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Panel discussion focuses on symbolism and meaning of Confederate flag

On Sept. 2, more than 1,000 people attended “The Flag: Navigating Southern Identity, Race and Symbolism,” a panel discussion in Wait Chapel hosted by Wake Forest’s Pro Humanitate Institute.

The student-initiated event was co-sponsored by Wake Forest’s chapter of the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity, the Division of Campus Life and Office of Diversity and Inclusion with support from the Diversity Collaboration Fund.

“The murders of nine innocent people the evening of June 17 in Charleston, S.C., led to an outcry that focused national debate on symbols of the Confederacy as reflections of inequality and racism in America today,” said Edward Tillinghast, president of Wake Forest’s chapter of Kappa Alpha Order, who also wrote an op-ed about the event in the Old Gold & Black.

THE FLAG: NAVIGATING SOUTHERN IDENTITY, RACE AND SYMBOLISM

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  • Couldn’t attend the panel discussion? Watch the archived livestream here.
  • Check out photos from the event here.

Tillinghast delivered opening remarks for the discussion saying he hoped the listening and learning opportunity offered by the panelists would begin a journey in understanding to continue throughout the school year and beyond Wake Forest.

Filmmaker, singer, songwriter and community organizer, Bree Newsome started the conversation describing what motivated her to climb the flagpole and remove the Confederate flag flying at the state capitol in Columbia, S.C. “To see the Confederate flag flying at full staff while the American flag and the state flag of South Carolina were at half staff…that was a breaking point for me. There was a lot of discussion about the legislature taking down the flag, but we felt, what is there to wait on. It was important for the people to really come together and make the statement ‘we are going to take the flag down right now.’”

“The flag had worn on everybody in our state,” said Katon Dawson, former chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, president of Dawson Public Affairs and a leading voice in favor of removing the flag.

Melissa Harris-Perry, executive director of the Pro Humanitate Institute, director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center and Presidential Endowed Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Wake Forest facilitated the conversation.

“An academic environment is the ideal place for a thoughtful and thought-provoking conversation about the intersection of race, symbolism and the South,” said Harris-Perry. “College is suppose to be hard, and conversations here are suppose to be uncomfortable.”

More than 1,000 people attended the panel discussion on the Confederate flag.

When asked how white people could help support change, James Ian Tyson, a grassroots organizer arrested alongside Newsome after they removed the flag, said it is important as a white person who wants to help to become educated on the issues and involved with others different than you. “Do background work so you can actually be of help and of service when your community calls you to be of service. In this movement you wait to be asked. You step back and let other people step forward.”

Nearly 200 students signed up for small group dialogues held after the panel discussion. “Students want the opportunity to talk to each other about these issues,” said Adam Goldstein, dean of students and associate vice president for campus life. “They are eager to continue moving our community and society forward.”

Panelist Alicia Garza, co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter said it is not important that everyone have the same experiences in life because people are all very different. “What is important is that we can unite on a common set of values that move us forward together and that this happens in practice and not just in rhetoric.”

Join us: Community Forum on Campus Climate

The continued discussion to update the University community on campus climate action and progress from the Deliberative Dialogues and other community initiatives.

Please join us Wednesday, September 9 at 7:00 pm in Benson University Center 410.

ZSR Library Associate Dean Wanda Brown wins award

20738597059_477033abed_zCongratulations to ZSR Library Associate Dean Wanda Brown, who was recently presented the Demco/Black Caucus 2015 Award for Excellence in Librarianship.

This is an annual award of a framed print and a cash award made possible by a grant from DEMCO, Inc. of Madison, Wisconsin, and presented to the librarian who has made significant contributions to promoting the status of African Americans in the library profession. Specific contributions may include, but are not limited to, research and scholarship, recruitment, professional development, planning or implementation of programs, or advocacy (public relations).

Matthew Phillips named Charles M. Hewitt Master Teacher

Wake Forest University School of Business faculty member Matthew Phillips has been named the Charles M. Hewitt Master Teacher by the Academy of Legal Studies in Business (ALSB), the international organization of professors who teach law in business schools.

Phillips, a professor of practice in business law and ethics, teaches across the School’s undergraduate and graduate programs. He is also associate dean of the working professional MBA programs and Bern Beatty Fellow.

“I was excited about the opportunity to show my business law colleagues some of the exciting work we’re doing at Wake Forest,” Phillips said. “Any award is humbling, but it’s a special honor to be recognized by colleagues from across the country.”

The annual award recognizes faculty members who incorporate new subject matter, cultural shifts and advances in pedagogy and technology into their courses. The ALSB advances legal studies in business education and is the professional home for approximately 1,000 legal studies researchers and educators.

Named one of four finalists in the spring, Phillips presented his proposal, “Legal Analysis in Context for Managers,” at the ALSB annual meeting in Philadelphia on Aug. 10. His session used a case about accommodation of religious practice in employment to help undergraduate students learn how to do legal analysis.

“We start with an exercise in which students present the legal arguments for being allowed to delay a business law test if their roommate is sick based on a couple of ‘case precedents,’” Phillips explained. “Once we established the function and importance of legal analysis, we shift to the employment case. This is a way of doing two very different things – exploring practical competence in legal analysis and conceptual knowledge about employment discrimination – at the same time.”

Phillips received undergraduate and law degrees from Wake Forest and a Master of Divinity degree from Duke University. He is admitted to practice law before state and federal courts of North Carolina, the United States Tax Court and the United States Supreme Court. As an instrument-rated pilot, Phillips enjoys flying single-engine planes, and he is a pilot and legal officer in the Civil Air Patrol (the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary).

A message from President Hatch regarding new University policy

A message from President Hatch to students, faculty and staff:

Wake Forest University is firmly committed to providing an academic and working community free from unlawful discrimination and harassment in all forms. Consistent with Wake Forest’s Notice of Non-discrimination and in compliance with federal statutes and recent Department of Education guidance, the University has implemented a revised Faculty and Staff Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy. The revised policy is effective September 1, 2015 and will apply to reports of sexual misconduct, including gender discrimination and sexual harassment, against a University faculty or staff member on the Reynolda campus. The Faculty and Staff Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy includes information about the various forms of sexual misconduct covered under the policy, how to report an incident of sexual misconduct, resolution and appeal procedures and resources available to members of the Wake Forest community.

In the fall, the Title IX Office and Human Resources will hold open forums so faculty, staff and students may receive additional clarification about the policy. For more information or to report a concern regarding sexual misconduct, please contact the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Tanya Jachimiak.

The University will take seriously every allegation or report of sexual misconduct received. This policy and the University’s response are intended to ensure that all parties involved receive appropriate support and fair treatment, and that allegations of sexual misconduct are handled in a prompt, thorough, and equitable manner.  Thank you for your assistance as together we build a stronger community.

Sincerely,

Nathan O. Hatch
President