LMU Law to Host CLE Event in Honor of Black History Month

Elbert Williams is pictured with members of the NAACP in 1940

Elbert WilliamsLincoln Memorial University John J. Duncan, Jr., School of Law (LMU Law) will host Tennesseans for Historical Justice (THJ) on Friday, Feb. 21. The program, entitled “Dealing with the Ethical Implications in Past Crimes Involving Racism,” will examine the unsolved murder of Elbert Williams.  

In June of 1940, the body of Elbert Williams was discovered on a riverbank in Brownsville, Tennessee. Nearly 80 years later, his murder is still unsolved; however, THJ continues to work to resolve the case and bring Williams’ murderer to light. Speaking at the LMU Law event will be Elbert Williams Memorial Committee Chair John Ashworth, former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and current THJ board member Cynthia Deitle and retired attorney Jim Emison. Ashworth will speak on the history of racial terrorism in Tennessee while Deitle will discuss hate crimes in East Tennessee. Emison, who has devoted much of his time since his 2011 retirement investigating and writing about the Elbert Williams case, will outline the case and discuss recent developments.

THJ is a non-profit organization created a year ago to educate the public about civil rights history and to work to eliminate prejudice and discrimination by organizing public racial reconciliation events in the state of Tennessee. On May 15, 2018, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed into law House Bill No. 2624 creating the Tennessee Civil Rights Crimes Information, Reconciliation, and Research Center. The Center functions as an informational clearinghouse for unsolved civil rights crimes in the state of Tennessee and coordinates volunteer activities related to that mission. THJ aims to lessen the burdens of government by providing resources to and working alongside the Center in order to conduct a statewide survey to document all civil rights crimes perpetrated in the state of Tennessee.

Three hours of dual continuing legal education (CLE) is available for the program, which runs from 8:30 a.m. until noon. The cost is $35 and includes a continental breakfast. For more information or to register, contact April Hurley by phone at 865.545.5339 or by email at LMULawevents@LMUnet.edu.    

The Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law is located in Knoxville’s Historic Old City Hall Building. LMU Law is an integral part of LMU’s values-based learning community, and is dedicated to preparing the next generation of lawyers to provide sound legal service in the often underserved region of Appalachia and beyond. LMU Law is approved by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association, 321 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654, 312-988-6738.

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