African American Studies hosts Rhonda Williams for Women’s History Month presentation

Rhonda Y. Williams

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Mississippi State’s African American Studies program continues its 10th anniversary event series with a March 28 presentation.

Taking place at 4 p.m. in the university’s Simrall Electrical Engineering Building auditorium, “Your Silence Will Not Protect You: Black Women, History and Social Justice” will feature Professor Rhonda Y. Williams, the first African American to earn tenure and achieve full professor status in the history department at Case Western Reserve University. She is founder and director of CWRU’s Social Justice Institute, as well as the university’s African American studies postdoctoral fellowship.

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Williams is a summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa journalism bachelor’s graduate of the University of Maryland College Park. She was the university’s first African American salutatorian in its then 187-year history. In 2009, Williams received CWRU’s inaugural Inclusion and Diversity Achievement Award.

Williams also holds a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. As a former journalist, educator, researcher and scholar-activist, she has worked to broker understanding of issues regarding marginalization, inequality and activism.

In addition to two books, Williams has authored articles on black power politics, the war on poverty, low-income black women’s grassroots organizing, and urban and housing policy.

Along with the MSU College of Arts and Sciences’ African American Studies program, Williams’ presentation is supported by the university’s Holmes Cultural Diversity Center, Office of Public Affairs, and the Department of Sociology’s Gender Studies program.

For more information, contact LaShundra Townsend, African American Studies administrative assistant, at 662-325-0587 and

Part of the College of Arts and Sciences, MSU’s African American Studies program offers courses leading to a minor in African American Studies. For more, visit

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Sasha Steinberg | Public Affairs

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