MLK speaker to lead dialogue about race

MLK speaker to lead dialogue about race

Posted on Friday, January 24, 2020

Dr. Beverly Tatum to give MLK address

Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president emerita of Spelman College, will present this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. program at 11:15 a.m. Feb. 6 in Price Theater. Dr. Alicia Bonaparte, associate professor of sociology at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, will serve as moderator.

It is fitting to have Dr. Tatum as the featured MLK speaker, according to Brian Carlisle, Vice President and Dean of Students.

“Dr. Tatum is an award-winning researcher and author on the topics of racism and social change,” he said. “She has assisted many communities, colleges and businesses in taking leadership roles to create truly inclusive communities.”

Carlisle said this year’s program will be slightly different than previous events.

“This will be more of a conversation than a speech,” he said. “Dr. Bonaparte will be our moderator, and she and Dr. Tatum will be seated on the stage in a very informal setting. They will start with some remarks, then open the floor for questions or comments.”

Dr. Tatum is the author of the best-selling book “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations about Race,” now in its 20th anniversary edition.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wesleyan University, and a master’s and doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan, as well as a master’s in religious studies from Hartford Seminary.

She is a clinical psychologist widely known for both her expertise on race relations and as a thought leader in higher education. She served as president of Spelman from 2002-2015, and was presented the Carnegie Academic Leadership Award in 2013.

Dr. Tatum is a sought-after speaker on the topics of racial identity development, race and education, strategies for creating inclusive campus environments, and higher education leadership. In 2005 Dr. Tatum was awarded the prestigious Brock International Prize in Education for her innovative leadership in the field.

A Fellow of the American Psychological Association, she was the 2014 recipient of the APA Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Psychology. A civic leader in the Atlanta community, Dr. Tatum is engaged in educational initiatives designed to expand educational opportunity for underserved students and their families.

In Atlanta she serves on the governing boards of the Westside Future Fund, Achieve Atlanta, Morehouse College, the Tull Charitable Foundation and Georgia Power Company. She is also on the boards of Smith College, TIAA Charitable and the Educational Testing Service.

She is married to Dr. Travis Tatum, and they are the parents of two adult sons.

alicia-bonaparte.jpgCarlisle said Dr. Bonaparte is a scholar in her own right.

“She researches health care disparities in the African American community, social stratification, medical sociology and female juvenile delinquency,” he said.

She also has written extensively about birthing, midwifery, reproductive health disparities, and class and gender issues in American society. 

Dr. Bonaparte earned a bachelor’s degree from Spelman College and a master’s and doctorate from Vanderbilt University. She was awarded a summer residency in Jamaica by NLS, a contemporary visual art initiative; a Nicholas R. Doman Fellowship in the Social Sciences; and a Mellon Junior Faculty research award.

LaGrange College is honored to welcome Dr. Tatum and Dr. Bonaparte to campus, Carlisle said.

“We are fortunate to have these two brilliant scholars with us for this year’s celebration of Dr. King.”

Note: Dr. Tatum will be signing copies of her book in the lobby of Price Theater after the event. Books for purchase will not be available, so attendees are encouraged to bring their personal copies if they wish them to be signed.

Campus notes


Volunteer judges are needed for the National History Day Georgia State Contest scheduled for April 18 at the college. Dr. Kevin Shirley, one of the coordinators of the event, said judges aren’t required to have degrees. “We want people who enjoy interacting with the students,” he said. National History Day Georgia is co-sponsored by Georgia Humanities and LaGrange College. To register as a judge, visit here

Sharonza Jones, an Education Studies student, recently received a Grow Your Own Scholarship from the Troup County School System. She is a pre-K paraprofessional at Long Cane Elementary School and serves as the Greenpower coach at the school. She plans to finish her undergrad this summer and go on to complete her teaching certification. The scholarship is a reimbursement grant, meaning the district will repay her for her tuition once she completes her degree.

Delta Tau Delta will be hosting a fundraising walk to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at 11 a.m. Saturday at Fraternity Court. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend.

The opening lecture for this year’s 3D Journeys will be at 10 a.m. Monday in Dickson Assembly Room. Dr. Mary Ann Wilson, professor emerita of English at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, will talk about “La Dolce Vita and the Food of Northern Italy.” Free and open to the public.


Cultural Enrichment events

Today (Friday)

  • Flash Workshop Reading Event, 2 p.m., Lamar Dodd Lecture Hall


  • Delta Tau Delta fundraising walk for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 11 a.m., Fraternity Court


  • 3D Journeys lecture, 10 a.m., Dickson Assembly Room in Turner Hall





LC’s men’s swim team had 11 first-place finishes in defeating Warren Wilson 325-102 last Saturday. Junior David Edmondson won the 50- and 100-yard backstroke events. He was also a part of the winning 200 medley relay team. Edmondson was the team’s high scorer with 80 points.


Women’s Basketball

The Panthers improved to 10-6 overall and evened their USA South record at 4-4 with a 59-54 win over Huntingdon in Mariotti Gym on Wednesday. Daijah Cousins had a season-high 12 points off the bench. Sadie Desroches had nine points and rebounds each.


Men’s Basketball

N.C. Wesleyan topped the Panthers (3-12, 2-6 USA South) 80-74 last Sunday in Mariotti Gym. Julian Cameron led LC with a game-high 30 points. Henry Blair added 12 points and Drew Shepherd 10.

Upcoming Events

Friday, Jan. 24

Men’s Basketball vs. Covenant, Mariotti Gym, 7 p.m.

Swimming at Viking Classic Invitational, Mount Berry, Georgia, 4 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 25

Swimming at Viking Classic Invitational, Mount Berry, Georgia, 9 a.m.

Women’s Basketball at Maryville, 2 p.m.

Men’s Basketball vs. Brevard, Mariotti Gym, 5 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 28

Women’s Basketball at Wesleyan, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 29

Men’s Basketball at Piedmont, 7 p.m.


Alumni giving

Panther Meter for Jan. 24, 2020, showing 408 donors

If at least 1,140 alumni join us in supporting students by June 30, 2020, their gifts will create great opportunities for the next year. Go to or call the Development office at 706-880-8039 to make your gift.


Video of the Week

As the only advanced degree program of its kind in the Southeast, earning a Master’s in Strength and Conditioning at LaGrange College can lead to a career with limitless opportunity. Learn how.


In the headlines

Panthers first in preseason poll – LaGrange Daily News, Jan. 23, 2020

Panthers falter on home floor – LaGrange Daily News, Jan. 21, 2020


Category: College, Events, Students, Arts and Culture, Community, Faculty, Academics

Keywords: speaker MLK race racism Tatum Bonaparte

Press Contact

Debby Baker

Last updated: 01/24/2020