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Lena Williams is final Convocations presenter

Posted by Judy Riley on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2009

Event Date/Time: Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009 7:30 pm
Location: Edson Auditorium

Lena Williams will talk about "the little things" as the final Convocations Lecture Series speaker at the University of Minnesota, Morris on Tuesday, Feb. 3, in Edson Auditorium. Her presentation, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7:30 p.m.

Williams reveals what blacks and whites say about each other, but not to each other. Although legal segregation ended decades ago, the sense of separateness and division between blacks and whites seems more intractable than ever. Learn to avoid the gestures, expressions, tones and body language that get under the skin of both blacks and whites.

A retired senior writer for The New York Times, where she received various Publishers Awards for her story about a 10-year-old drug dealer in Harlem, she also covered the NAACP, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the nomination struggles of Judge Clarence Thomas in Washington, D.C., where she transferred to establish a new civil rights beat. She was elected chair of the New York Times Newspaper Guild in 1997 and retired from the newspaper in 2005.

Before joining The New York Times, Williams wrote for Black Sports magazine. She received many awards, including the Penney-Missouri Award. The National Association of Black Journalists presented her with the Award of Excellence in 1990. She also received the Black Achievers Award from the YMCA in 1978.

Williams is the author of It’s the Little Things: The Everyday Interactions That Get Under the Skin of Whites and Blacks, which was published by Harcourt in 2000. The book was derived from a 1997 story that appeared in The New York Times and was featured on ABC’s 20-20.

Past convocations at the University of Minnesota, Morris have included presentations by renowned people such as Maya Angelou (1998), Sherman Alexie (2000 and 2008), Ralph Nader (2003), Nadine Strossen, the president of the American Civil Liberties Union (2005), and Mythbusters (2006).

This event is made possible with funds from the UMM Student Activity Fee. The views expressed by the visiting speakers of the CAC Convocations Series do not necessarily reflect the views of the regents of the University of Minnesota, the University of Minnesota, Morris, Morris students, staff or faculty or the UMM Convocations Committee.

For more information about this event or other Convocation speakers, contact CAC Convocations at (320) 589-6080.