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Welcoming Black Faculty to Higher Education: A Racial Justice Town Hall

October 12 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

welcoming black faculty to higher education poster

The University of Florida’s Samuel Proctor Oral History Program (SPOHP), in partnership with the Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center, invites the public to Welcoming Black Faculty to Higher Education: A Racial Justice Town Hall. The event will be held at the Cotton Club Museum on Thursday, October 12 at 6pm in person as well as in hybrid mode.

The evening will feature a panel discussion with UF alumni Dr. Raja Rahim, Assistant Professor of African American History at Appalachian State University, and Allison Mitchell, a Doctoral Candidate in History at the University of Virginia, specializing in Black voting rights. Dr. Rahim and Ms. Mitchell will discuss challenges they and younger Black scholars face in higher education and how they have achieved success in academia. They will then engage in a discussion with Drs. Sharon Austin and Yiorgo Topalidis about how academic institutions can provide more supportive environments to ensure the success of all students and faculty.

The Black Faculty and Staff Recruitment and Retention at UF Project is a UF-Funded initiative launched in 2021 and conducted by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program. Dr. Sharon Austin was the primary investigator for the BFRP initiative. Then-graduate student Yiorgo Topalidis coordinated oral history interviews to learn more about the experiences of current and former UF faculty and staff. The Proctor Program sponsored an online event on November 3, 2021, presenting the project’s initial findings.

The panel will conclude with Drs. Austin and Topalidis discussing an essay-in-progress on the experiences of Black faculty and staff at UF that they are currently writing for the Journal of the Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. Light refreshments will be served.

CO-SPONSORS INCLUDE: African American Studies Program, UF Black Student Union

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Parking: Free parking available on the side lawn of the Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center.

Sponsors: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, the Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center.

For more information, please contact Anna Hamilton
or (352) 392-7168


October 12
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center
837 SE 7th Ave
Gainesville, FL 32601 United States
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