The racial protests in Jena, La., in 2007 were fueled not only by perceived injustice, but also by skillful use of the Internet, which resulted in quick dissemination of news, online organizing and grassroots mobilization. This Saturday at Xavier University, a group of educators and Web-savvy types hope to use the lessons learned from organizing that protest in a public symposium, "Beyond Jena: A Forum on Bloggers of Color, Education and Social Justice in New Orleans."
"At Jena, it was the black blogosphere and grassroots media that started the movement, and then the mainstream media came to it," says Dr. Kimberly J. Chandler (pictured), an assistant professor in Xavier's department of communications and co-organizer of the event with Xavier instructor Bart Everson. "That was something new for the African-American community, and we wanted to have a conversation about how bloggers of color might merge these topics in innovative ways."
Among the panelists: Dillard University professor and blogger Dedra Johnson, clinical psychologist Dr. Eban Walters, WBOK-AM radio host Paul Beaulieu, local blogger Clifton Harris ("Cliff's Crib"), Xavier professors Ross Louis and Michael Homan and a panel of student bloggers. Chandler and Everson will moderate. Admission is free, but attendees must register at the university's Web site. — Kevin Allman
Beyond Jena: A Forum on Bloggers of Color, Education and Social Justice in New Orleans
9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Sat., Jan. 31
Xavier University, University Center Ballroom, 1 Drexel Drive