Published on September 28th, 2023 | by University of Mississippi


Princeton Professor is Inaugural Speaker in Meredith Lecture Series at Ole Miss

Ruha Benjamin to deliver keynote October 2 at The Inn at Ole Miss ballroom 

Ruha Benjamin, a renowned Princeton University professor and author, is the inaugural speaker in the James H. Meredith Lecture Series on Monday, October 2, 2023, at the University of Mississippi

The free event, hosted by Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, is set for 6 pm in the ballroom of The Inn at Ole Miss. To register, click here

The event is a continuation of the commitment university leaders made during the 60th commemoration of Meredith’s enrollment at UM. 

“Dr. Benjamin’s most recent book, ‘Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want,’ will be the theme for the event,” said Shawnboda Mead, vice chancellor for diversity and community engagement. “Her work offers a practical and principled approach to transforming our communities and helping us build a more just and joyful world.” 

During the event, university leaders will announce the inaugural James H. Meredith Community Transformation Award. This new recognition is designed to empower students with leadership skills required for social change and a commitment to lifelong community service, Mead said.  

Recipients receive a grant of up to $4,000 and an additional $1,000 academic scholarship. 

“The award provides students with an experiential learning opportunity that contributes to the development of their capacity for community-based leadership,” she said. “Students who receive this award will gain insight into assessing possible solutions to problems that impact communities.” 

Benjamin is the Alexander Stewart 1886 Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University. She is also the founding director of the Ida B. Wells Just Data Lab, and author of the book “Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code” (Polity, 2019). Her work focuses on racial equity in terms of science, medicine and technology. 

She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Marguerite Casey Foundation Freedom Scholar Award and the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton. Her most recent book, “Viral Justice” (Princeton University Press, 2022), won the 2023 Stowe Prize. 

“Our faculty, and students are definitely excited and in support of this incredible event,” said Derrick Harriell, director of the UM African American studies program and Ottilie Schillig Associate Professor of English and African American Studies. “Dr. Ruha Benjamin is an incredible scholar who speaks directly to the current conditions and obstacles that plague us all.” 

By Edwin B. Smith 

Ruha Benjamin, a distinguished professor of African American studies at Princeton University, is the inaugural speaker for the James H. Meredith Lecture Series at the University of Mississippi. The lecture is set for 6 p.m. Monday (Oct. 2) at The Inn at Ole Miss. Submitted photo

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author

The University of Mississippi, affectionately known as Ole Miss, is Mississippi’s flagship university. A member of the elite group of R1: Doctoral Universities - Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification, Ole Miss has a long history of producing leaders in public service, business, academics and the professions. Its 16 academic divisions include a major medical school; nationally recognized schools of accountancy, law and pharmacy; and an Honors College acclaimed for a blend of academic rigor, experiential learning and opportunities for community action. Acclaimed as one of the nation’s most beautiful, Ole Miss's main campus is in Oxford, which is routinely recognized as one of the nation's best college towns.

Leave a Reply

Back to Top ↑