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CBU's NAACP Chapter Hosts "Knowledge is Power Teach-In"

MEMPHIS ­─ The Christian Brothers University’s (CBU) chapter of the NAACP hosted a “Knowledge is Power Teach-In” on December 11 to educate students, faculty and community members about race relations and current issues plaguing the African-American community. 

 Students and community members gathered in the Sabbatini Lounge to participate in a discussion surrounding recent incidents that led to the deaths of two African-American men, Eric Garner and Michael Brown, both involving police officers. 

 After receiving national coverage, protests and riots ignited across the nation and a “Black Lives Matter” campaign surfaced forcing Americans to look at race relations more closely.  

CBU professors, Dr. Jeff Gross and Dr. Leigh Johnson led the discussion and presented their arguments about how everyone─ including college students, can play a role against injustice in America. Dr. Gross, an English professor and advisor to CBU’s NAACP chapter, used the deaths of Brown and Garner to paint a larger picture of race relations for students. 

 “Through the teach-in, we hoped to contextualize the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner within a broader context to illustrate the inequalities present in U.S. society, education, housing, labor and criminal justice,” he said. “We hope students will understand that ‘Black Lives Matter’ aims to draw attention to these disparities and to encourage citizens to change society to meet the needs of all citizens, especially African Americans.” 

Dr. Johnson, a philosophy professor at CBU, said that conversations surrounding race relations on college campuses are needed for moral conscience and sensitivity.

 “Conversations like those that took place at the #BlackLivesMatter Teach-In last Thursday night are absolutely critical on college campuses, especially at Lasallian institutions like CBU, where cultivating morally and politically conscientious students is an essential part of our educational mission, “she said.  “I feel extremely fortunate to have been a part of that event and I could not have been more impressed with the sensitivity, thoughtfulness and conviction exhibited by everyone—students, faculty, staff and community members—who participated.” 

For more information on the NAACP Chapter at CBU, visit, or email,

Posted by Mye Griffin at 11:21 AM