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Robert M. Franklin To Speak March 26 On Religion In Public Life


March 12 , 2002-- The Explorations in Black Leadership speaker series brings Rev. Robert M. Franklin to the University of Virginia March 26. Franklin will speak on "Tough Love: How Religion Enriches and Complicates American Public Life" at 5 p.m. in Minor Hall Auditorium.

Franklin is president of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, the nation’s foremost center of African-American theological education. The author of the 1997 book, Another Day’s Journey: Black Churches Confronting the American Crisis, Franklin urges church communities to help solve the country’s social problems.

A Chicago native born in 1954, he went to Morehouse College in Atlanta and the University of Durham, England. After getting his Master’s in Divinity from Harvard, he returned to University of Chicago for his Ph.D. He has held a dozen academic and religious posts over the past 23 years, including working for the Ford Foundation’s Rights and Social Justice Program. While a professor at Emory University, he wrote Liberating Visions: Human Fulfillment and Social Justice in African-American Thought. In that book, he examines the ethical work of Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.

U.Va. panelists Julian Bond, professor of history, and Wallace Best, professor of religious studies, will comment on Franklin’s talk, which is sponsored by the Institute for Public History, the Center for Religion and Democracy and the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration. A reception will follow in Minor Hall lobby.

The "Explorations in Black Leadership" project brings key civil rights figures to Charlottesville, where they participate in public forums and videotaped interviews with Bond.

Franklin is the eighth speaker in the series, which began in September 2000. Others have included civil rights lawyer Oliver Hill; Elaine Jones, U.Va. law alumna and director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; civil rights lawyer Julius Chambers, chancellor of North Carolina Central University; Mary Futrell, dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at George Washington University and former president of both the Virginia Education Association and National Education Association; Roger Wilkins, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and professor of history at George Mason University; Earl G. Graves, founder, chair and CEO of Black Enterprise Magazine; and Rev. Floyd Flake, a former U.S. Representative and pastor of the Allen A.M.E. Church of Jamaica in Queens, NY.

Contact: Carol Wood, (434) 924-6189

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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