Though she was delivering an annual lecture, Ange-Marie Hancock's speech at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History Monday night was grounded in current events.
Hancock talked about the importance of the intersectionality of race, gender and class in solidarity movements and social justice in her Sonja Haynes Stone Memorial Lecture, "Scaling Up Stories for Justice — a Role in Black Lives Matter for Every Sector of Our Community."http://stonecenter.unc.edu/program/stone-memorial-lecture-delivered-by-dr-ange-marie-hancock/
Hancock said this issue is especially relevant as activists restart conversations after the 2016 election.
Hancock, an associate professor of political science and gender studies at the University of Southern California, received her M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from UNC.
Lauren Jordan, member of the Stone Center Advisory Board, said the lecture is an annual event intended to honor the legacy of Sonja Stone, who was a professor of African-American studies at UNC.
“The lecture is dedicated to her memory and standard of excellence, advocacy and activism she left as her legacy,” Jordan said.
Hancock said talking to people who think differently from us is a large part of the conversation surrounding solidarity movements. She said this is relevant on college campuses especially.
“You have to engage with people who think differently from you to understand the way in which you’re going to be able to live together in the future,” she said.
Hancock said intersectionality and deliberate inclusivity are key to the black activist community and the Black Lives Matter movement now. She said the movement today looks different from Martin Luther King Jr.’s movement because it has people of all genders, races and sexual orientations at the forefront of the organization.
In her opening remarks, Chancellor Carol Folt said the past week has been emotional and seeing people coming together for the lecture was a wonderful thing.
“This place carries the history with it,” Folt said, “And it’s reinforced by the beauty and the primacy of its position right here in the center of the campus.”
Joseph Jordan, director of the Stone Center, said this was the keynote event of the year for the center.
“Dr. Stone was a visionary presence on campus and someone whose leadership we would welcome in the political times of today, regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum,” he said.
Hancock said the most important question an ally can ask themselves is if they’re ready for deep political solidarity through allyship. She said confronting individual implicit bias and recognizing the effect implicit bias has on the black community, such as increases in generalized anxiety disorder and PTSD, is the first step.
“We heal ourselves, we prepare ourselves and we don’t remain calm, but we do organize, organize, organize,” Hancock said.
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