Times columnist Charles Blow to speak about Trayvon Martin case

Published: March 19 2013

Category:Announcements, Happenings, InsideUF

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — More than a year after the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin near Orlando, many legal, social and cultural questions raised by the case are still being discussed across the country.

The University of Florida Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations will analyze a number of these questions during the 10th annual CSRRR Spring Lecture on Wednesday, which will bring together experts from nine departments at UF along with keynote speaker, New York Times op-ed columnist Charles Blow.

“At Close Range: The Curious Case of Trayvon Martin,” will take place at the University of Florida Levin College of Law in the Chesterfield Smith Ceremonial Classroom, HOL 180. The panel presentations will be from 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and Blow’s keynote lecture will be from noon – 1:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and law school parking restrictions will be lifted in the green lots.

The panels will look at a wide variety of issues raised by the case, from a multitude of academic perspectives. Some of the featured panels include “Jim Crow Riding High: The 21st Century Assault on African-American Voting Rights in Florida,” “Half-Baked: Weed, Race and the Demonization of Trayvon Martin,” and “Racial Profiling, Security and Human Rights.”

“The Trayvon Martin case is a social touchstone precisely because it serves up topics we’re uncomfortable talking about in public, including race, crime, policing, interracial crime, use of deadly force, black crime victims, Southern race relations, media representations of race, and gun control,” said Katheryn Russell-Brown, director of the CSRRR and Chesterfield Smith Professor of Law. “The case offers an important opportunity for us to learn about, discuss and debate these myriad and overlapping issues. Our Spring Lecture event will contribute to the national discussion of the case and emphasize policy recommendations.”

The departments of political science; health services; philosophy; sociology, criminology and law; journalism and communications; history; English; anthropology, and African-American studies will all be represented.

The academic papers, which comprise the basis for the panel discussions, will be compiled for the first installment in a new series in collaboration with UF Law’s Lawton Chiles Legal Information Center. The panel agendas and abstracts for the papers can be seen in the Collections of the UF Law Scholarship Repository at, http://scholarship.law.ufl.edu/csrrr_events/10thspringlecture/panels/. For more information regarding the spring lecture, please visit the CSRRR home page, http://www.law.ufl.edu/academics/centers/csrrr.

The University of Florida Levin College of Law’s CSRRR is committed to fostering communities of dialogue on race. The center creates and supports programs designed to enhance race-related curriculum development for faculty, staff and students in collegiate and professional schools. Of the five U.S. law schools with race centers, the CSRRR is uniquely focused on curriculum development.

Blow graduated cum laude from Grambling State University and joined The New York Times in 1994 as a graphics editor and quickly became the paper’s graphics director, a position he held for nine years. The Louisiana native went on to become the paper’s design director for news before leaving in 2006 to become the art director of National Geographic Magazine.

Blow often appears on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight,” “Starting Point” and “AC360.” He has also appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” “Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” and “Hardball” with Chris Matthews, Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” the BBC and Al Jazeera, as well as numerous radio programs.

Category:Announcements, Happenings, InsideUF