Director of Highlander Research and Defense Center to speak at LWC

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By The Staff

The director of one of the South's most important institutions will speak tomorrow at Lindsey Wilson College.

Pam McMichael, director of the Highlander Research and Defense Center, will talk about the Highlander folk school, at 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Oct. 28 in W.W. Slider Humanities Center Recital Hall.

The title of her talk is "A School Called Highlander: Grassroots Organizing for Change in the South."

McMichael's talk - which is part of the Lindsey Wilson College 2008-2009 Cultural Affairs Series - is free and open to the public.

The history of the Highlander Folk School reflects the course of organized labor and Civil Rights movements in the South, as well as the struggles of activists from the 1930s to the early 1960s.

Established in 1932 near Monteagle, Tenn., by Tennessee native Myles Horton and a young Georgian named Don West, Highlander's programs were based upon the conviction that education could be used to help ordinary people build upon the knowledge they had gained from experience and work collectively toward a more democratic and humane society. This approach made the adult education center a source of inspiration and the most controversial school in modern Tennessee history.

Highlander was an important factor in the pre-history and then the later history of the Civil Rights movement. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and Eleanor Roosevelt were supporters and students at the center. Musicians Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie were early visitors, and the song "We Shall Overcome" was adapted from an old gospel song at Highlander.

Today, Highlander serves Appalachia and the South with programs designed to build strong and successful social-change activism and community organizing led by the people who suffer most from the injustices of society. Highlander helps activists to become more effective community educators and organizers, informed about the important issues driving conditions in communities today.

For information about Highlander, visit www.highlandercenter.org.

For more information, contact Lindsey Wilson Cultural Affairs Committee chair Phil Hanna at (270) 384-8250 or by e-mail at hannap@lindsey.edu.