Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research

Anne Braden Memorial Lecture

Stay tuned for information on the 10th Annual Anne Braden Memorial Lecture, coming in November 2016!

Each year, the ABI puts on an Anne Braden Memorial Lecture in U.S. civil rights movement history.

This event is free and open to the public and typically takes place in the fall semester. Our first-ever lecturer was Julian Bond, longtime president of the NAACP, an early leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and a decades-long friend of Anne Braden. Bond packed a crowd of about 600 people into the Brown-Williamson Room of Cardinal Stadium on April 4, 2007. This event and date also marked the grand opening of the Anne Braden Institute*s reading room in Ekstrom Library. A press conference prior to the lecture celebrated the grand opening, at which Bond made a few opening remarks, then cut a ribbon and led the crowd into the newly created space.

2015: Dr. Carol Anderson

“White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide”

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

5:30 pm, UofL Belknap Playhouse, 1911 S. 3rd St, Louisville, KY

Carol Anderson lecture poster (4)

The 9th Annual Anne Braden Memorial Lecture will take place Wednesday, November 4, at 5:30 pm at the UofL Belknap Playhouse and will feature Emory University historian Carol Anderson. The lecture topic, “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide,” is inspired by Anderson’s essay for the Washington Post titled “Ferguson Isn’t About Black Rage Against Cops. It’s White Rage Against Progress” – which immediately went viral — and is also the subject of a forthcoming book.

The Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research hopes to engage the campus and community more deeply with Anderson’s work, and encourages you to read her Washington Post essay and share it with your students and colleagues. Anderson’s books Bourgeois Radicals: The NAACP and the Struggle for Colonial Liberation, 1941-1960 and Eyes off the Prize: The United Nations and the African American Struggle for Human Rights, 1944-1955 are available for checkout from the Ekstrom Library.

As always, the Anne Braden Memorial Lecture is free and open to the public. Be sure to keep an eye on this site for information on the 2015 Research Meets Activism Breakfast, a lecture companion event taking place the following morning at the Yearlings Club.

Facebook event page
Download 8.5×11″ lecture flyer here

2014: john a. powell, J.D.

“From Freedom Summer to Ferguson: Why we need a new culture of belonging”

TUESDAY, November 11, 2014

5:30 pm, UofL Belknap Playhouse, 1911 S. 3rd St., Louisville, KY

Miss the lecture? Click here to view Professor powell’s Power Point presentation.

john powell_image_2B

LISTEN: Prof. powell’s interview with Louisville Public Media on a “culture of belonging”

WATCH: Prof. powell’s Aug. 19th interview with Democracy Now on Ferguson

There is a need for an alternative vision, a beloved community where being connected to the other is seen as the foundation of a healthy self, not its destruction, and where the racial other is seen not as the infinite other, but rather as the other that is always and already a part of us. Even aspirations like these are not enough, however; visions must be reflected in social structures and institutions, or they remain merely dreams deferred. –john a. powell

As humanity faces ever-evolving changes in the 21st century, our fear of the “Other” can be magnified by unstable contracting economies, radically shifting racial demographics, new social norms, and a retrenchment in political speech and human rights. How, then, do we move from disconnected, fearful individuals to connected, collective agents of change? What are the relationships among concentrated corporate power, lack of government oversight, and fractured social movements? john a. powell, University of California Berkeley professor of law, African American studies and ethnic studies, will provide insights based on decades of research and activism in the areas of race, structural racism, ethnicity, housing, poverty, and democracy.

john a. powell is the Executive Director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, which supports research to generate specific prescriptions for changes in policy and practice that address disparities related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and socioeconomics in California and nationwide. In addition, to being a Professor of Law and Professor of African American Studies and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, Professor powell holds the Robert D. Haas Chancellor’s Chair in Equity and Inclusion. He was recently the Executive Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University and held the Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Rights & Civil Liberties at the Moritz College of Law. Under his direction, the Kirwan Institute has emerged as a national leader on research and scholarship related to race, structural racism, racialized space and opportunity. He has been a leader in developing an “opportunity-based” housing model that provides a critical and creative framework for thinking about affordable housing, racialized space, and the many ways that housing influences other opportunity domains including education, health, health care, and employment.


“We have a history of not just the police, but the state, the law enforcement agencies, disrespecting black life. And it’s disrespected in hundreds of ways. … We live in a system in which black life is devalued. … We still have not come to full recognition of blacks and other people as full citizens, as full people. We literally do not see a number of young black men as human beings.” –john a. powell


Download a PDF of the lecture flyer (8.5 x 11) or poster (11 x 17)

2013: Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad

“Why the Past Won’t Go Away: The Crisis of History in the Age of Post-Racialism”

WEDNESDAY, November 20, 2013

5:30 pm

Student Activities Center Multipurpose Room, University of Louisville

project_progress Series Event

Download a flyer to share with your contacts (PDFs): Minimal Text Flyer, or Flyer with Description

khalilmuhammad9-high res


The history books, which have completely ignored the contribution of the Negro in American history, have only served to intensify the Negroes’ sense of worthlessness and to augment the anachronistic doctrine of white supremacy.” — Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (1967)


What does it mean when history as a discipline is under attack at a time when we have a black president and murders of unarmed black teens? Schomburg Center director Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad explains how knowing the past directly relates to understanding the present race-related crises. In his talk, Dr. Muhammad is expected to respond to the Trayvon Martin assassination, the Zimmerman verdict and how we remember the March on Washington and other major historical events. While addressing issues such as mass incarceration and punitive actions against youth of color, he will focus on the present attack on historical understanding/historical literacy. Dr. Muhammad will talk about the present disinvestment in history departments, in history students and in historical learning among younger people, and how these affect both white supremacy and people of color’s perceptions of themselves.


Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad is director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a research division of the New York Public Library, and a former associate professor of history at Indiana University-Bloomington. His book The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, published by Harvard University Press, won the 2011 John Hope Franklin Best Book award in American Studies. He is now working on his second book, Disappearing Acts: The End of White Criminality in the Age of Jim Crow, which traces the historical roots of the changing demographics of crime and punishment so evident today.

Mark your calendars for Nov. 20th! #ABLECTURE13

“Help ease our history deficit,” Courier-Journal, October 27, 2013

“Confronting the Contradictions of America’s Past” on Moyers & Company

Interview with The Root upon his appointment to Schomburg

Video with The Root

NYT Op-Ed: Playing the ‘violence card’

2012: Dr. Robin D.G. Kelley

author photo - Robin Kelley

“Neoliberalism and the War on Our Youth”

November 8, 2012

Belknap Playhouse (1911 S. Third St.)

African American studies scholar, author and UCLA professor, Robin D.G. Kelley addresses mass incarceration, punitive measures against children of color in public schools, Trayvon Martin, the Occupy Movement and racism, and more in his talk, “Neoliberalism and the War on Our Youth” for the 6th Annual Anne Braden Memorial Lecture.

Dr. Kelley is the Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA.  His most recent book is Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times (Harvard University Press, 2012). He holds a PhD in U.S. History from UCLA, and his wide range of research and teaching interests cover the history of labor and radical movements in theU.S., the African Diaspora, and Africa; intellectual and cultural history; urban studies, and transnational movements.

How Dr. Kelley knew Anne Braden

Read Dr. Kelley’s recent article, “Neoliberalism’s Challenge,” in the Boston Review

Hear Dr. Kelley’s appearance on NPR’s series, “My American Dream Sounds Like”

Read more about the fair market and the presidential election 

Read more about the intersection of neoliberalism and race in the Nov. 2012 issue of FORsooth newspaper (pdf)



2011: Dr. Michelle Alexander

Michelle Alexander

“The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”

November 10, 2011
Speed Museum Auditorium (2035 South 3rd Street)

The fifth annual Anne Braden Memorial Lecture features a presentation by Dr. Michelle Alexander,author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. Michelle Alexander is a highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, and legal scholar who currently holds a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. Prior to joining the Kirwan Institute, Professor Alexander was an Associate Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, where she directed the Civil Rights Clinics.

Click Here to Download the ABI’s New Jim Crow Book Discussion Kit

We have a limited number of books available for loan from the ABI on a first-come/first-served basis.  Call 852-6142 for more information.

2010: Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

November 5, 2010
Comstock Hall (Located in the School of Music)

4th Annual Anne Braden Memorial Lecture: Co-sponsored by the University of Louisville School of Music, The fourth annual Anne Braden Memorial Lecture features a presentation by Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, a cultural historian, singer/composer, student activist leader veteran of the Albany, Georgia Civil Rights Movement, and a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC Freedom Singers).

2009: Prof. Michael Honey

“From Civil Rights to Economic Justice: The Freedom Movement’s Unfinished Business”

November 10, 2009

Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library

The 3rd Annual Anne Braden Memorial Lecture features Prof. Michael Honey, who will deliver a lecture entitled “From Civil Rights to Economic Justice: The Freedom Movement’s Unfinished Business” at 5:30pm on Tuesday, November 10, in the University of Louisville’s Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library. A former community organizer in Louisville and Memphis, Honey was educated at Howard University and Northern Illinois University. Now the Haley Professor of Humanities at the University of Washington, Tacoma, and President of the Labor and Working-Class History Association, Honey has published three award-winning books on the history of union and civil rights struggles in the south. Honey’s latest book, Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King’s Last Campaign (2008), won the Robert F. Kennedy book award for human rights studies. The lecture will include a slide show and a musical performance. A book signing will follow.

Information on Anne Braden Memorial Lecture {PDF}

2008: Barbara Ransby

“What Now? What Next? Revisiting the Radical Voices of the Civil Rights Movement”
Lecture and Post-Election Reflection

Monday, November 10,2008
Comstock Auditorium

2nd Annual Anne Braden Memorial Lecture: Dr. Ransby is author of the award-winning Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision, and associate professor of history/African American Studies/Gender and Women*s Studies at Univ. of Illinois-Chicago.

Related Events:

  1. Ella’s Daughters: Calling All Young Women Activists and their Friends
    Nov. 10, 1:30-2:30 pm, UofL Cultural Center, discussion with light refreshments of the new nationwide women’s activist network Ransby helped to spark. Campus and community activists are most welcome!
  2. Community Breakfast Conversation with Barbara Ransby
    Tuesday, Nov. 11, 9:30-11 AM, Yearlings Club, 4309 W. Broadway: light breakfast and dialogue to follow up on lecture. Free, but please RSVP.
  3. ‘State of Affairs’ Community Radio Program and Call-in:
    Tuesday, Nov. 11, 11 AM-noon, WFPL-89.3 FM, interview and conversation with Dr. Ransby.

2007: Julian Bond

“2007: A Race Odyssey”

First Anne Braden Memorial Lecture
University of Louisville
April 4, 2007
Brown-Williamson Club @ Cardinal Stadium


  • Welcome: Catherine Fosl, ABI Founding Director
  • Tribute to Anne Braden: Shameka Parrish-Wright, student and community activist
  • Introduction and Overview: J. Blaine Hudson, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Remarks: Julian Bond, Chair, NAACP, and a leader of the 1960s student civil rights movement in Atlanta
  • Reception following, compliments of the office of Dr. Mordean Taylor-Archer, Associate Provost for Diversity and Equal Opportunity at the University of Louisville

Posted on Friday, October 16th, 2009 at 11:19 am



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