Speaker Series

Thursday, February 22, 2024

7 PM
Lawrenceville Arts Center

Come hear Victoria Christopher Murray, one of the country’s top African American contemporary authors. Murray is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of more than 30 novels, including the New York Times Instant Best Sellers, The Personal Librarian, and The First Ladies.

Books will be available for sale and signing.

Local Voices. Local Leaders.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Lawrenceville Arts Center

We kicked off our Inaugural Hooper-Renwick Building Bridges Speaker Series with speakers Yvette Summerour, Tommie Smith and Keynote Author Speaker, Carolyn McKinstry.

Yvette Summerour

After a stint in a Georgia police department, Summerour joined the Secret Service in 1986. Since then, she has held supervisory jobs on the security details of President Clinton, First Lady Hilary Rodham Clinton, and presidential daughter Chelsea Clinton.

Tommie Smith

An American former track and field athlete and former wide receiver in the American Football League. At the 1968 Summer Olympics, Smith, aged 24, won the 200-meter sprint finals and gold medal in 19.83 seconds – the first time the 20-second barrier was officially broken. His salute for equality on the medal podium to protest racism and injustice against African Americans remains a symbolic moment in history.

Keynote Author Speaker: Carolyn McKinstry

While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age During the Civil Rights Movement

A lifelong member of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Carolyn was present on September 15, 1963, when white racists bombed the Church. Carolyn’s four young friends were killed. As a teenager, Carolyn felt her “calling” by attending the mass meetings and rallies at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. She was among thousands of students hosed by firemen during the 1963 marches. She survived a second bomb explosion that destroyed a large portion of her home in 1964. An “authentic child of the moment,” Carolyn believes that God spared her life on September 15th, 1963, so that she could continue to live in service to others.

Carolyn has shared her experiences with the History and Discovery Channels, The Faith & Politics Institute, and The U.S. States Memorial Holocaust Museum – both of Washington, D.C., The Frist Center of Nashville, Tennessee, CNN, BBC, MSNBC, Life Magazine, The Oprah Winfrey Show, national and local Public Radio and numerous other organizations and academic institutions. Recent invitations include New Delhi (India), Rome (Italy) (The Italian Baptist Evangelical Union in celebration of their annual international Martin Luther King memorial holiday), The Ramaz School in New York, The Children’s Defense Fund at Haley Farm (Clinton, Tennessee), and the Aspen Institute in Colorado. Carolyn was also a consultant and participant in the Spike Lee HBO Documentary “Four Little Girls,” the Hallmark television movie “Sins of the Father” (as told by the son of Bob Cherry, one of those convicted of the bombing), and “We shall not be moved” – a documentary of selected churches that opened their doors to the Civil Rights Movement in the sixties, and the HBO Grammy-winning “Children’s March.”

Stay tuned for our next event!