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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


Guest Lecture Examines Black Women and Struggle for Economic Justice

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (Oct. 8, 2014) - Continuing a national initiative by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the University of Central Missouri Department of History and Anthropology will present “Black Women and the Struggle for Economic Justice from the New Deal to the Great Society,” a lecture and forum by Keona Erwin, at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, in the Alfred E. Twomey Auditorium.

The lecture is the fourth of six local events planned in conjunction with “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle,” the NEH initiative that examines the power of documentary films to encourage community discussion of America’s civil rights history.  Funding is made possible through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of its “Bridging Cultures” initiative in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Erwin is an assistant professor of African-American history at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and her master’s and Ph.D. degrees in African-American history from Washington University in St. Louis.  Ervin is the recipient of several grants and awards for her research, including the Huggins-Quarles Dissertation Award from the Organization of American Historians, the Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellows Travel and Research Grant from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the Lewis Atherton Dissertation Award for the best dissertation produced on a Missouri topic from the Missouri Historical Society, and Research Council funding from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Her current project, “The Labor of Dignity: Black Women, Urban Politics, and the Struggle for Economic Justice in the Gateway City,1931-1969,” will  be published by the University Press of Kentucky for their "Civil Rights and the Struggle for Black Equality in the Twentieth Century" series, which is edited by Steven F. Lawson and Cynthia G. Fleming.

The event will include special remarks in honor of the late Guy Griggs, professor emeritus of history.  Griggs taught the first African-American history course on campus in the late 1960s. He was also one of the first advisors to ABC-the Association of Black Collegiates.

A reception will immediately follow the lecture. The event is free and open to the public. For more information about the “Created Equal” series at UCM, contact the Department of History and Anthropology at 660-543-4404 or email