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First Amendment Conference Nov. 3 Will Focus on "Music, Ministry and the Movement"

For release: October 21, 2011
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901/678-2843

Al Bell
Al Bell
The University of Memphis will host the First Amendment Conference “Memphis and the Five Freedoms: A History of Music, Ministry and the Movement” on Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.

Organized by Otis Sanford, Hardin Chair of Excellence in Journalism at the U of M and political commentator for WREG-TV, the conference will look at how Memphis has impacted, and been impacted, by the First Amendment. It is designed to promote First Amendment awareness through lectures and panel discussions. The schedule includes:

9:30 a.m. – “The Freedom to Speak Through Music,” a lecture by Al Bell, former owner of Stax Records and winner of the 2011 Grammy’s Trustees Award;

11 a.m. – The inaugural Norm Brewer First Amendment Lecture featuring Hank Klibanoff, James M. Cox Jr. Professor of Journalism at Emory University in Atlanta and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Race Beat;

1 p.m. – Panel discussion, “Religious Freedom: What Does It Really Mean?” Panelists will be Rabbi Micah Greenstein of Temple Israel; the Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles, longtime Memphis civil rights leader and pastor of Monumental Baptist Church; Rashad Sharif, imam of Masjid Al-Mu’minum; and Steve Mulroy, Shelby County commissioner and U of M law professor.

Hank Klibanoff, photo by Ann Borden
Hank Klibanoff, photo by Ann Borden
3 p.m. – Panel Discussion, “The State of Freedom of the Press.” Panelists will be Dr. Charles Crawford, U of M history professor and noted local historian; Wendi C. Thomas, metro columnist for The Commercial Appeal; Craig Leake, filmmaker and associate professor in the U of M Department of Communication; and Scott Carroll, editor-in-chief of the student-staffed newspaper at the U of M, The Daily Helmsman;

5 p.m. – Reception in University Center lobby near the Theatre;

6 p.m., University Center Theatre – Concert by Freedom Sings, a group of Grammy Award-winning musicians who give their time to perform songs that have been banned or censored.

Parking is available in the Zach Curlin garage adjacent to the University Center.

For more information, call Simone Notter Wilson, 901-678-4164.

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