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Centers for Black Studies, Gulf South to host Online Panel Discussion June 10 on History of Racism and Rights Activism in Hattiesburg, USM

Mon, 06/08/2020 - 15:03pm | By: David Tisdale

In the wake of the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Centers for Black Studies and for the Study of the Gulf South are co-sponsoring an online panel discussion Wednesday, June 10 to address the history of violence against black citizens in Hattiesburg and at the university.

The program, titled “Where do we go from here? Racism and Rights Activism in Hattiesburg and Southern Miss” will be held from 2-3:30 p.m. Central Time and will feature a panel discussion and question and answer (Q&A) session that will be open to all USM students, faculty and staff. A recording of panel presentations and the Q&A session will be posted later for public viewing. USM affiliates can access this event by going to:; the meeting number is 146 107 9998 and the password is Kennard. SOAR credentials will be needed to log on. Panelists will begin their presentations at 2 p.m.; the meeting will open at 1:45 p.m.

Panel discussion topics will include how community members, students, faculty, staff, and administrators fought back against this oppression in the past and the best way to protest, show support, and make longstanding change now and in the future, among others.

“Members of the Center for Black Studies and the Center for the Study of the Gulf South have been inspired by the voices of those who have gone out in the streets advocating for change over the last two weeks,” said Dr. Rebecca Tuuri, USM associate professor of history and co-director of the Center for the Study of the Gulf South. “Through this event we hope to capture that energy; reflect on oppression and protest in the past; and strengthen social justice activism on campus, the wider community and throughout the state.”

Program panelists scheduled to participate include:

*Dr. William Sturkey, an assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina and author of the award-winning book, Hattiesburg: An American City in Black and White. Dr. Sturkey conducted research on his book in 2013 while in Hattiesburg as a visiting faculty member in the USM History program.

*Dr. Anthony Harris, a Hattiesburg civil rights activist, Southern Miss alumnus, retired professor, and author.

*Hattiesburg City Councilwoman Deborah Delgado, a five-term councilwoman for Ward 2, past president and current board member of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO), and founder and chairperson of the Historic Mobile Street Renaissance Festival.

*Jourdan Green of Hattiesburg, a USM student leader who is a senior in its Honors College and a Luckyday Scholar.

An online Q&A session will follow the panelists’ presentations. For more information about this event, contact Dr.Tuuri at For information about the Center for Black Studies, visit; for information about the Center for the Study of the Gulf South, visit