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Karson Institute to host second annual Wilson Peace Symposium

Wilson Peace Symposium

Loyola University Maryland’s Karson Institute for Race, Peace & Social Justice will host the second annual Wilson Peace Symposium on Thursday, April 13, 2023, from 9:30 a.m.–3 p.m. The symposium’s theme is “The Fierce Urgency of Now,” and the event, free and open to the public, will be held in Cohn and Knott halls on the Evergreen campus.

“The theme for the symposium speaks to this unique moment in America's history,” said Karsonya “Kaye” Wise Whitehead, Ph.D., founding executive director of the Karson Institute and professor of communication and African American Studies. “We will spend the day exploring ways in which racism, social justice, and activism intersect. We will also think deeply about the ongoing legislation around the country designed to limit academic freedom.”

Separate concurrent sessions will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.:

  • “The Fierce Urgency of Justice & Civics” will be an open conversation outlining and exploring the ways in which racism, inequities, and activism intersect within America’s educational system. The conversation will be facilitated by Lamar Darnell Shields Ph.D., co-founder and senior director of education and innovation at the Cambio Group; and Daryl Michael Scott, Ph.D., professor of U.S. history and chair of the Department of History, Geography, and Museum Studies at Morgan State University.
  • “The Fierce Urgency of Telling Our Own Stories” will feature City Neighbor High School students discussing how they learned to write and record personal stories on their experiences growing up in Baltimore City.

At 11:45 a.m. in the Quad, Whitehead invites attendees to join her for a cup of coffee and an informal discussion about the state of the Karson Institute.

Following the break will be a mid-day keynote conversation, Celebrating Ella Baker Day, hosted by Messina, Loyola’s distinctive living and learning program for first-year students. The conversation is open to all attendees.

“The symposium provides us with a unique opportunity to bring together three different communities on our campus: Loyola students, Baltimore City high school students, and Baltimore City residents,” Whitehead said.

The Wilson Peace Symposium is named for Loyola trustee Curtis Wilson, a committed advocate of the work of the Karson Institute, who passed away in May 2022.

The daylong symposium is open to the public, but registration is required. All students will receive free admission with a valid student ID. Register to attend the second annual Wilson Peace Symposium.

For more information about the Wilson Peace Symposium, visit

About the Karson Institute
Founded and based at Loyola University Maryland, the Karson Institute provides a scholarly space for professors, students, social justice workers, and activists to come together to research, discuss, debate, and explore answers to America’s most urgent questions on inequality, injustice, and racial inequity. The institute is committed to establishing a research and data-based environment built on intersectional liberated ideas and ideologies.