UNA Pressroom

Race And Religion Panel Discussion To Feature Pulitzer Prize Winning Author

Sep. 07, 2021

Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at media@una.edu, 256.765.4392 or 256.606.2033

FLORENCE, AL - Jennifer Berry Hawes, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Grace Will Lead Us Home: The Charleston Church Massacre and the Hard, Inspiring Journey to Forgiveness will be among the panelists for the second Race and Religion panel discussion sponsored by the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the One Book program at the University of North Alabama.

The event is schedule for 2-4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15 at Norton Auditorium on the UNA campus. Registration is required and can be found here.

In addition to Hawes as a 2016 Pulitzer winner, the panel also includes a 2019 Pulitzer Prize finalist, religious scholars, and scholars from multiple faiths to discuss the importance of religion as well as to bring awareness to how race and religion continue to intertwine around issues of racism and social justice, according to Ron Patterson, Vice President of the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

"This annual event allows UNA to be part of the ongoing conversation we all must have," he said. "Our guests, including Ms. Hawes, provide an opportunity to the campus as well as greater Shoals community to participate in these important discussions that allow us to move the conversation about race and religion forward."

Sept. 15 is also the day of the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. The Race and Religion panel discussion and book signing is an opportunity to honor the individuals massacred at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, while remembering the victims of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing, Patterson said.

Panelists will be Hawes, as well as Dr. Paula Michelle Wyatt, Minister at Greater Bethel AME Church in Nashville; the Rev. Christopher Reeves, lead pastor at Greater Saint Paul AME Church in Florence, which is the oldest AME church in Alabama; and the Rev. Dr. Callie Plunkett- Brewton, rector at Trinity Episcopal Church in Florence.

Copies of Grace Will Lead Us Home, which was this year’s selection for the One Book program at UNA, will be for sale at Norton the day of the event, and a book signing with Hawes is scheduled to take place at the conclusion of the panel discussion.


About The University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering credential, certificate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs in the colleges of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering; Business and Technology; Education and Human Sciences; and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. The first-choice University for more than 10,000 on-campus and online students, UNA is on a bucolic campus in Florence, Alabama, part of the historic and vibrant Shoals region. Lions Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I’s ASUN Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks/