U of M News
Daphene McFerren Named Director of Hooks Institute for Social Change University News
For release: February 20, 2008

For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey

Daphene R. McFerren
Daphene R. McFerren

Daphene R. McFerren has been appointed director of the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis. McFerren is a 1984 graduate of Yale College and a 1989 graduate of Harvard Law School. She is also a grant recipient of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Prior to joining the Hooks Institute, McFerren practiced law as a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice and was counsel to former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno from December 1999 to January 2001.

She served as a visiting scholar at the Hooks Institute from June 2006 to May 2007 and was responsible for creating the symposium “The Fayette County, Tennessee, Civil Rights Movement: How African-Americans Changed Themselves, Their Community, and Their Nation by Demanding the Right to Vote."

McFerren is the daughter of John and Viola McFerren, who were leaders in the Civil Rights Movement in Fayette County, Tenn.

The Hooks Institute was established in 1996 as a public policy research center. It is named in honor of Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks, native Memphian and prominent national leader in the Civil Rights Movement. The Institute houses many of Hooks' papers from his long career in government and with the N.A.A.C.P.


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