Our Mission

Teaching, Studying and Promoting Civil Rights and Social Change

The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change promotes its mission of teaching, studying and promoting civil rights and social change primarily through teaching, research, innovative campaigns, and community engagement. For more than twenty years, the Hooks Institute has developed an impressive track record of educating, engaging and empowering the community.

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If I Had A Camera | Art Shay: Activism, Civil Rights & Justice

Art Shay (American, 1922—2018) Chicago Fire, 1968 Courtesy Art Shay Archives Copyright © Art Shay Archives Project LLC, 2019. All rights reservedCo-organized by The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change and the Art Museum of the University of Memphis.

June 24–Oct. 5

Art Museum of the University of Memphis
3750 Norriswood Dr. 142 Communication & Fine Art Building Memphis, TN 38152.
Monday— Saturday | 9 AM— 5 PM

This exhibition features the photographs of Art Shay (1922-2018) a Chicago-based freelance photographer whose work appeared in Time, Life, Sports Illustrated and many other national publications. During the 1960s, Shay photographed America’s landmark civil rights movements reflecting a struggle that is not history, but continues today.

Photo credit: Art Shay (American, 1922—2018) | Chicago Fire, 1968 | Courtesy Art Shay Archives |Copyright © Art Shay Archives Project LLC, 2019 | All rights reserved

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Uplift Memphis, Uplift the Nation

 We can strengthen communities by aggressively tackling inequality, especially disparities related to poverty, race, health, and the economy.

Through its own initiatives and through partnerships with business, university, and community stakeholders, the Hooks Institute is prepared to lead the effort to make Memphis and the Mid-South a pioneer in confronting social justice issues. The prevailing condition of people in Memphis and the Mid-South creates an urgent call for immediate action. For the Hooks Institute, that moment is now.

Our Collective Efforts to Create A Stronger Community (2017)

With an unwavering commitment to equality for all we are prepared to Uplift Memphis, Uplift the Nation. We Invite you to share our vision for a bold and daring future!

Persistent and growing economic and racial inequalities demand a grand-scale collaboration among universities, businesses, government, community leaders, and others. No man is an island, poverty, and racism negatively impact all communities, races, and ethnic groups. We must address the weariness many among us face under the burden of inequality and injustice.