Local race equity advocates and organizations in Florida have partnered to host the inaugural Jacksonville Civil Rights Conference in August.
The first-of-its-kind event aims to educate participants about civil rights movements through featured speakers and interactive breakout sessions across four key areas: community building, connecting historical contexts to the contemporary, connecting civil rights issues to arts and culture and providing leadership development opportunities through youth and adult partnerships.
The conference will feature notable speakers, including author and radio host Rev. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, President Emerita of Spelman College, Dr. Johnetta Betsch Cole and the chair of the National Board of Directors of the NAACP, Leon Russell.
“Delivering on our vision to connect the historic to the contemporary while demonstrating a different, more inclusive and collective leadership, we want the Jacksonville Civil Rights Conference to propel the action,” said civil rights activist and conference founder Rodney L. Hurst Sr. “As such, our hope is to inspire action and innovation for how we move forward collectively to achieve human dignity and respect for everyone.”
The three-day event, done in partnership with organizations including Leadership Is For Everyone Inc. (LIFE) and United Way of Northeast Florida, is meant to provide new perspectives of the Civil Rights Movement, as well as inspiration and tools to make Jacksonville, Florida a more equitable community. It seeks to empower all ages and backgrounds to embrace their role in building racial equity.
“As part of United Way of Northeast Florida’s ongoing commitment to fostering a more equitable community, we are proud to help lead the inaugural Civil Rights Conference in Jacksonville,” said Robin Abbott, Interim Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Northeast Florida.
“In bringing the conference to life, our role is to amplify the work already happening in our community, uplift our local civil rights leaders, bring awareness to race equity and social justice issues affecting us all here in Northeast Florida, and, most of all, inspire action,” he said.
The Jacksonville Civil Rights Conference takes place August 25-27, 2022, in downtown Jacksonville.