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Daphene R. McFerrenDaphene R. McFerren

In January 2008, McFerren became the director of the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis. In June 2006, McFerren was a visiting scholar at the Hooks Institute, where she continued her work, initially funded by a summer grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, to compile primary source materials created by Fayette County civil rights activists from 1959 to approximately the early 1970s. 

Additionally, during her time as a visiting scholar, McFerren worked to complete the copyright review process to enable public broadcast of the documentary, Freedom's Front Line:  Fayette County, TN.   The collection of primary source materials from Fayette County civil rights activists are housed in Special Collections at the University of Memphis and are available to the public. Beginning in September 2008, public television stations in Memphis, and later throughout the state of Tennessee, began broadcasting  Freedom's Front Line.  McFerren's parents, John and Viola McFerren, were two of the primary leaders of the Fayette County Movement. In an article dated October 12, 1969, the New York Times called the Fayette County Movement, the "longest sustained civil rights protest in the nation." 

McFerren is the executive producer of two documentaries, Duty of the Hour (2014), a film on the life of the late civil rights icon Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks, and  The Civil Rights Movement: A Cultural Revolution, which explores the Movement's Influence on music, fashion and culture in the United States.

Prior to joining the Hooks Institute, McFerren was in private practice in Washington, DC, was senior counsel in the Office of General Counsel at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, was counsel to former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, and was later Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland, prosecuting, among other cases, forced labor and involuntary servitude cases involving foreign victims. McFerren is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School.

Tim RoseTim L. Rose
Programs Manager

Tim, an entrepreneur originally from Jacksonville, Florida, worked as a professional development and corporate image consultant for eleven years.  While in Florida, he served on numerous boards. He served on the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce board (3rd largest chamber in the country). He also worked at The Community Rehabilitation Center (a mental health and community facility-largest in N. Florida) for nine years. In this position, he was in charge of board committees as well as development and programming efforts including fundraising.  Tim is currently completing his research toward a PhD at  in the School of Human Resources & Workforce Development at Louisiana State University.  His research includes studying transitioning populations and the selected factors that influence successful transition into today's workforce.


Current Graduate Assistants

Nathaniel BallNathaniel Ball

Nathan Ball began working at the Institute in August of 2013. Nathan assisted Daphene McFerren with the production of the Hooks Institute's Documentary A Cultural Revolution, completed in the spring of 2014. Nathan received his bachelor's degree in Film and Video Production from the University of Memphis in 2011. He will be a candidate for an MA in History in the spring of 2015. Nathan is currently working on a number of media projects for the Hooks Institute.


Sasha ArnoldSasha Arnold

Sasha Diana Arnold began working with the Hooks Institute in August, 2013 through her graduate assistantship with Dr. Loel Kim in the English department. She has worked with Dr. Kim and Director Daphene McFerren to create a website about the civil rights movement and tent cities in Fayette County, Tennessee. When the institute was asked to conduct a teacher's in-service on the movement for Shelby County educators, Sasha worked to create curriculum-related materials for the teachers. Additionally, she has worked with Special Collections in The University of Memphis libraries to organize and catalog primary-source materials from the Fayette County movement. She is a graduate of Bethel University with a BA in English and is currently working on her MA in English here at The University of Memphis.



Alicia ClarkAlicia Clark

Alicia Clark began working at the Hooks Institute in September of 2014. She has worked on Institute social media and communications, as well as assisting with Institute projects, including the Hooks Institute National Book Award, the Mapping Civil Rights History website, and others. Alicia is currently working toward completing her MA in Applied Anthropology at the University of Memphis, and her research interests include health disparities, reproductive health, and digital & visual media. She received her bachelor's degree in Anthropology from the State University of New York College at Geneseo in 2012.






Denise NguyenDenise Nguyen

Denise P. Nguyen began working with the Hooks Institute in October 2014. Denise has received her BA in Anthropology and History from Concordia University of Montreal in 2012. As an Education and Family Intervention worker with Je Passe Partout, she collaborated with low-income families and “at-risk” youth to improve their literacy and academic performance. She also worked as a community organizer for the 2110 Centre, which promotes gender equality and empowerment, particularly as it relates to marginalized communities. Denise is currently working on a teacher’s guide for Duty of the Hour (2014), and is helping with organizational efforts.


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The Hooks Institute for Social Change | 107 Scates Hall | The University of Memphis | Memphis, TN | 38152-3530 | Phone: 901-678-3974 | Fax: 901-678-0177 | Email: | A-Z Site List
Last Updated: 1/23/15