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Ferguson: The Aftermath

Feb. 12 Panel discussion hosted by African American Studies Program, UH Black Student Union and UH Center for Diversity and Inclusion

The African American Studies Program, the UH Black Student Union, and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion in the UH Division of Student Affairs are co-hosting the panel discussion “Ferguson: The Aftermath” on February 12 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. in Suite B-12 of the University Center South.

After the August 2014 police shooting death of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Mo., people across the nation went to Ferguson to protest against aggressive police behavior targeting African Americans. The movement that grew out of those marches has grown increasingly visible on social media with the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag label and in cities across the nation with additional marches, “die-ins,” street traffic blockades and other acts of civil disobedience.

A national dialogue is taking shape about how this movement can help to reexamine and update local police practices, municipal policies and federal legislation. The University of Houston is joining that public debate with this forum.

“We hope to help students understand the context of the events that took place in Ferguson, and the reasons those events transpired,” said Jarrel Washington, program director for the Black Student Union.

Niya Blair, director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, said, “It’s a good time to have a dialogue about the events that took place in Ferguson now that some time has passed.”

The panel discussion will be moderated by Professor John Chiles, IV, a practicing attorney and an adjunct professor in the African American Studies program. Panelists are African American Studies visiting scholars Dr. Marcia Walker-McWilliams and Dr. Vincent Willis, as well as Dr. Rachel Afi-Quinn, visiting assistant professor in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program.

Dr. Walker-McWilliams teaches courses in African American history and biography and conducts research on 20th century U.S. history. Dr. Willis is an interdisciplinary scholar whose work examines the activism of black youth in the South from 1954-1972. Dr. Quinn's research on gender and feminist theory focuses on the transnational space of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and the influence of US media and popular culture on those who live there.

- By Monica Byars