In the aftermath of a contentious electoral season, highlighted by debates about the nature of our democracy and equality of educational opportunity, Pioneer Institute is hosting a forum that celebrates the birthday and legacy of the late Birmingham, Alabama civil rights leader Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth. The event will feature his widow, award-winning historians, and civil rights and school leaders discussing how best to make the promise of civil rights a reality through school choice options for underserved families. The panel will be moderated by Rev. Liz Walker.
About the Featured Speakers:
Sephira Shuttlesworth is Regional Support Director, SABIS® Educational Systems. Previously, she was Director of the Mid-Michigan Leadership Academy, a SABIS® Network school located in Lansing, Michigan. Dr. Shuttlesworth and her siblings integrated the Pope Elementary School in Jackson, Tennessee. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Union University and a master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati. She received an honorary doctorate degree from the Global Evangelical Christian College and Seminary in Montgomery, Alabama. Dr. Shuttlesworth is a former teacher and is the widow of the late Birmingham, Alabama, Civil Rights leader, the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth.
Diane McWhorter, a journalist based in Washington, D.C., is the author of Carry Me Home, a history of the civil rights revolution in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. It won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction, among other awards. Her young-adult history of the civil rights movement, A Dream of Freedom, one of The New York Times‘ nine “Notable Children’s Books of 2004.” She is a member of the Society of American Historians and has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy in Berlin, and, most recently, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. McWhorter has been a longtime contributor to The New York Times and is on the USA Today Board of Contributors, writing for its op-ed page. Her articles on race, politics, and culture have also appeared in The Nation, Slate, The American Scholar, Smithsonian, Harper’s, and other publications. She is a graduate of Wellesley College.
Reverend Liz Walker is pastor of Roxbury Presbyterian Church, which is home of the Cory Johnson Program for Post Traumatic Healing. She was called to this ministry after 21 years as Boston’s first African-American Television News Anchor on WBZ-TV and 12 years of humanitarian work in war-torn Sudan, where she co-founded My Sisters’ Keeper, a grassroots initiative that built a school for girls. Before Boston, her career in television news took her from Arkansas to Colorado, and San Francisco, where she received an Emmy Award. Reverend Walker is a member of the Core Strategy Team of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization and serves on the Board for the New England Chapter of the UN International Children’s Emergency Fund. She has also served on many boards and holds honorary degrees from numerous institutions. A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, Reverend Walker received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Olivet College in Michigan, studied Television Communications at the University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate school, and is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School.
Howard Fuller is the Distinguished Professor of Education and Director of the Institute for the Transformation of Learning (ITL) at Marquette University. Dr. Fuller has many years in both public service positions and the field of education, including Superintendent of the Milwaukee Public Schools and Director of the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services. As Director of the ITL, Dr. Fuller supports education options that transform learning for children, while empowering families, particularly those of low-income, to choose the best school options. Dr. Fuller holds a B.S. Degree from Carroll College, an M.S.A. Degree from Western Reserve University, and a Ph.D. from Marquette University.
Andrew Manis is the author of A Fire You Can’t Put Out: The Civil Rights Life of Birmingham’s Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth and a Professor of History at Macon State College in Georgia. He is an ordained Baptist minister and award-winning historian whose research focuses on the role of religion in American life, with particular attention placed on the civil rights movement. His books include Macon Black and White: An Unutterable Separation in the American Century, Southern Civil Religions in Conflict: Civil Rights and the Culture Wars, and Southern Civil Religions in Conflict: Black and White Baptists and Civil Rights.