August 25, 2016

Sept. 13 panel discussion to focus on Black Lives Matter

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Black Lives Matter movement will be the focus of a panel discussion on Sept. 13 at Purdue University.

The Cummings-Perrucci Lecture event, which is free and open to the public, is 6:30-8 p.m. in Stewart Center’s Fowler Hall. The speakers are Janaya Khan, an international ambassador for #BlackLivesMatter Network; the Rev. Starsky D. Wilson, a philanthropist and activist; and Justin Hansford, an attorney and professor of legal history at St. Louis University School of Law.

This year’s Cummings-Perrucci Lecture is hosted by African American Studies and Research Center. The lecture series rotates between Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, African American Studies, and the Department of Sociology and focuses on class, race and gender inequality. The Center for Trans-institutional Capacity Building, Educational Equity in STEM and the Black Cultural Center are co-sponsoring the event.

Khan, known as “Future” in the Black Lives Matter
movement, is a black, queer, gender-nonconforming activist, staunch Afrofuturist, social-justice educator and boxer based in Toronto. Khan co-founded Black Lives Matter Toronto, a group that is committed to black liberation, transformational justice and indigenous sovereignty, and operates through a black transfeminist lens. Khan’s work is
 underpinned by understanding the transformational capacity of language, metaphor and democratic discourse as a tool for change, gleaned from earning an English honors degree at York University.

Wilson pursues God's vision of community marked by justice,
 peace and love. He is president and CEO of Deaconess Foundation, pastor of Saint John's Church The Beloved Community, and co-chair of the Ferguson Commission. Deaconess is a faith-based grant-making organization devoted to making the well being of children a civic priority in the St. Louis region. In 2014, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon appointed Wilson co-chair of the Ferguson Commission, a group of 16 citizens empowered to study the underlying conditions and make public policy recommendations to help the region progress through issues exposed by the death
 of Michael Brown Jr. on Sept. 14, 2015.

Hansford’s research incorporates legal history, legal ethics, critical race theory, human rights and the
 Global Justice Movement in an attempt to interrogate injustice in society. He has a bachelor’s degree from Howard University and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, where he founded
“The Georgetown Journal of Law and Modern Critical Race
Perspectives.” He joined the law faculty after serving as clerk for Judge Damon Keith on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. In addition, he recently received a Fulbright Scholarship award to study the legal career of Nelson Mandela in South Africa. 

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, 

Sources: Ronald Stephens, professor and director of African American Studies, 765-494-2151,

Matilda Stokes, administrative assistant, 765-494-5680,

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

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