Gannon University’s College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences is presenting
its Fall 2020 CHESS Speaker Series, which continues the conversation around today’s racial injustices and offers
insight into bringing meaningful change using a virtual platform.
This year’s series is titled Racial Justice: Be the Change. Racial justice remained at the center of widespread
protests and advocacy earlier this year. Some of those protests were right here in Erie. The College of Humanities,
Education and Social Sciences offers you the opportunity to become a part of the conversation through our
speaker series. We can all work to be the change through this year-long examination of the issues and their possible
The fifth event in this series, From Slavery to Police Brutality: The History of United States Racist Policing,
will be held at 3 - 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8. Jason Williams, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Montclair State
University, will present “U.S. Policing as Racialized Social Control: Canvassing Baltimore and Ferguson.” His talk will
intersectionalize our understanding of policing and recommend the need for a more historical and complicated
approach toward policing practice and understanding. Vivian Saleh Hanna, Ph.D., professor and chairperson of crime
and justice studies at University of Massachussetts Dartmouth, will examine police and vigilante white supremacist
violence using her research on black feminist hauntology and abolitionist theory of crime.
This event will be live-streamed for public viewing. Register
Also included in this series of events will be the 43rd Annual Gannon Writing Awards at 6:30 p.m. on Friday,
Oct. 9. Writing award will be announced for students across the University and will be followed by a reading from
featured distinguished poet, Allison Joseph. Joseph is the author of several poetry collections including Confessions
of a Barefaced Woman, Worldly Pleasures, and What Keeps Us Here. She has won several awards including the
2020 Winner of the Independent Press Award, 1992 John C. Zacharis First Book Award, 2009 Aquarius Press
Legacy Award, and Literary Award from the Illinois Arts Council. Joseph teaches and directs the Southern Illinois
University-Carbondale MFA program in Creative Writing. This event is also free and open to the public. Register at
The next event in this series is listed below with more details to come.
>Oct. 28 | 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Champions of Justice