Elon to host 'Lessons Within Ferguson, Missouri' – Aug. 27

A Wednesday program in McKinnon Hall will offer the campus community reflections from Elon University faculty and a current student from Ferguson, Missouri, about the recent police shooting death there of a young unarmed black man.

Photo courtesy of Shawn Semmler / Flickr; image adjusted for color balance and brightness.
The August shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old black Missouri man at the hands of a white police officer has roiled the nation in heated debate over race, privilege and law enforcement practices. That fatal encounter, combined with ensuing protests and media coverage, has sparked deep questions and painful emotions among people of all backgrounds, including those who call Elon University home.

In an effort to address these issues, a panel of Elon faculty – plus a student from Ferguson, Missouri, where the shooting took place – will convene for a discussion Wednesday night to foster dialogue at a time when opinions have polarized the nation.

The event is co-sponsored by the Multicultural Center and the university’s Council on Civic Engagement.

“Lessons Within Ferguson, Missouri”
Time: Wednesday, August 27, 7:15 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
Location: McKinnon Hall

“The circumstances related to the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson are relevant to the Multicultural Center’s focus on race, ethnicity and diversity education,” said Randy Williams, special assistant to the president and director of the Multicultural Center at Elon University. “Some students have expressed a range of burdensome emotions that have been responded to with empathy and guidance toward well-being. A panel discussion among our own faculty experts will provide students and the entire Elon community with a greater understanding of some complex constructs that plague our society.”

Williams will introduce speakers at the event, who include:

Naeemah Clark, Communications

Faculty Panelists:
Jim Bissett, History
Ken Fernandez, Political Science & Policy Studies
Robert Parrish, Law
India Johnson, Psychology
Sandra Reid, Human Service Studies

SGA statement:
Joe Incorvia, Student Government Association president

Personal Reflection:
Mia Watkins, student & resident of Ferguson, Missouri

“Elon University is committed to a robust and inclusive civic dialogue around important issues relevant to our community and students. We hope many students, faculty and staff will find this program informative,” said Jason Husser, the university’s Faculty Fellow for Civic Engagement and another speaker at the event who will remark on the importance of civic dialogue. “The expert panelists will not only offer insights into events in Ferguson itself, but also larger, underlying social issues. We encourage people to come with questions.” 

A special Coffee Klatch will follow the program in the Multicultural Center for attendees interested in continuing the discussion.