Panel discussion on Confederate flag to be held Sept. 2

The University’s Pro Humanitate Institute will host a panel discussion called “The Flag: Navigating Southern Identity, Race and Symbolism” on Sept. 2 from 6-7 p.m. in Wait Chapel.

The panel will include:

  • Katon Dawson – Dawson was first elected Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party in 2002, was unanimously re-elected twice, and served on the Republican National Committee from 2002-2009. A leading voice in removing the flag from the South Carolina state capitol, he is now president of Dawson Public Affairs.
  •  Alicia Garza – An organizer, writer, and freedom dreamer, Garza is Special Projects Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the nation’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States. She is also the co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter.
  • Bree Newsome – A filmmaker, singer, songwriter and community organizer, Newsome made headlines when she climbed a flagpole and removed the Confederate flag flying at the state capitol in Columbia, S.C.
  •  James Ian Tyson– Tyson is a grassroots organizer who was arrested alongside Bree Newsome after they removed the flag from the South Carolina state capitol grounds.

Wake Forest political science professor Melissa Harris-Perry poses in her home in Winston-Salem on Thursday, September 18, 2014.


Melissa Harris-Perry, executive director of the Pro Humanitate Institute, director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center and Presidential Endowed Professor of Politics and International Affairs, will facilitate the conversation. Tiller Tillinghast, president of Wake Forest’s chapter of Kappa Alpha Order fraternity, will deliver opening remarks.

“An academic environment is the ideal place for a thoughtful and thought-provoking conversation about the intersection of race, symbolism and the South,” said Harris-Perry. “The unique and timely perspectives of each panelist will challenge, motivate and inspire those seeking social justice on our campus and in our community.”

Wake Forest’s chapter of Kappa Alpha Order fraternity, the Division of Campus Life and Office of Diversity and Inclusion are co-sponsoring the event, with support from the Diversity Collaboration Fund.

The event is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for Wake Forest students, faculty and staff. Public admittance will begin at 5:45 p.m. No registration is necessary.

A livestream webcast of the panel will be available at