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University Professor Co-Sponsors Event for Civil Rights Movement in Prince Edward County

April 30, 2015


CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Dr. Cristina Kirklighter, a Professor in the College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and Editor of a national service-learning journal titled, “Reflections: A Journal of Public Rhetoric, Civic Writing and Service Learning,” co-sponsored the “Common Reflections: A Night of Education and Advocacy” in Farmville, Va., held on April 24.  The “Reflections” journal is published at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

Kirklighter, a native of Virginia, discussed in a pre-recorded video  why national service-learning journals should play an active role in advocating the history of social justice in communities. The event also included Dr. Edward H. Peeples, Author of “Scalawag: A White Southerner’s Journey through Segregation to Human Rights Activism,” who read excerpts about his research in Prince Edward County during the schools’ closings. Other guests were Dr. Candace Epps Robertson, from Michigan State University, who reviewed some of her extensive research on the student Civil Rights movement, and Jamie Gardner, who spoke about her photographic exhibit of these schools then and now.  Dr. Heather Lettner-Rust, from Longwood University, discussed the roles of students and faculty at Longwood University in documenting this history through classes and research.

The closing of Prince Edward County, Virginia schools was nationally known and created national indignation. They closed the schools for five years so that integration would not take place. This was historic and well known in the Civil Rights movement. Reflections, which is housed at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, devoted part of their spring 2014 issue to interviewing a pivotal figure, Dr. Edward H. Peeples, who researched and was there during this time.