News Items from UNC Greensboro

Exterior photo of Elliott University CenterThe 2014 Harriet Elliott Lectures at UNCG will focus on “Civil Society and Social Justice,” Tuesday through Thursday, April 8-10, with lawyer and filmmaker Dawn Porter as keynote speaker.

Porter, who is the founder of Trilogy Films, will speak at 6:30 p.m. on April 9 in the Elliott University Center (EUC) auditorium. A reception will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. in the pre-function area. Details of the entire series are available at the web site http://aas.uncg.edu/harriet-elliott/2014.

A showing of Porter’s award-winning film, “Gideon’s Army,” opens the lecture series on Tuesday, April 8, at 6 p.m., Room 307, Graham Building. The film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and debuted on HBO Documentary Films in July 2013. “Gideon’s Army” will have additional showings on Wednesday, April 9, at 2 p.m., Birch Room, EUC and the other at 4 p.m., Azalea Room, EUC.

The programs continue on Thursday, April 10, with five roundtable discussions designed to engage students and citizens with specific social justice issues. The focus of these roundtables is to explore the relationship between scholarship and activism.

The roundtable discussions on April 10 will be held in Graham Building, and the schedule runs:

  • 12:30-1:45 p.m. – “Sociology in the Legislature,” led by Dr. Paul Luebke, UNCG professor of sociology and N.C. state representative, Room 307, Graham; and “Sociology in the Courtroom,” led by Dr. Steve Cureton and Dr. Cindy Brooks Dollar, Room 308, Graham. Cureton is the author of two books about gangs, and Dollar has served as an expert consultant to attorneys throughout North Carolina.
  • 2-3:15 p.m. – “Sociology in the Community,” with Dr. Carol Stack of the University of California, Room 307; and “Sociology in Disasters,” with Dr. Steve Kroll-Smith, Room 308, Graham. Stack is author of “All Our Kin,” an examination of African-American urban culture, and “Call to Home,” a novel-like work on the return of African-Americans to the South. Kroll-Smith is professor of sociology at UNCG. He is an expert on environmental hazards and disasters, health and the environment, and sociologists as expert witnesses. In 2004, he received the American Sociological Association’s Distinguished Contribution Award in the study of Environment and Technology.
  • 3:30-4:45 p.m., “Activism and Scholarship,” led by Dr. Bruce D. Haynes of the University of California, Room 308, Graham. He is the author of “Red Lines, Black Spaces: The Politics of Race and Space in a Black Middle-Class Suburb,” and coeditor of “The Ghetto: Contemporary Issues and Controversies.”

The film “Gideon’s Army” follows the personal stories of three young public defenders who are part of a small group of idealistic lawyers in the deep South challenging the assumptions that drive a criminal justice system strained to the breaking point. Nearly 50 years since the landmark Supreme Court ruling Gideon vs. Wainwright that established the right to counsel, Porter’s film asks the question, “Can ‘justice for all’ be a reality in a system where public defenders struggle against long hours, low pay and staggering caseloads so common that even the most committed often give up in their first year?”

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