Georgetown professor to discuss race

William Evans

Sheryll Cashin, a law professor at Georgetown University, will give two talks today in Ferguson Center Room 360.

Cashin will speak from noon until 1 p.m. on her book, “The Agitator’s Daughter.” Later, Cashin will deliver a lecture titled “Post Racism in America” from 3 to 4 p.m. in the same location.

The Women’s Resource Center and the Alabama Panhellenic Association are among several organizations sponsoring the event.

Jessi Hitchins, assistant director of the Women’s Resource Center, said the two talks complement each other.

“‘The Agitator’s Daughter’ gives a strong idea of what Alabama looks like from Pre-Civil War through Reconstruction and onwards,” Hitchins said. “The book deals with how her family became agitators for social justice and explains the history of minority status in Alabama.”

Hitchins said instead of dealing with issues in the past, the second lecture will focus on Alabama’s present and future.

“Dr. Cashin questions whether Alabama will be able to move towards a post-racial society,” Hitchins said. “She acknowledges that this state has made positive strides. We’re growing in diversity every year, but she wants to explore whether we can transcend our differences and move past racial divisions.”

Hitchins said she hopes the lecture will impart a lesson to students that extends beyond the boundaries of campus.

“Dr. Cashin’s speech will give students a more holistic education,” Hitchins said. “Her speech is a prelude to an issue students will encounter when they graduate.”

Megan Hayes, director of programming for the National Panhellenic Council, said the greek community is excited to have Cashin invited to speak.

“We wanted to build a stronger bond with the Women’s Resource Center in Tuscaloosa, and Dr. Cashin is an acclaimed author who can bring together the greek women on campus,” Hayes said. “We’re offering Panhellenic points to the members of the 16 sororities the National Panhellenic Council oversees.”

In addition, Hayes said racism is evidently an issue Alabama has struggled with in the past, and that Cashin’s speech will hopefully foster a more united greek female community since different sororities are divided along racial or cultural lines.

“Racism is obviously something we’ve had to deal with in this state, and sometimes Alabama gets a bad rap for that,” Hayes said. “Dr. Cashin’s speech can hopefully facilitate a more united greek front between the African-American, multicultural and white sororities on campus.”