Virtual Conference November 4-5, 2020

The Equity Summit creates a space for those actively engaged in race equity and inclusion efforts across the Southeast to lean on and learn from each other. It also allows for the creation of a network of people working toward equity in a variety of fields: a systemic approach to a systemic issue. In addition, it brings together academics and activists to marry theory and action.

This year, the Equity Summit will address policing and bodies, two topics that have so greatly contributed to our understanding of current life in the US. Thinking broadly about the concepts the conference will cover the effects 2020 has had on bodies--police brutality, COVID-19, grief, exhaustion, etc. The keynote will be given by Keise Laymon, an award winning Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon’s bestselling memoir, Heavy: An American Memoir won the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the 2018 Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose, the Austen Riggs Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media, and was named one of the 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years by The New York Times.  Funds will be used to compensate speakers, marketing, and to cover fees associated with the virtual hosting of the event.

Last year, the Equity Summit broadened its focus to encompass four Southern cities that share similar histories, socioeconomic issues and cultures. Participants will come from Atlanta, Georgia; Birmingham, Alabama; Columbia, South Carolina; and Jackson, Mississippi. The three-day conference took place Nov. 20-22, 2019, at the Nickelodeon Theatre and the South Carolina State Museum. 

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