The Smithsonian’s National Museum
Saturday, April 25, 2015, 9:45am to 8:30pm EDT
Metro: Orange and Blue lines, L’Enfant Plaza or Federal Center SW
A police shooting of an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Mo., this summer, along with other shootings by police officers around the county, led to weeks of protests in communities around the country. “We need to explore what this moment in our nation’s history means, especially in terms of leadership,” said Lonnie Bunch III, NMAAHC director. “What impact does generational change have on leadership and faith communities? What are the lessons to be learned from Ferguson, particularly within the context of community mobilization?”
9:45am, director Lonnie Bunch opens the symposium and welcomes guests, followed by a discussion with Rev. Willis H. Johnson, pastor of Ferguson’s Wellspring Church. Willis will describe the conditions that led to the distrust between law enforcement and the city’s African American community.
10:30am-12:30pm, panel #1, “Ferguson: Impact, Importance & Long-Range Hopes.” This panel explores the evolution of the media, community leadership and activism as they relate to communities organized against excessive police force and economic inequality. Panel moderated by Juan Williams, journalist and Fox News political analyst. Panelists include: Lisa Crooms, Howard University law professor; Opal Tometi, founder of Black Lives Matter; Rev. F. Willis Johnson Jr., pastor Wellspring Church, Ferguson.
1:30pm to 2:30 pm, “On Art and History: A Conversation with Ava DuVernay.” Selma director, DuVernay, will discuss filmmaking and the creative responses to historic events such as the Selma to Montgomery march.
3:00pm – 5pm, panel #2, “Ferguson & Faith in the 21st Century.” This panel addresses the past, present and future roles of faith organizations as advocates for social change. It also examines changing roles of faith leaders. Moderated by Rex Ellis, NMAAHC associate director of curatorial affairs, the panel includes: Jeff Johnson, journalist and motivational speaker; Renee Harrison, Howard University School of Divinity professor and former Los Angeles police officer; Lerone A. Martin, assistant professor of Religion and Politics, John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University, St. Louis; Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou, pastor, theologian, author, and community organizer; Stephanie Wolfe, dissertation fellow, John C. Danforth Center.
6:30pm – 8:30pm, panel #3, “#Words Matter: Making Revolution Irresistible.” This panel features the response of the creative community to excessive police violence, racism and communal demands for equality. Moderated by Jared Ball, associate professor of Communications, Morgan State University. The panel includes: Mark Bolden, psychologist and co-moderator; Jasiri X, Spoken Word artist; Jamilah Lemieux, senior digital editor, Ebony magazine; Jef Tate: DJ, Words, Beats and Life.
Other Presentations during the Symposium
12:30pm – 1:30pm, “Citizen” works by award-winning poet Claudia Rankine, interpreted on film by director John Lucas. The film shorts, titled Situation #1through 5, are based on Rankine’s book Citizen: An American Lyric.
5:00pm – 6 pm, view a slide presentation of social justice related objects from the museum’s collection and select artists, accompanied by a mix from DJ Jef Tate of “Words, Beats and Life.”
For questions about the symposium, email NMAAHCpubpgms@si.edu.
View the daylong symposium at Ustream. A dialogue on social media will be held throughout the symposium. The public may follow the museum on Twitter @NMAAHC to participate in the discussion using #HRRlive or #WordsMatter.
For more information, visit www.nmaahc.si.edu or call (202) 633-1000(202) 633-1000.