Mercer to Host Discussion Series on ‘Economic (in)Justice in America’

MACON – Mercer University will host a series of moderated discussions this spring on the topic of “Economic (in)Justice in America,” beginning Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. in the Science and Engineering Building, Room 110.

The University’s Center for Community Engagement, Department of International and Global Studies, and Research That Reaches Out Office are collaborating on the series, which is free and open to the public. Discussions on Feb. 4, March 10 and April 7 will each begin at 6 p.m.

The topic of the opening discussion is “Structural and Institutional Injustice: The Case of Pleasant Hill.” The panel will feature Tedra Huston, executive director of the Macon-Bibb Community Enhancement Authority, Peter Givens, president of Pleasant Hill Neighborhood Improvement Association, and Dr. Doug Thompson, professor of history and director of the Spencer B. King Jr. Center for Southern Studies. Dr. Eimad Houry, professor and chair of the Department of International and Global Studies, will moderate.

“Institutional justice is a term that refers to how the intentional and unintentional decisions and actions of political, economic and social institutions shape the just or unjust treatment of certain groups in the community,” said Dr. Houry. “Structures that emerge as a result of these actions help perpetuate and entrench the treatment of these groups. Pleasant Hill in Macon is a case study that will demonstrate evidence of these processes at play to the detriment of vulnerable communities.”

“For this first event, we wanted to explore the complexity of how racial and economic injustice intersect, and we also wanted to ground this discussion in something that is timely and relevant to our Mercer and Macon communities,” added Hannah Vann Nabi, associate director of Research That Reaches Out. “We wanted to expose our audience to the story of Pleasant Hill, from its historic roots to the devastating impact that the construction of I-75 had on the neighborhood to the present-day revitalization work of community members.”

Subsequent events will discuss “Creative Activism: The Role of the Arts in Confronting Economic Injustice” and “Charity, Justice and Power,” with additional details to come.