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Ida B Wells Symposia Oct 2020Throughout October 2020


More than a century after she began her journalistic work, Ida B. Wells was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2020. To celebrate the life and work of of this pioneering Black journalist, advocate and educator, the Center for the Study of the American South is partnering with the Orange County Community Remembrance Coalition (OCCRC) to host a series of six virtual events throughout October 2020. The symposia of panel discussions, lectures, educator workshops, and performances aims to encourage the continued work of investigative journalism and increasing and retaining reporters and editors of color. No single person has used the power of words to fight racial violence more than Wells-Barnett, who shone “the light of truth” across the nation on lynching at its height between the 1890s and 1930s. Learn more about her work and history here.

The Anti-Defamation League, earlier this year, reported incidents of white supremacist propaganda distributed across the nation jumped by more than 120% between 2018 and last year, making 2019 the second straight year that the circulation of propaganda material has more than doubled. Diverse voices in newsrooms are needed more than ever.

Keynote Panelists

Journalists Nikole Hannah-Jones
Nikole Hannah-Jones, New York Times – Pulitzer Prize Journalist
Journalist Ron Nixon
Ron Nixon, Associated Press
Journalist Topher Sanders
Topher Sanders, ProPublica











We will kick off our month-long celebration of Ida B. Wells  on October 3, 2020 with a panel discussion featuring veteran journalists Nikole Hannah-Jones (2020 Pulitzer Prize recipient), Ron Nixon (Associated Press Global Investigations Editor), and Topher Sanders (ProPublica Reporter and Peabody Award Winner). These esteemed journalists are founders of the Ida B. Wells Society.


Cover of Wells Phamphlet with quoteOCTOBER 2020 SCHEDULE OF VIRTUAL EVENTS


Lectures, Panels, Educator Workshops, and Performances

Registration is required for each webinar.

Please find links to register, below.





Saturday, Oct. 3 – 10 a.m. – KEYNOTE PANEL with Journalists Nikole Hannah-Jones, Ron Nixon, and Topher Sanders  Oct. 3 Event Completed |Watch the Video
Nikole Hannah-Jones (2020 Pulitzer Prize for New York Times Magazine “The 1619 Project”), Ron Nixon (AP Global Investigations Editor and former New York Times reporter, and Topher Sanders (ProPublica reporter and Peabody Award recipient). These founders of the Ida B. Wells Society at UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media will offer reflections on the origins of “The 1619 Project” and Black journalism today, moderated by Dr. Joseph Jordan (Director, UNC Stone Center for Black Culture and History)

Thursday, Oct. 8 – 6 p.m. – HISTORY OF RACIAL TERROR AND LYNCHINGS IN ORANGE CO.  Oct. 8 Registration Here
Paris Miller, scholar and community organizer, presents on the history of racial terror lynchings in Orange County. She will be joined by Dr. Seth Kotch Director of the Southern Oral History Program, plus high school students and Freedom Struggle Committee members KaLa Keaton (Middle Creek High School), Allison Jemerson (Raleigh Charter High School) and their teachers Matt Scialdone and Melani Winter. Q&A will follow in this session moderated by Dianne Jackson.
Sunday, October 18 – 3 p.m. Matinee – READING PERFORMANCE “Miss Ida B. Wells”   Oct. 18 Registration Here
Kathryn Hunter-Williams, Teaching Associate Professor of Dramatic Art at UNC-CH, conducts a staged reading of “Miss Ida B. Wells” by the late playwright and civil rights activist Endesha Ida Mae Holland, including audience Q&A with Hunter-Williams following the performance. This matinee session is moderated by Diane Robertson and Dr. Gloria Thomas.
Thursday, Oct. 22 – 6 p.m. – LIFE AND WORK OF NC EDITOR/PUBLISHER LOUIS AUSTIN   Oct. 22 Registration Here
Journalist Cash Michaels joins NCCU Professors Dr. Jerry Gershenhorn, Dr. Charmaine McKissick-Melton and Brett Chambers will discuss the life and work of North Carolina editor and publisher Louis Austin, whose Carolina Times newspaper was the most important voice for Black North Carolinians at the height of Jim Crow segregation, including a Q&A with the audience. Moderated by James Williams.
Thursday, Oct. 29 – 6 p.m. – #BlackOutLoudUNC FILM CLIPS AND CONVERSATION   Oct. 29 Registration Here

Viewing of the #BlackOutLoudUNC documentary, plus Q&A with Yet & Still artists, producers, and students,  De’Ivyion Drew, Cortland Gilliam, and Jerry Wilson. Watch the clips with us and join the conversation. Moderated by Renee Price.

Workshop for Educators | Oct. 27

Tuesday, Oct. 27 – 6 p.m. – Teaching with the “Light of Truth” in the K-12 Classroom  Oct. 27 Educator Workshop Registration Here

8th– 12th grade teachers are invited to join us for a panel discussion sharing challenges and strategies for teaching “hard history” in a way that helps students understand the implications of our past and are empowered to address the challenges of the present. From integrating primary sources to engaging in effective techniques for leading controversial classroom discussions, teachers will leave with strategies for turning on “the light of truth” in their own classrooms. Participating teachers must have registered and attended one or more of the other five virtual events in the “The Light of Truth: Celebrating the Life and Work of Ida B Wells” series. ***Teachers are eligible for CEUs for each event in the series they attend.




Download Schedule of Events

Ida B Wells Events Schedule


Event sponsors logos


This event is co-sponsored by the Orange County Community Remembrance Coalition, Chapel Hill/Carrboro Branch of the NAACP, Center for the Study of the American South, Southern Cultures, Carolina K-12, #BlackOutLoudUNC/Yet&Still, Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Journalism, Hussman School of Journalism and Media at UNC, Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History, and Carolina Women’s Center.

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