Guest Speaker Kim Warren
“The Mind and Memory of Mary McLeod Bethune”
Presented by Kim Warren, Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, School of Social Welfare and Associate Professor of History at the University of Kansas.
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
3:30–5:00 p.m. PDT
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This event is cosponsored by University of Oregon Department of History and the Department of Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies.
Kim Warren has traced the political evolution of the most influential African American woman in the 1930s, Mary McLeod Bethune. By the end of her life, Bethune had advised four presidents, convened the largest coalition of black women in the United States, and was often referred to as the “First Lady of the Struggle.” However, she has lived in the scholarly and popular memory simply as a celebrated teacher and a maternal advocate for civil rights. Warren takes Bethune’s story deeper by examining Bethune’s radical thoughts about voting, racial integration, and black feminism before a larger civil rights movement overshadowed her memory. Recently, Mary McLeod Bethune—or at least her memorial statue that will replace a Confederate soldier in the US Capitol Building—has reentered the public imagination as symbol of reconciliation for America’s past with racial and gender inequity.