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Mercer Lyceum to Hold Lecture on Obama Presidency, Race

October 17, 2011

Media Contact: Mark Vanderhoek, (478) 301-4037 or

MACON — Mercer University will hold a lecture, titled “Our President is Black, Now What? Race Relations and the Obama Presidency,” on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Medical School Auditorium. The program will include two prominent speakers — author and commentator Dr. Johnny Hill and author Jeremy Tate. The event is part of the Mercer Lyceum, a university wide initiative to and is free and open to the public.

Dr. Hill, author of The First Black President: Barack Obama, Race, Politics, and the American Dream, is a lecturer, consultant and preacher who has conducted workshops and seminars on topics related to peace, social justice, politics, religion, race and reconciliation and multiculturalism in America. Dr. Hill has served as associate professor of theology at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, as well as director of African-American student affairs at Northwestern University. He is currently president of the Foundation for Reconciliation and Dialogue and senior pastor of the historic Greater Good Hope Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky. His forthcoming book is titled Prophetic Rage: Black Religion, Nihilism, and Empire.

Tate is a 24-year-old author, philosopher and social commentator who has written for several websites, including and Rolling Out Magazine. He is in pursuit of bringing a unique voice of truth to his generation by traveling the country speaking on political, social and economic issues affecting African-American young adults. Tate is the author of Heaven and Hell & Eating Too Many Lemon Heads, a book of socially conscious poetry.

About the Mercer Lyceum
The Mercer Lyceum is an effort to help coordinate existing University lectures and events, as well as new ones, around a single theme. The Lyceum will allow for more in-depth discussions, and, organizers hope, more in-depth learning, while helping to create new partnerships among the many disciplines at Mercer’s campuses. The Lyceum has been approved for four years, with two biennial cycles focusing on a single theme. The first theme is “Rebuilding Democracy” and will run from fall 2011 to spring 2013. The theme is built in part to help educate students about the challenges facing American democracy – hyper partisanship, governmental gridlock, low voter turnout and weak understanding of constitutional democracy, as well as outside threats, such as the growing gap between rich and poor, a shrinking middle class and the decline of America’s influence in the world. The Lyceum will help to inform students about these issues, but also help to train them to become better citizens themselves by examining possible solutions to those issues. The organizers hope the conversations help them find ways to address those challenges both as citizens and as professionals in their chosen careers.

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,200 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit
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