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Tuskegee poli sci symposium April 8-9 to explore constitutional matters, free speech

April 02, 2019

Contact: Brittney Dabney, Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing

Image of the U.S. Constitution on the American flagTuskegee University’s Department of History and Political Science and the College of Arts and Sciences is hosting its fourth annual Undergraduate Political Science Research Symposium on April 8-9. The theme for this year’s symposium is “The U.S. Constitution, the Judiciary and Knowing Your Rights.”

“There are a number of issues that pertain to rights – including the right to free speech, which we’ve seen a great deal of focus on lately, particularly around kneeling during the national anthem. These topics fit into our conversation because school-aged students have been disciplined based on their actions,” said Dr. Shenita Brazelton, an assistant professor of political science and co-advisor of the Pre-Law Society and Pi Sigma Alpha. “We hope that students attending the event will be able to spark engaging conversations among their peers.”

The two-day symposium, taking place in the university’s Legacy Museum, will feature a variety of presentations and panel discussions led by students from Tuskegee University, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, and LaGrange College. Monday’s activities will include topics like Tuskegee and the Civil Rights Movement; the U.S. presidency, Congress and courts, and Federalism; and social movements interest groups and institutions of influence.

“This is a research-led event, and we want participants to all leave with the experience of knowing how to speak at a conference, as well as understand the amount of research involved on their given topics,” Brazelton explained.

A banquet held in Tompkins Hall Ballroom that evening will conclude the day’s program, as well as serve as the scene for Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society’s induction ceremony. At the banquet, which will begin at 6 p.m., Chokwe Antar Lumumba, mayor of Jackson, Mississippi and a 2005 Tuskegee graduate, will provide a keynote address.  The theme for the evening is “Pi Sigma Alpha: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.”

Tuesday’s forum will focus on “Women in Power,” and include panelists Carol Moulton, director of the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Cynthia Hardy Young, CEO of Pivot Global Partners; and Dr. Kellei Samuels, Tuskegee’s associate vice president for institutional effectiveness.

Activities will begin at 8:45 a.m. on Monday and 10 a.m. on Tuesday, the events are free and open to the public. A full at-a-glance symposium itinerary is available for download.

For additional information about the symposium, please contact Dr. Brazelton at

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