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Ashland Center for Nonviolence hosting scholar on Jim Crow laws March 30-31

Published on March 25, 2022
Ashland University

ASHLAND, Ohio – The Ashland Center for Nonviolence and the Ashland University Department of Religious Studies will welcome J. Russell Hawkins to campus on Wednesday and Thursday, March 30-31, for a pair of presentations centered on the history of white churches and their understanding of race during the era of Jim Crow. The events are free and open to the public.

Hawkins, who is a professor of humanities and history in the John Wesley Honors College at Indiana Wesleyan University, will present “When God Supported Jim Crow: Segregationist Christians, Civil Rights, and the Challenge of Orthodoxy in a Liberal Democracy,” inside the trustees room of the John C. Myers Convocation Center on March 30, from 7-8:30 p.m. He’ll be in classroom 230-231 of the Rybolt Sports Sciences Center on March 31, from 10:50 a.m.-12:05 p.m., to discuss “When Jim Crow Came to Church and Overstayed His Welcome.”

Hawkins is the author or co-editor of multiple books, including “The Bible Told Them So: Southern White Christians’ Fight Against Racial Equality,” which argues that white Christians’ theology informed and shaped their resistance to the civil rights movement in the South. He is currently working on a new project about the white flight of churches from urban America in the second half of the 20th century.

Hawkins earned a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton (Ill.) College, a master’s degree from Montana State University and a Ph.D. in American history from Rice University. He also served for a year with AmeriCorps as a literacy program coordinator in the public schools of Boston.

For more information, please contact Peter Slade, department chair and professor of religious studies at AU, at or 419-289-5231.

The Ashland Center for Nonviolence promotes alternatives to violence through education, training, and building relationships that foster awareness and consideration of issues related to nonviolence and social justice, and supports ways to create a caring community that is inclusive and just.

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.