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UNF launches ‘The Justice Sessions’ discussion series

Art piece named "The Judgment Day" by Aaron Douglas featuring abstract figures playing tromboneA year-long virtual webinar and discussion series titled “The Justice Sessions” has been developed by an interdisciplinary group of University of North Florida departments and will feature speakers from UNF and the local community who will discuss Jacksonville’s history of racial and civil rights struggles to better understand where we came from and how we can move forward united into the future.

"We planned 'The Justice Sessions' as a way of bringing speakers and audiences from UNF and the Jacksonville community together to discuss racial justice and civil rights in hopes to fuel greater respect across our community,” said Dr. Keith Cartwright, UNF English chair/professor.

The Justice Sessions are presented by UNF’s Coggin College of Business, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English, Department of History, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, and the Digital Humanities Institute.

Sessions will take place noon to 1 p.m. on the following Wednesdays during fall semester:


  • August 26 – “Ax Handle Saturday” featuring Rodney Hurst, civil rights activist, discussing taking account of the long journey for human rights.
  • September 9 – “Reading James Weldon Johnson in Jacksonville” featuring Paige Perez, UNF English instructor and alumna, and Dr. Keith Cartwright, UNF English chair/professor, discussing what’s at stake in reading our most accomplished public figure.
  • September 23 – “Jacksonville Consolidation” featuring Ben Frazier, founder/president of the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville, addressing social, racial, and economic injustice in the consolidation of metro Jacksonville.
  • October 7 – “Baobab Black Arts/Creative Writers Forum” featuring Lizz Straight, spoken word poet, and Yvette Angelique, poet and culture change strategist, sharing their work.
  • October 21 – “Black Society in Spanish Florida and the Digital Archive” featuring Jane Landers, Gertrude Conway Professor of History at Vanderbilt University, on the launching of the Slave Societies Digital Archive from her work in St. Augustine and beyond.
  • November 4 – “Felon Disenfranchisement” featuring Dr. Natasha Christie, UNF political science and public administration chair/associate professor, discussing the disproportionate impact of felon disenfranchisement laws on communities of color.
  • The final fall session, “How to Research Local Black History” will feature various voices in a roundtable discussion hosted by UNF’s Digital Humanities Institute from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13.

Spring 2021 sessions will be announced later this year. Zoom session registration and more information can be found at the Justice Sessions website.