Lay Academy: Conversations on Race: Where Have We Been, Where Are We, and Where Are We Going in Tallahassee?

A variety of speakers from the Tallahassee community will lead us in examining our racial past and how we are confronting its legacy today and as we move into the future.

Watching the film “Invisible History: Middle Florida’s Hidden Roots” is recommended.  The film is available on the Passport platform for WFSU supporters.

Roots of Slavery, 9/8

FSU Professor Valerie Scoon, producer of “Invisible History: Middle Florida’s Hidden Roots,” will discuss her research on slavery and plantations in this area of Florida.

Segregation and Civil Rights: Children of Tallahassee’s Civil Rights Pioneers, 9/15

Panelists will discuss their first-hand accounts of watching/participating in their parents’ fights to gain equal rights in Tallahassee (1940’s to 2000’s and beyond).  Speakers include Jackie Perkins, daughter of Robert and Trudie Perkins; Betty Belinfantie, daughter of Laura Dixie; Samuel Dixie, Jr., son of Laura Dixie; Shauna Smith, daughter of Charles “C.U.” Smith; and moderator Priscilla Hawkins

Community-Based Efforts to Revitalize Tallahassee Neighborhoods, 9/22

John Baker, City of Tallahassee Neighborhood First Program, and Minjee Kim, Assistant Professor, FSU Dept. of Urban and Regional Planning, will discuss the work FSU students have done with Neighborhood First and the City of Tallahassee to engage residents of Griffin Heights, Providence, Bond, South City, and Frenchtown in developing plans to revitalize their neighborhoods. 

Neighborhood plans can be found at

Minjee Kim PowerPoint

Community-Based Efforts to Revitalize Tallahassee Neighborhoods, 9/29

Residents of neighborhoods will talk about their role in developing plans for improving their neighborhoods through Neighborhood First.

In preparation for the programs on Sept. 22 and 29, please read the neighborhood plans at

Race and the Church, 10/6 

Following a brief look at Trinity’s history regarding race, Rev. Latricia Scriven, Pastor of New Life UMC, will discuss her work with the Florida Conference’s Anti-Racism Task Force and ways in which its recommendations are being discussed and implemented.

The Remembrance Project, 10/13  

Learn about this program that seeks to remember and acknowledge past and present racial violence and injustice in Tallahassee, Leon County, Florida, and to inspire our community to come together for dialogue, education, understanding, action and, ultimately, for healing and trust. Speakers will be Byron Green and Blan Teagle, leaders in the Tallahassee Remembrance Project.

Capital Area Justice Ministry, 10/20 

Leah Wiley, Lead Organizer of the Capital Area Justice Ministry (CAJM), Rabbi Michael Shields, rabbi of Temple Israel, and Rev. James Houston, pastor of Bethelonia A.M.E. Church, will discuss CAJM’s background and plans to work toward its goal of bringing people together across racial, religious, and socioeconomic lines to pursue justice in Tallahassee.