“Black Lives Matter and Social Movements” — a virtual teach-in hosted by the Virginia Tech Department of History — took place on July 2. During the event, a panel of specialists discussed the historical and social contexts of Black Lives Matter and other movements in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Panelists included Marian Mollin, an associate professor in the Department of History; Brandy Faulkner, Gloria D. Smith Professor of Black Studies in the Department of Political Science, Virginia Tech; Andrae Hash, New River Valley organizer for Virginia Organizing; and Nicholas Copeland, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology.

The video and speaker biographies can be viewed below:

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Marian Mollin
Dr. Marian Mollin is an associate professor of history at Virginia Tech. Her research explores the connections between gender, protest, activism, and culture, with a focus on the history of American social movements and the religious left. She is the author of Radical Pacifism in Modern America: Egalitarianism and Protest (2006), co-editor of The Religious Left in Modern America: Doorkeepers of a Radical Faith (2018), and the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters. She also spent 10 years as a grassroots political organizer before becoming a historian. Her current book project, The Power of Faith: Understanding the Life and Death of Sister Ita Ford, explores the historical questions raised by Ford’s life and death by placing her experiences squarely within the context of the social movements of the global sixties and beyond.

Brandy Faulkner

Dr. Brandy Faulkner is the Gloria D. Smith Professor of Black Studies and a collegiate assistant professor in the Department of Political Science. She is also an activist and organizer focusing on racial and economic justice. She is committed to cultivating community-based approaches to problem solving and serves several state and national organizations dedicated to social, political, and economic change. Her teaching and research focuses on race and public policy and U.S. constitutional law, including recent publications on the judicial impact of Shelby v. Holder on civil rights and political engagement (with Dr. Susan Gooden) and the economics of environmental gentrification in Virginia’s Tidewater region.

Andrae Hash
Andrae Hash is the New River Valley organizer for Virginia Organizing. A native of Southwest Virginia and lifelong Virginia resident, Andrae has deep interests in grassroots organizing in his community. He holds a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from James Madison University and a master’s degree in communication from Virginia Tech, where his studies focused on community engagement, political involvement, and civic efficacy. Before joining Virginia Organizing, Hash served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member through the Virginia Tech VISTA network in a project aimed at increasing higher education opportunities and accessibility to low-income students in the New River Valley.

Nicholas Copeland

Dr. Nicholas Copeland is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology. His current projects include: Deceptive Alliances: Democracy and Counterinsurgency in Post-Revolutionary Guatemala (a book manuscript under review), and “Conflating Democracy: Countering State Violence in Neoliberal Guatemala” (an article under review at the Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology).