About the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute

Pursuing the Dream to Reality (2017)

Our Mission

Teaching, Studying and Promoting Civil Rights and Social Change.

Who We Are

Created in 1996 by the late Benjamin L. Hooks and the University of Memphis, the Hooks Institute's mission is teaching, studying and promoting civil rights and social change. Our mission allows the Hooks Institute to address contemporary racial, social, economic and other disparities through community engagement and faculty scholarship. The Hooks Institutes mission-based programs embody the highest ideals of service, activism, and commitment reflected by the life of our namesake Benjamin L. Hooks.

What We Do

The Hooks Institute implements its mission through research, education and direct intervention programs. For twenty years, we have addressed disparities related to education, diversity and inclusion, economic mobility and civic engagement.

Our History

With the approval of the Tennessee Board of Regents and funding from the United States Congress and the State of Tennessee, the Hooks Institute was created in 1996. It was founded by Benjamin Hooks and the Department of Political Science and College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Memphis. Together, their common goal for the Institute was to play a pivotal role in framing and solving community problems through the wisdom and vision of pioneers such as Benjamin L. Hooks.