Brigham Young University will sponsor a daylong conference June 8 on the experiences of blacks in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The conference will mark the 10th anniversary of the church's extending the priesthood to blacks worldwide and will be in the de Jong Concert Hall in the Harris Fine Arts Center.The conference will begin at 8:30 a.m. with introductions by Jessie L. Embry, oral history program director in the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, a short message by a representative from the BYU administration, and a keynote address/devotional by an LDS General Authority.
For information contact Jessie L. Embry, Redd Center, 4069 HBLL, BYU, Provo, UT, 84602, or call 378-4048.
Alan Cherry, a black LDS convert and director of the LDS Afro-American Oral History project at BYU, will provide an overview of blacks' experiences in the church. His interest led to the development of the oral history project, which records interviews with LDS blacks throughout the United States.
A 1 p.m. panel moderated by Mary E. Stovall, director of the Women's Research Institute, will feature four black Latter-day Saints discussing their experiences and fielding questions from the audience.
Participating will be Burgess Owens, a former NFL football player, now a businessman in New York City; Nathleen Albright of Los Angeles, a homemaker and director of reader's theater presentations about black Latter-day Saints; Jeri Hales Harwell of Salt Lake City, a returned LDS missionary and BYU graduate student; and Robert Stevenson, a former BYU student body officer and businessman in Georgia.
Four other black Latter-day Saints will speak during a session at 3 p.m. and discuss the future outlook for blacks in the LDS Church.
Participants include Johnny McKay, member of an LDS high council; Cleeretta Smiley of Washington, D.C., who works with LDS Public Communications and is a teacher; Cathy Stokes of Chicago, a former Relief Society president who works as an employee for the State of Illinois; and Emanuel Reid of Georgia, counselor in a branch presidency and a returned missionary. Van Williams of LDS Public Communications/Special Affairs, will moderate.
James D. Walker, an associate director and archivist in the Washington, D.C., school system, will talk at 8 p.m. about the importance of preserving the history of Afro-Americans in general. Walker is the founding president of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. He has spoken at genealogical conferences at BYU and at the World Conference on Records.