Nashville, TN

Fisk's John Lewis Center For Social Justice appointed new director

Kelleigh Michanichou
Andre Hunter/Unsplash

NASHVILLE, TN – Fisk University's John Lewis Center for Social Justice appointed Professor Dr. Karida Brown of UCLA as the first Diane Nash Descendants of the Emancipation Chair. Brown also serves as the LA Lakers' Director of Racial Equity and Action.

Amy and Frank Garrison donated $2.5 million to create the Diane Nash chair in May this year. A portion of the donation will go toward the endowed chair honoring Dr. Nash, a former Fisk student and famous civil rights fighter.

Dr. Brown brings a wealth of expertise as an author, lecturer, social scientist, and organizational change leader to this new chair. Her husband, famous fine artist Charly Palmer, will join her in her effort to revitalize Fisk's programs in racial and social justice during the next academic year.

Fisk University has a history of social justice leadership as one of the country's major historically Black universities. Both the late Congressman John Lewis and Diane Nash were founding members of the school's Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which contributed to Nashville being the first southern city to desegregate lunch counters in the '60s.

Dr. Brown will take over as Chair on Aug. 1 for a one-year term. Charly Palmer will also begin teaching for a year on Aug. 1, mentoring and training Fisk students and Nashville's thriving community of Black artists on how to discover their voice in the art industry and the intersections of art, commerce, and race.

Charly Palmer had this to say about this year's impact: “Art inspires enlightenment, inspiration, and motivation and that is something I can help provide to Fisk students. As Kendrick Lamar said, ‘I’ll give you the game, you go back to the turf and give it back.’ I believe that.”

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