Featured Speakers

Keynote Speaker: Hank Klibanoff

Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases: Why Their Lives Matter Today

October 28, 2015
9:15 am - 10:45 am

Frank KlibanoffHank Klibanoff, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for a book about the news coverage of the civil rights struggle in the South, is the James M. Cox Jr. Professor of Journalism at Emory University.

A native of Alabama, and now an Atlanta resident, Klibanoff joined Emory at the close of a 36-year career in newspapers in Mississippi and at The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where he had served as managing editor for news.

Klibanoff serves as director of the Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project at Emory University (coldcases.emory.edu), for which undergraduates are examining Georgia history through the prism of unsolved or unpunished racially motivated murders that occurred in the state during the modern civil rights era. By using primary evidence – including FBI records, NAACP files, personal archives, medical records, family photographs, old newspaper clippings, court transcripts and more – and by immersing themselves in the scholarship of historians, journalists and memoirists, students come to see and understand a history that is little known from the inside looking out and long forgotten from the outside looking in.

Klibanoff and his co-author, Gene Roberts, won the Pulitzer Prize in history for their book, The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle and the Awakening of a Nation, published by Knopf (2006), Vintage (2007) and Brilliance Audio (2007). The Race Beat explores news coverage of civil rights from the 1930s through the late 1960s, particularly the impact of the black press, the Northern press, the Southern liberal and segregationist press, television and photojournalism.

Klibanoff serves on the John Chancellor Excellence in Journalism Award Committee at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and the advisory boards of the National Press Foundation, the Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellowships, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and VOX Teen Communications, an Atlanta non-profit youth development organization. He formerly was on the board of the Associated Press Managing Editors.

Klibanoff earned his bachelors degree in English at Washington University in St. Louis and his masters in journalism at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Both universities have honored him as a distinguished alumnus. His first taste of professional journalism came in 1970, when Hank worked a summer at the Florence Times-Tri-Cities Daily as a reporter.

 Klibanoff spent six years as a reporter in Mississippi, three at The Boston Globe and 20 at The Philadelphia Inquirer, three of which were as the Midwest correspondent based in Chicago. Between Mississippi and Boston, he took a year to backpack in Europe and the Middle East. He joined The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as managing editor for news in 2002 and left the paper in 2008.

Klibanoff and his wife Laurie A. Leonard, a speech therapist, have three daughters.


Keynote Speaker: Dr. Souleymane Bachir Diagne 

The March Toward An African Charter of Human Rights

October 29, 2015
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Dr. Souleymane Bachir Diagne Souleymane Bachir Diagne received his academic training in France. An alumnus of the École Normale Supérieure, he holds an agrégation in Philosophy (1978) and he took his Doctorat d’État in philosophy at the Sorbonne (1988) where he also took his BA (1977). Before joining Columbia University in 2008 he taught philosophy for many years at Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar (Senegal) and at Northwestern University. His field of research includes history of logic, history of philosophy, Islamic philosophy, African philosophy and literature. His book Bergson postcolonial. L’élan vital dans la pensée de Senghor et de Mohamed Iqbal, Paris, Editions du CNRS, 2011) was awarded the Dagnan-Bouveret prize by the French Academy of Moral and Political Sciences for 2011 and on that same year he received the Edouard Glissant Prize for his work. Souleymane Bachir Diagne’s current teaching interests include history of early modern philosophy, philosophy and Sufism in the Islamic world, African philosophy and literature, twentieth century French philosophy.

Featured Speaker: Franklin Delano Williams

Roundtable Discussion: Conversation with Elders

October 29, 2015
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Franklin WilliamsFranklin Williams' civil rights work began while in high school (1960-64) in Pitt County, NC. He worked with Dr. Andrew Best, Grantz Norcott and Bennie Roundtree to build a youth chapter of the NAACP in our county.

When he got to college in 1964, Williams got involved with Floyd McKissick and CORE in Durham, NC. He participated in the marches and sit-in's to integrate downtown public accommodations, and also worked as a student intern with the United Organizations for Community Improvement (UOCI) in Durham, NC. Williams was drafted in 1966 and became the first black person from his county to "not step forward" at the induction center in Charlotte, NC. The next two years were spent appearing multiple times before the local draft board and working with the American Friends Service Committee Anti Draft efforts in NC.

From 1966 to 1968, Williams worked for the Youth Educational Services (YES), a state-wide, student run tutorial program with over 5,000 volunteers throughout North Carolina.

In 1968 and 1969, he worked with Howard Fuller at the Foundation for Community Development to establish Malcolm X Liberation University (MXLU) (Durham and Greensboro, North Carolina). The majority of initial building renovations, furnishings, materials, supplies and teaching staff were donated or in-kind, referred to this as "liberating resources for the people".

From 1969 to 1972, Williams worked with Nelson Johnson to establish the Student Organization for Black Unity (SOBU) to create a post-civil rights era black student organization. His next major civil rights experience was with the National Black Child Development Institute and the North Carolina Federation of Child Development Centers from 1972 to 1977, where he worked with inner-city and rural communities to fight for state and federal resources to develop child care centers.

After completing graduate school in 1979, he spent the next ten years working in Alabama, North Carolina and Florida working for rural community health centers, farmworker advocacy organizations, and church-based social and racial justice projects.