The University Forum Committee (UFC) is responsible for bringing external speakers to the campus of Appalachian State University, as well as administering the External Scholars Grant Program. The External Scholars Grant Program provides funding to assist faculty with bringing in scholars who otherwise could not be supported by departments or other units in their regular seminar series or during workshops or conferences.
The University Forum Lecture series is one of the longest running such series at Appalachian State University and it provides opportunities for the students, faculty and staff at the university and for people in the surrounding region to hear some of the most stimulating speakers in the country.
This year, the UFC will be presenting three lectures: Morris Dees will be speaking Wednesday, September 14, 2014. The title of his talk is With Justice for All.
Timothy DeChristopher will be speaking Monday, October 20, 2014. The title of his talk is A Movement with Soul.
Mary Frances Berry will be speaking Monday, March 23, 2015. The title of her talk is Whatever Happened to the Civil Rights Movement?
Times and locations to follow. All UFC events are free and open to the public.
Morris Dees, co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, won a series of groundbreaking civil rights cases that helped integrate government and public institutions and cripple some of America's most notorious white supremacist hate groups. Dees, named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America by the National Law Journal in 2006, has authored three books: A Season For Justice, his autobiography; Hate on Trial: The Case Against America's Most Dangerous Neo-Nazi; and Gathering Storm: America's Militia Threat.
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Passionate climate activist and co-founder of the environmental group Peaceful Uprising, Timothy DeChristopher, is most well known for his protest of a Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease auction, when he won 22,500 acres parcels of land with no intention to pay the $1.8 million he had bid for them. DeChristopher served 21 months in prison and successfully gained national attention for his civil disobediance. The U.S. Department of the Interior, stating they had been rushed into auction with insufficient environmental and scientific review, canceled many other leases and a subsequent court injunction.
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Mary Frances Berry
For over four decades, Mary Frances Berry has been one of the most recognized and respected voices in our nation's civil rights, gender equality and social justice movements. Serving as chairperson of the US Civil Rights Commission, Berry led the charge for equal rights and liberties for all Americans over the course of four presidential administrations. A prolific author, Berry's books cover a wide range of subjects, from the history of constitutional racism in America to the politics of parenthood. Her most recent book, Power in Words: The Stories behind Barack Obama's Speeches, from the State House to the White House, offers insight and historical context of President Obama's most memorable speeches.
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