Julian Bond, one of the nation’s most respected civil rights leaders, will deliver the keynote address for the Chancellor’s Graduate Fellowship 20th Anniversary Conference and Alumni Reunion March 31- April 1 at Washington University in St. Louis.
Bond’s address, titled “Post Racial America: Fact or Fiction?” will be at 11 a.m. Friday, April 1, in Graham Chapel. It is free and open to the public.
Bond will be introduced by Keona K. Ervin, PhD, assistant professor of Africana studies and history at Luther College and one of 20 alumni of the Chancellor’s Graduate Fellowship Program (CGFP) returning to campus to mark the program’s 20th anniversary.
The CGFP was established at Washington University in 1991 to provide encouragement as well as generous financial support to outstanding, diverse students interested in careers as college or university professors.
“On this 20th anniversary, we are excited to celebrate the Chancellor’s Graduate Fellowship program,” says Sheri Notaro, PhD, associate dean in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
“We will welcome back to campus alumni who are shaping the next generation of scholars and conducting ground-breaking research. We are fortunate to have Julian Bond as our conference keynote speaker, as his life is a testament to what is possible through hard work, determination and a ‘never give up’ attitude — the ideals of the Chancellor’s Graduate Fellowship program.”
A panel discussion to further explore the points made in Bond’s address will follow from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Ann Whitney Olin Women’s Building Formal Lounge.
Along with Bond, panel participants will be WUSTL faculty Garrett A. Duncan, PhD, director and associate professor of African & African-American studies and associate professor of education, both in Arts & Sciences; Adrienne D. Davis, JD, the William M. Van Cleve Professor of Law and vice provost; Clarissa R. Hayward, PhD, associate professor of political science in Arts & Sciences; and Luis Zayas, PhD, the Shanti K. Khinduka Distinguished Professor at the Brown School; and Rebecka Rutledge Fisher, PhD, a Chancellor’s Fellow alumna and assistant professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Duncan will moderate the discussion, which will be followed by a reception at 4 p.m.
Two other conference sessions will be open to the public. From 3 to 4:30 p.m. March 31 in the Women’s Building Formal Lounge, researchers in areas ranging from neuroscience, political science, social work and economics will present their work during the Chancellor’s Fellowship Symposium.
Presenting their research will be Mellon Fellow Monica Smith, a senior majoring in political science; Chancellor’s Fellows Binyam Nardos, a third-year doctoral student in the Department of Neurology in the School of Medicine, and Ernest Gonzales, fourth-year doctoral student in the Brown School; and alumni Chancellor’s Fellows Damien Fair, PhD, postdoctoral research scientist at the Oregon Health and Science University, and Gary Hoover, PhD, associate professor of economics at the University of Alabama.
Gerald L. Early, PhD, the Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters in Arts & Sciences and director of the Center for the Humanities at Washington University, will moderate the symposium.
Also on March 31, a panel discussion on “Navigating a Career in Academia: Perspectives From Faculty of Color” will be held from 4:45 to 6 p.m. in the Women’s Building Formal Lounge.
Three Chancellor’s Fellow alumnae will join Sowande’ M. Mustakeem, PhD, WUSTL assistant professor of history and of African & African-American studies, in the discussion.
The alumnae panel participants are Fisher; Lisa Cothran, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; and Sharon Johnson, PhD, associate professor of social work at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Notaro will moderate the discussion.
The Chancellor’s Graduate Fellowship provides a full tuition scholarship plus an annual stipend and allowance for full-time study leading to the completion of the doctorate or master of fine arts in most of Washington University’s academic programs.
There are currently 28 Chancellor’s Graduate Fellows studying at WUSTL this academic year.
More than 75 Chancellor’s Fellows have completed a graduate degree at Washington University.
The Chancellor’s Graduate Fellows meet on a regular basis to help develop and sustain a tightly knit community of scholars. In addition to the annual conference, program activities include regular social events, discussion meetings with faculty and guests on topics ranging from the research agenda of the discipline to realities of campus life for scholars, relationships with undergraduate Ervin Scholars and Mellon Fellows, and volunteer community service.
Early, who has had a close relationship with the fellowship program from its inception, including serving as a mentor to a number of fellows, says that the program is an important way to increase diversity in colleges and universities throughout the country.
“I think this program has made an important contribution toward diversifying the professoriate by putting more minorities in the professional pipeline,” Early says. “I am proud of the small role I have played in it in organizing some of the fellows’ academic events.”
Bond has been on the cutting edge of social change for 50 years as an activist who faced jail for his convictions, as a member of the Georgia General Assembly for more than 20 years, as a university professor and as a nationally known writer and lecturer.
Bond was chairman of the board of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, from 1998-2010.
In 1960, while a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta, he was a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He was communications director of SNCC and he organized voter registration drives and sit-ins, helping win integration of Atlanta’s movie theaters, lunch counters and parks.
An elected member of the Georgia House of Representatives in 1965, Bond was denied his seat by legislators until the intervention of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Co-chairman of an insurgent delegation to the 1968 Democratic Convention, he became the first African-American to be nominated for vice president of the United States.
Today, he is a Distinguished Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, D.C., and a professor of history at the University of Virginia.
He appears frequently on “America’s Black Forum,” the oldest black-owned show in television syndication; has written a nationally distributed newspaper column; and narrated the award-winning documentaries A Time for Justice and Eyes on the Prize.
For more information on the conference, visit cgfp.wustl.edu or call (314) 935-6821.