with the transfers of narratives about the sacred land Kosovo as well as about the history of Kosovo. While publicly communicating both spaces—the geographical and the social—Serbian migrants took over the American idea of freedom and self-determination. Hence, they created a new transatlantic space of liberation. The SNDL, which was responsible for the recruitment of Serbian soldiers from the USA to Europe during World War One, achieved in 1918 a big breakthrough: ‘Kossovo Day’ gained a lot of attention, and at the very same time the US government granted their support for realizing a liberated country called Yugoslavia.

10:05 a.m.-11:25 a.m. — Race and Ethnicity at the Intersection of Physical and Mental Health

¿Quienes Somos? Community Mental Health Centers in the Chicano Movement, 1972-1980s Ryan Adams

Race and culture are significant topics in the historiography of American psy professions, but the experiences of Mexican Americans as both professionals and patients are largely absent. In this presentation, I address this gap by discussing how Chicana/o activists inside and outside of the mental health care system challenged the ideologies and practices of American psy professions in the 1970s and 1980s. They argued that these professions promoted a culturally insensitive view of mental health which, when combined with a lack of mental health care services, resulted in few options for care for Chicana/os experiencing mental distress. To address this lack of culturally relevant mental health services, Chicana/o activists created community mental health centers that incorporated their cultural background into mental health care praxis. These centers became sources of healing and social empowerment by reconnecting people experiencing mental distress to their communities, families, and cultural heritage. While health clinics are traditionally viewed as individualized spaces where people go to address their individual health needs, Chicana/o-led community mental health centers reconceptualized these individualized clinics as places for community building. This presentation will use El Centro de Salud Mental, a community mental health clinic created by Chicana/o psy professionals in Oakland in the early 1970s, as a case study to show what this radically different approach looked like in practice, specifically the services the center offered, the people it served, and its broader role in the community.

Race, Humanity, and Empathy Anita Kodali

Historically, the term “race” referred to the race of man and was specifically noted to distinguish one’s degree of humanity (and concomitant worth) from someone who was perceived as being savage, outside of God’s redemptive grace—as noted by Bartholomew de la Casas—or abnormal (as noted by philosophers like Aristotle or Paracelsus). The imbrication of a racial/human gradient largely informed Western philosophical thought which also shaped the epistemologies and praxis of Western medicine. As such, although our oath of service in medicine asks us to use moral judgement and ability and not harm our patients, it fails to acknowledge the ways in which implicit ideas of race (both historically and contemporarily) and worth can act as mechanisms of medical maleficence and perpetuate medical inequity. We (in the medical community) can, however, begin to address these issues by confronting the issues of race (relative to humanity, the socio-historical label, and perceived worthiness) and racialization in the epistemologies and praxis of medicine and folding into our discourses training on biases and empathy. With this in mind, my presentation will discuss the ways in which empathy training in medical education and continuing medical education programming can begin to deconstruct systems of structural violence in Western medicine, reorient the practice of medicine towards equity, and legitimize the interconnected nature of our race of man and all of the socio-historical races therein.

Constructing Race in the Epistemologies and Praxis of Medicine: An Examination of How Racialized Medicine is Legitimized and Medical Inequity Perpetuated Imanni Sheppard, Ph.D.

The knowledges produced by medical endeavors and the practices therein have often had a bit of a conundrum: its histories and formalized documents (such as the Flexner report of 1910) have often stated that Black people, in particular, are vastly different—physically, cognitively, and physiologically—from their White counterparts. Much of the contemporary research in all specialties of medicine reinforce this idea by articulating a Black-White dichotomy within its methodologies and further polarizing the presentation of the social determinants of health within the framework of inherent abnormality, genetic abnormality, and/or the inability of self-surveillance within Black communities. However, medical practices and histographies have long used exploitative procedures on Black bodies to explore the efficacy of surgeries, pharmaceuticals, general medical processes, and varying forms of interpersonal engagements. The conflation of these two realities—one which reinforces a biological and cognitive dichotomy and one which disregards that supposed dichotomy for the sake of clinical and biomedical research—is normalized and legitimized through ideas such as natural law (which states that the practice of medicine is objective) and the embeddedness of mechanisms such as the spirometer or the eGFR which take into account one’s Blackness (as they only apply to Black people) in assessment and treatment. However, these systems & ideas racialize medicine and legitimize medical inequity. With this in mind, my presentation will examine the imbrication of racialized epistemologies in medicine, how they perpetuate medical inequity, and suggest practices to combat the legitimization of medical disparities.

11:40 a.m.-1 p.m. — Race and Labor Activism

“A Positive and Noble Revolution”: The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions and Racial Discrimination in Africa During the Decolonization Era Kevin Grimm

In the 1950s and 1960s the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) became increasingly active in Africa as it attempted to connect to, and shape, emerging African unions in decolonizing and newly free nations. While American and European figures were most numerous in the ICFTU upper ranks, they issued numerous statements against racial discrimination during these two decades. At first the particular language of these statements focused largely on any remaining colonial powers in Africa, especially Portugal, and the white minority regimes of South Africa and Southern Rhodesia. Yet as the 1960s progressed, the ICFTU’s language tended to expand in at least two ways. First, they began to address racial discrimination within Western nations, to a degree. Second, the ICFTU’s African Regional Organization (AFRO) issued its own statements on racial discrimination that often envisioned a much more comprehensive view regarding how to tackle the problem, including the Africanization of ICFTU efforts on the continent and a more ennobling view of the meaning of opposing racial discrimination in all its forms. Examining statements on racial discrimination issued by the ICFTU executive board, its conferences, its AFRO arm and their conferences, and by the ICFTU to United Nations sessions between the mid-1950s and mid-1960s helps show the expansion of racial problems this international trade union NGO was willing at least to discuss and also reveals some of the ICFTU’s own internal grappling with how far to take its stance against racial discrimination in Africa.

‘The EEOC was a waste of time’: Black Labor, Federal Intervention and the Bogalusa Crisis, 1962 – 1970 D. Caleb Smith

In 1965, Bogalusa, Louisiana garnished national attention for the grassroots demonstrations associated with the town’s black freedom movement. News outlets captured street protests and violence almost daily during July of 1965. The black coalition of activism included the local Bogalusa Civic and Voters League (BCVL), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and the armed Deacons for Defense. Current scholarship is too often confined to the protests and militancy of these groups during the civil rights struggle. With the Crown Zellerbach papermill plant at the center of black activism, this essay challenges the current historiography by arguing that the enduring legacy of the town’s freedom movement is best seen in employment discrimination lawsuits that derive from government intervention and the complaints of black workers. Oatis, Local 189 and Hicks are well-cited among legal scholars, but rarely historicized in full. 

This essay speaks to Jacquelyn Dowd Hall’s “long civil rights movement” and John A. Kirk’s “wide civil rights movement” frameworks. While lesser cited, Kirk urges scholars to consider the conglomerate and often simultaneous nature of local freedom struggles. By using the employment discrimination section (Title VII) of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, this narrative argues that everyday labor activists, such as Robert Hicks and A.Z. Young, shaped the law and defined its effectiveness through persistence where government intervention alone could not develop equitable solutions to Crown Zellerbach’s rigid racist policies.

Success for Black Female Professionals in Corporate Spaces Jacqueline Woodruff

Reaching the American dream of a successful career and desirable accomplishments can be more difficult for Black female professionals aspiring for success in corporate spaces. 

Success for Black female professionals in corporate America may require more intention and resilience than required of their non-Black counterparts. Attaining successful professional success requires internal and external contributions from both the person and societal structures. 

My recent study of Black and non-Black female professionals provides personal stories and narratives that explored the experiences, influences, and challenges of Black female professionals in corporate America. Results from the study illuminated differences between work experiences among Black and non-Black female professionals. 

This paper will share the dreams of success and the realities lived through the stories of Black female professionals in their own voices as they aspire to reach the goal of professional career success in corporate spaces.

1:15-2:35 p.m. — Growing Together as Allies

Advancing Anti-racism in a Predominantly White Institution: Notes from the Field Anne Deepak/Jamie Nappi/ Rosemary Asencio

In 2020, the faculty from Monmouth University School of Social Work made a decision to formalize a pre-existing group, Growing Together as Allies, into a vehicle for advancing anti-racism within the school and beyond. At the time, there were no full-time Black faculty members. In this presentation, members of GTAA—faculty, students, alumni and champions, will share their experiences of the journey of the group and the progress that has been made despite the barriers and challenges of doing this work within a PWI.