Overby Center

Overby Center Announces Remaining Spring Events

Four programs, ranging from a discussion of critical race theory to treatment of women in Afghanistan, will highlight activities this spring at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics.

Here is the schedule:

THE INTERSECTION OF CRITICAL RACE THEORY AND MISSISSIPPI CIVIL RIGHTS EDUCATION – March 9, 5:30 p.m.

In the last year, Critical Race Theory has become front page news and the spark for contentious debates and legislative proposals throughout America. Critics in Mississippi want to ban CRT in schools. But how will that legislation affect the teaching of civil rights history in Mississippi, the first state in the nation to mandate a K – 12 civil rights curriculum?  Overby Fellow Randall Pinkston will moderate a panel of distinguished guests who will explore the potential impact of CRT legislation on education in Mississippi.

CRISIS COMMUNICATION: AFGHANISTAN AND BEYOND – March 28, 5:30 p.m.

Melissa Charbonneau graduated from the University of Mississippi in the 1980s and will share her experiences working with the people of Afghanistan for three years as communications advisor to the Afghan Women’s Project and for a NATO-led security mission. Before that, Charbonneau worked in print and broadcast journalism as a White House Correspondent and served as speakers chair for the National Press Club for 18 years. Since Afghanistan, she has worked as director of Issues and Crisis Management for FedEx in Memphis and as director of Corporate Reputation and Crisis Communications for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines in Miami.

75 YEARS OF MISSISSIPPI HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALISM – March 29, 5:30 p.m.

Many future professionals – journalist and otherwise – got their first taste of storytelling on their high school newspaper, yearbook, broadcast or magazine. Founded at Ole Miss in 1947, the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association is now celebrating its 75th year of organizing contests, conventions and other structural supports for high school student media programs throughout the state. On the eve of its spring convention, MSPA director R.J. Morgan will lead a panel of previous directors (Beth Fitts, Robin Street and Charlie Mitchell) in unpacking the organization’s history, significance and future. 

SEPARATE AND SOMETIMES EQUAL: PHOTOS FROM POSSUM TOWN – April 11, 5:30 p.m.

From 1920 to 1960, O.N. Pruitt photographed his fellow citizens (both Black and white) in Columbus, Miss. He documented floods and fires, tornado aftermath and carnival sideshows, sublime studio portraits and riverside baptisms, and executions at the Lowndes County Courthouse and a 1935 lynching. Overby Center panelist Berkley Hudson, a University of Mississippi graduate and University of Missouri emeritus professor, will detail how a trove of 88,000 negatives was preserved from history’s dustbin to illuminate not only the past, but the present. Hudson will be joined in discussion by photographer Timothy Ivy and novelist Deborah Johnson.

“These programs reflect the wide range of interest and activities by our fellows and alumni,” chairman Charles Overby said. “The Overby Center is committed to civilized discussion about important and interesting topics.”

A generous reception and open bar will immediately follow the program.

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