Topics such as the legacy of slavery, immigration, science, politics and human trafficking will take center stage this academic year, as part of the University
Forum at the University of Southern Mississippi.
It's one of the oldest distinguished speaker series in the state and it begins next Tuesday, Sept. 5 at Bennett Auditorium.
That evening, National Book Award winner James McBride and his Good Lord Bird Band will host a talk and musical presentation titled, "The Good Lord Bird: Faith and American Slavery."
His program begins at 6:30 and is free to the public.
The theme for this year's University Forum is, "Saving the Enlightenment, One Speaker at a Time,"
"It's a fantastic group of speakers," said Andrew Haley, director of the University Forum. "We've kind of built this around the idea that conversations, leading intellectuals, national intellectuals will produce a dialogue that's really needed for America."
Five other forums will be held throughout the fall and spring, mostly at Bennett Auditorium.
The University Forum began in 1974.