Dr. Kim LeDuff, associate director of The University of Southern Mississippi School of Mass Communication and Journalism, will present the 19th annual Armstrong-Branch Lecture Thursday, April 12 at 6:30 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium on the university's Hattiesburg campus. Admission is free.
The annual lecture was established in honor of Gwendolyn Armstrong and Raylawni Branch, the first African American students at Southern Miss when they enrolled in September 1965. The title of LeDuff’s lecture is “Speaking Across Difference: From On-Campus to On-Line.”
“I’m truly honored that Ms. Branch personally invited me to be the presenter for this prestigious annual lecture,” LeDuff said. “The legacy she and Ms. Armstrong have put in place should inspire today's students to continue to work for progress and positive change.”
Through her lecture, LeDuff wants to remind her audience to think critically about mainstream media messages and remember they are not only consumers, but also critics and creators in the new media environment. Doing so is especially important now, she said, as strong opposing opinions are being expressed daily in public and through social media about such hot topics as the death of Trayvon Martin, the 2012 presidential campaign and the national and world economies.
" Now more that ever we have the power to have our voices heard and create social change," LeDuff said. "But we as individuals have to be willing to communicate in a manner that is productive."
LeDuff’s research includes race and representation in mass media, as well as journalism education. She is the author of Tales of Two Cities: How Race and Crime Intersect on Local TV Newsand co- author, along with Southern Miss colleagues Campbell and Cheryl Jenkins, of Race and News: Critical Perspectives.
She teaches courses in broadcast journalism, media writing, mass media theory and pedagogy, as well as a course on race, gender and media at the graduate and undergraduate levels. In February, she was chosen by the State Institutions for Higher Learning (IHL) among nominees from the state’s public universities as IHL's Black History Month Educator of the Year.
For more information about University Forum, contact the Southern Miss Honors College at 601.266.4533.