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“Social Justice, Race, and Profiling: An Intergenerational Think Tank”

This is the launch public program of the newly established, university-wide Social Justice Institute at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). The Institute aims to provide a space for promoting and supporting alliance-based social justice-related research, scholarship, and teaching; building trust with and improving our community and society; training social change leaders; and promoting broad-based conversations and solutions.

The “Intergenerational Think Tank” will provide such an opportunity by gathering national and local scholars, activists and corporate leaders for two days of intellectual exchange on the relationship between social justice and injustices manifested through the historic and ongoing profiling of racial and ethnic communities.

The CWRU Social Justice Institute Think Tank is organized in the spirit of Fisk University’s Charles S. Johnson Race Relations Institute.

Program Overview

FRIDAY, November 19

5:30 p.m.

Ford Auditorium, Allen Memorial Medical Library

11000 Euclid Ave., Cleveland


5:30 p.m.    

Light Refreshments

6-6:30 p.m. 


Dr. Rhonda Y. Williams, Director, CWRU Social Justice Institute

Dr. Sheila Peters, on behalf of Provost Chris Brown, Fisk University


6:30-6:45 p.m.

History of the Charles S. Johnson Institute, Fisk University

G. Regina Nixon, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, CWRU

6:45-7:45 p.m. 

Opening Plenary: Voices from the Past

Facilitator: Jacqueline Elaine Gillon, Director of Community Organization, Neighborhood Leadership Institute

History Makers:

Ms. Xernona Clayton, formerly of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Author of I’ve Been       Marching All the Time, and President and CEO of Trumpet Awards Foundation.

Don Freeman, founding member, Revolutionary Action Movement; former director, League Park Community Center; Cleveland grassroots activist


SATURDAY, November 20

(All Plenary Sessions in Ford Auditorium)
(The Plenary sessions run consecutively)

8:30 a.m.    

Continental Breakfast

9:00 a.m. 


Barbara R. Snyder, President, Case Western Reserve University

Dr. Rhonda Y. Williams, Director, CWRU Social Justice Institute

9:30-10:45 a.m.

Plenary Session I: Immigration

Facilitator: Amrita Samaroo, Student Alumna, The Diversity Center; Junior, Cleveland State University


Chandra Bhatnagar, Staff Attorney, Human Rights Project, ACLU

Veronica Dahlberg, Co-founder and Executive Director of HOLA, Northeast Ohio

John Flores, Assistant Professor, Latino/Chicano/Social Justice History, CWRU


10:45 - 11:00 a.m.


11:00 -12:25 p.m.

Plenary Session II: Criminal Justice

Facilitator: Shakyra Diaz, Education Director, ACLU of Ohio; CWRU Alumn


Heather A. Thompson, Author of Attica: Race, Rebellion, and the Rise of Law and Order in America (forthcoming), Associate Professor of History, Temple University

Lewis Katz, Professor, School of Law, CWRU

Ed Little, Criminal Justice & Re-entry Consultant, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio

12:30 - 2:00 p.m.

Lunch and Keynote Address

Thwing Ballroom, Thwing Center 2nd Floor

Welcome and Speaker Introduction

CWRU Provost W.A. “Bud” Baeslack III

Keynote Speaker:

           John A. Powell,Director, Ohio State University, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity

2:15-3:30 p.m.

Plenary Session III: From Redlining to Housing Foreclosure

Facilitator: Randell McShepard, Chairman and Co-Founder of PolicyBridge


Gregory D. Squires, Professor of Sociology & Public Administration, George Washington University

Claudia Coulton, Lillian F. Harris Professor of Urban Social Research, Co-Director, Center on Urban Poverty & Community Development, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, CWRU

Anthony Houston, Program Manager & Economic Development, City of East Cleveland, Ohio

3:30 - 4:00 p.m.



           Marilyn S. Mobley, CWRU Social Justice Institute Leadership Team Member; VP Inclusion, Diversity, and Equal Opportunity

Special Evening Presention

SATURDAY, November 20

6:30 PM

Church of the Covenant

11205 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44106


“An Intergenerational Evening of Art & Justice”

(with support from the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women)

6:30 p.m.                           

Doors Open


7-9 p.m.                            

Evening Keynote Presentation & Conversation

Welcome & Introduction of Speakers

Special "1960's freedom songs with commentary" Presentation

by Singer/Composer, Cultural Historian





Post-performance Dialogue with Bakari Kitwana,

Hip-Hop Cultural Critic and Author




Dialogue with Audience


Conference: Free and open to the public. Space limited; registration required.

Tickets for “An Intergenerational Evening of Art & Justice” featuring Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon and Bakari Kitwana: $25 Individuals, $50 Patrons

To register and for tickets, call (216) 368-2904.


Think Tank Event Co-sponsors:

ACLU of Ohio
CWRU Offices and Programs:

Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities
Center for Community Partnerships
Center for Social Justice at the Law School
Ethnic Studies Program
Flora Stone Mather Center for Women
Office of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equal Opportunity
Office of Multicultural Affairs
President’s Advisory Council on Minorities