The Prizery’s One Community Initiative will present Dr. Amy Tillerson-Brown, associate professor and chair of the history department of Mary Baldwin University, as she returns to the lecture stage at The Prizery at 7 p.m. on Aug. 15.

Tillerson-Brown will present the last lecture in the One Community’s 2018-2019 discussions series supported in part by VA Humanities. 

Her lecture is entitled, “Remembering our Past to Protect our Future: Women’s Activism in the Civil Rights Movement and Beyond,” which centers on the activism specifically of black women in the struggle for American citizenship and the strategies used by women of the Civil Rights generation.

A native of Prince Edward County, Tillerson-Brown was previously the director of the African American Heritage Program at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities at the University of Virginia, re-branded as VA Humanities.

She also has taught in the history departments at Virginia Tech, Morgan State University and Piedmont Virginia Community College and worked as a public school teacher and counselor in Roanoke City Public Schools and Baltimore City Public Schools.

Tillerson-Brown is a dynamic and knowledgeable speaker who engaged a local audience in 2018 when she served as a panelist discussing the documentary film about lynching in the Jim Crow south, called “An Outrage.” 

“Dr. Tillerson-Brown was sharp, articulate and eloquent in her comments about how we got from lynching to “Black Lives Matter,” connecting the dots for me in understanding why studying the ugly past in America helps us understand where we are today and maybe how to move forward in a positive way,” said Carol Gravitt, chair of The Prizery’s One Community Initiative which sponsored the film and panel. 

“Our community is lucky to have Dr. Tillerson-Brown return to share her knowledge, insight and enthusiasm on race issues. Don’t stay home for this one.” 

One of Tillerson-Brown’s most acclaimed work is “Negotiating Intersections of Gender, Social Class and Race” which focuses on the activism of black women in Prince Edward County and describes early activism during and after the public school crisis at R. R. Moton High School, the student strike which led to the closing and opening of public schools to resist the desegregation of the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954. 

The issues of resistance to desegregation and activism and efforts to accomplish integration of our public schools are familiar to many still alive in the local community. 

According to Angela Townes-Yancey, managing director of The Prizery, “The mission of The Prizery’s One Community Initiative is to gain unity in our diverse community by providing relevant enrichment opportunities and experiences addressing racism and diversity issues. The Aug. 15 lecture by Dr. Tillerson-Brown is our next program in this mission. Please join the discussion.” 

This is a free event open to the public. For more information, contact The Prizery at 434-572-8339.