A writer, playwright, organizer and educator who devotes her work to supporting criminal justice and community leaders is the keynote speaker at the annual Hazel L. Jackson Lecture Series. Mahogany L. Browne will speak on Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. in the Bolger Conference Center.
Hazel L. Jackson was the first female African-American professor hired at Millersville University. In honor of her contributions to MU, the late Dr. Rita Smith-Wade-El created the Hazel L. Jackson Lecture series. Each year, the University invites African-American literary artists to share their experiences with the campus and the Lancaster community.
Browne has many accomplishments, including being selected as the Kennedy Center’s Next 50, the executive director of JustMedia and the artistic director of Urban Word. She has also written “Vinyl Moon,” “Chlorine Sky,” “Woke: A Young Poets Call to Justice,” “Woke Baby” and “Black Girl Magic.”
Dr. Caleb Corkery, an English professor at MU and faculty member of the African American studies minor, explains the importance of the series. “This lecture highlights the artistry of African American authors, bringing to campus their expression and perspective to enlighten us. It is also an opportunity to share what enriches us with our greater community.”
In addition to Browne, Evita Colon and Sir Dominique Jordan, local spoken word artists, are also presenting their work. Before the event, they are hosting a poetry workshop on campus for 10th graders.
Corkery notes that each speaker’s work aligns perfectly with Hazel L. Jackson’s values. “Browne, like Colon and Jordan, uses literary expression to inspire and uplift others. They are all devoted to cultivating Black voices, especially youth. This use of literary art is directly in line with Hazel Jackson’s career motivations, too.”
Corkery hopes attendees take the importance of literacy and education home with them. “This is sure to be an inspiring event. All three of these artists are skilled at bringing out their experiences in ways that connect and excite audiences. The value of literacy and education will surely be a theme they all touch on.”
In addition to the main event at 6 p.m., Browne will also host a Q&A session from 4-5 p.m. in the Stayer Hall MPR.
All events are free.
Learn more about the Hazel L. Jackson Lecture Series here –