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Media Contact: Maddy Elledge
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Young Harris College to Host Second Annual Black History Month Lecture Series

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – Young Harris College’s History Department, Outdoor Leadership Department and Office of Religious Life will present a series of special lectures in honor of Black History Month on the YHC campus. The lectures are free and open to the public.

The series will begin on Monday, Jan. 29, at 7 p.m., with Emory University’s Candler School of Theology’s Assistant Professor of Sociology, Religion, and Culture Dr. Nichole R. Phillips. Dr. Phillips is sociologist of religion, and teaches community and congregational studies with a focus on American public life while also investigating members’ moral commitments and vision. Her lecture will be held in the Susan B. Harris Chapel.

On Tuesday, Feb. 6, Valdosta State University’s Associate Professor of History and African American Studies Dr. Thomas Aiello will present “Black Lives Have Always Mattered: The History Behind Contemporary Racial Controversies” at 7 p.m. in the Wilson Lecture Hall. This talk will discuss the Confederate flag and the Ku Klux Klan, modern “race riots,” kneeling protests in professional sports, the modern problems with mass incarceration, and the Black Lives Matter movement and the police brutality that generated it.         

YHC’s Associate Professor of History Dr. Natalia Starostina will present the third lecture on Tuesday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. in the Wilson Lecture Hall. Her lecture, “The Icons of Internationalism: Russian-Africans in the Soviet Union,” explains how one of the most important ideological pillars of the Soviet Union was the emphasis on internationalism and equality among nations.

On Thursday, Feb. 15, at 6 p.m. in Wilson Lecture Hall, the Outdoor Leadership Department will host a special viewing of “An American Ascent.”  By taking on the grueling, 20,310-foot peak of the continent’s biggest mountain, the documentary addresses often overlooked issues of race and the outdoors as it follows the team up the mountain, chronicling the many challenges of climbing one of the world’s most iconic peaks.

Samford University’s Professor Dr. Christopher Metress will present a lecture entitled “Making History: Emmett Till and Civil Rights Memory” on Thursday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. in the Wilson Lecture Hall. Dr. Metress will explore how Emmett Till’s lynching re-emerged in civil rights memory to become a pivotal moment in our national narrative.

The series will conclude with YHC’s annual Ragsdale Lecture on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. in the Suber Banquet Hall of the Rollins Campus Center on the YHC campus. Clemson University’s Professor of History Vernon Burton, Ph.D., will deliver his lecture entitled “From Gettysburg Address to the March on Washington.”

About Young Harris College
Young Harris College is a private, baccalaureate degree-granting college located in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires and empowers students through the highest quality liberal arts education. The College currently has more than 1,100 students across five divisions—Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. The historic campus in Young Harris, Ga., has completed major campus improvements to accommodate the College’s growth. Recent LEED-certified campus improvements include the 121,000-square-foot Rollins Campus Center, new residence facilities, and a 57,000-square-foot recreation and fitness center. The College is an active member of NCAA Division II and remains a fierce competitor in the prestigious Peach Belt Conference. YHC is among fewer than 300 colleges and universities nationwide named to the 2017-2018 list of Colleges of Distinction and is listed as a “Best National Liberal Arts College” by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, visit