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Social Media Movement Creator Delivers Mary Frances Early Lecture


The University of Georgia hosted the 19th Annual Mary Frances Early Lecture at Mahler Hall in the Georgia Center this afternoon. The lecture is named in honor of the first American to earn a degree from the University. Mary Frances Early spoke at the event.

“I am deeply honored when I come back to the campus because it is so much changed from what it was in 1961 and I am always happy to see a big audience at the lecture because it lets me know that somebody is still interested in what went on,” according to Early. “I think we need to preserve our history because if we don’t we are liable to repeat it.”

New York Times bestselling author and creator of the #HipHopED social media movement, Christopher Emdin delivered this year’s address. The Columbia University Professor says he was honored to attend.

“I’ve read about Mary Frances, who she is as an educator, as a groundbreaker, as a part of the Civil Rights Movement and as a person who took a lot of personal struggle to ensure that it created a pathway for future generations,” Emdin said. “So to be able to speak at a lecture in someone like that’s honor, means the world to me.”

Emdin’s HipHopEd has grown into a nonprofit organization that focuses on conferences, curriculum, professional development, training and youth development.

“I kind of started a Twitter chat, but the movement’s already been there. Any movement that comes to the fore has already existed in the hearts and minds of the people. It just required some folks to stand in the way to create the space for it.”   

Emdin’s lecture, “Teaching and Learning from the Students’ Standpoint,” and following reception were open to the public.

Mary Frances Early graduated in 1962 with a master’s degree in music education. She completed her specialist in education degree in 1967.

The Mary Frances Early Lecture is sponsored by the Graduate School, Graduate and Professional Scholars and the Office of Institutional Diversity.

Credit Andrew Davis Tucker/UGA
File Mary Frances early with UGA President Jere Morehead.