New Civil Rights Institute Opens at Emory University

The James Weldon Johnson Institute for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies at Emory University was officially launched recently with a reception at the university. The mission of the Johnson Institute is to foster new scholarship, teaching, and public dialogue that focuses on the origins, evolution, and legacy of the modern civil rights movement. To accomplish these goals the institute sponsors up to five fellowships for visiting scholars to come to Atlanta each year. Fellows live on campus and teach one course.

The institute is under the direction of Rudolph P. Byrd, the Goodrich C. White Professor of American Studies at Emory. A graduate of Lewis & Clark College, Professor Byrd earned a Ph.D. at Yale University. He has been on the Emory University faculty since 1991. Previously he taught at the University of Delaware and Grinnell College. He is currently writing a biography of Ernest J. Gaines.