Social Justice Lecture Series Launches

The Social Justice Lecture Series is an initiative jointly sponsored by the African American Studies Program, the Department of Justice Sciences, and the College of Arts & Sciences. The goals of the series include:

  • introducing a variety of social justice topics to the University and Birmingham communities,
  • focusing attention on these topics, and
  • challenging common assumptions about social justice while fostering critical thinking of social justice issues.

Graffiti in Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans, LA © 2013 Dawn PorterTwice yearly, the UAB Social Justice Speakers' Series will bring to the UAB campus extraordinary men and women who have risked everything in their single-minded pursuit of social justice. This Fall the focus will be social justice on a global scale, while in the Spring the focus will be local: social justice in the state of Alabama and the city of Birmingham.

While the speakers are of very different in backgrounds, they all responded to the same call and committed themselves to fight for social justice. Join us as these men and women share their stories of tragedy and triumph. (Image Information: Graffiti in Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans, LA © 2013 Dawn Porter)

The Series' inaugural event is scheduled for October 17, 2014 and will feature attorney and documentary filmmaker Dawn Porter. She will talk about the making of her documentary film Gideon's Army—an up-close and personal look at three young public defenders in the Deep South struggling against long hours, low pay, and staggering caseloads to challenge the basic assumptions driving the criminal justice system. The film, which premiered on HBO this past summer, was an official selection in the prestigious US Documentary Competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the prize for "best editing."