Civil Society and Social Justice

Civil Society and Social Justice

January 10, 2018

Our Keynote Speaker

Dawn Porter

Dawn Porter is the founder of Trilogy Films.  She is Director/Producer of Gideon’s Army, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and aired later that year on HBO Documentary Films.  She is an alumnus of the Tribeca All Access program, where she won the 2011 juried Creative Promise Award for Gideon’s Army.  Realscreen named Dawn one of their 2012 Doc Hot Shots 15 emerging directors to watch.  Other Trilogy projects include Spies of Mississippi for ARTE Germany and PBS, and a documentary about celebrity Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli for the Cooking Channel.  Dawn also works in narrative features as Executive Producer on Serious Moonlight, written by Adrienne Shelley and starring Meg Ryan and Timothy Hutton.  Serious Moonlight debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival and was released theatrically by Magnolia Pictures and domestically on Lifetime Movie Network.  She is also an Executive Producer on The Green, an independent feature premiering on Showtime Networks and starring Cheyenne Jackson (30 ROCK) and Emmy®-winning actress Julia Ormond.  Before becoming a filmmaker she was the Director of News Standards and Practices at ABC News, and Vice President of Standards and Practices at A&E Networks.  Dawn is a graduate of Swarthmore College and the Georgetown University Law Center.  She was a practicing attorney at Baker & Hostetler and ABC Television Networks before beginning her television career.


Our Panel

Carol Stack

Carol Stack (University of California Berkeley, emeritus) conducts research on urban youth, migration, rural and urban families, service sector employment, and other facets of the social context of education.  She is the author of two top-selling books.  Published in 1974, All Our Kin is still one of the most widely read examinations of African-American urban culture.  More currently, Call to Home isa novel-like examination of the return migration of African-Americans to the south.  The book masterfully interweaves powerful human stories with a larger economic and social analysis of migration, poverty, and the urban underclass.  Call to Home offers a rare glimpse of African-American families pulling together and trying to make it in today’s America.  She has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow of Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and a Fellow at the Russell Sage Foundation.

Bruce D. Haynes

University of California Davis professor Bruce D. Haynes is an authority on race, ethnicity, and urban communities.  He is the author of Red Lines, Black Spaces: The Politics of Race and Space in a Black Middle-Class Suburb.  The book is the first history of a black middle-class community and tells the story of Runyon Heights, a suburb shaped by both race and class.  In it we learn the ways in which its black middle class dealt with the tensions between the political interests of race and the material interests of class.  His publications alsoinclude The Ghetto: Contemporary Issues and Controversies, a co-edited volume that brings together prominent global scholars to examine marginalized urban spaces and the usefulness of the concept, and term, ghetto.

Steve Kroll-Smith

Steve Kroll-Smith is professor of sociology at UNCG and Research Coordinator for the Social Science Research Council’s Project Katrina.  He has edited and written six books on environmental hazards and disasters, health and the environment, and sociologists as expert witnesses, including his most recent, Volatile Places: Communities and Environmental Controversies (SAGE).  He was editor of Sociological Inquiry from 2005 to 2009, and was the 2004 recipient of the American Sociological Association’s Distinguished Contribution Award in the study of Environment and Technology.  His current work focuses on the problem of race, class, and water in New Orleans in the aftermath of hurricane’s Katrina and Rita. His forthcoming book, Contingency and Miss Katrina, will be published by The University of Texas Press.  He also occasionally contributes to the growing scholarship on the sociology of sleep.

Paul Luebke

Paul Luebke has taught in the UNCG Sociology Department for more than thirty years.  His courses include Political Sociology, Social Change, Immigration Policy, and Global Social Problems.  He is the author of Tar Heel Politics 2000, a study of politics and social change in North Carolina.  Dr. Luebke is also a member of the North Carolina State House, representing a district in Durham.

Steven Randolph Cureton

Steven Randolph Cureton is Associate Professor of sociology at UNCG.  He is author of Black Vanguards and Black Gangsters: From Seeds of Discontent to a Declaration of War, whichexamines the extent to which black gangsterism is a product of civil rights gains, community transition, black flight, social activism, and failed grassroots social movement groups.  He is also author of Hoover Crips: When Cripin’ Becomes a Way of Life, an ethnography and sociological analysis of Crip gang members in South Central Los Angeles, California.

Cindy Brooks Dollar

Cindy Brooks Dollar is a sociologist whose interests focus on issues of deviance, inequality, and social control.  She has published several papers on alternative justice processes, including diversionary programs that seek to use non-traditional practices in hopes of reducing social, personal, and psychic injuries.  She has also consulted with attorneys throughout North Carolina to promote an understanding of how social factors influence legal matters, and was employed as a survey specialist on the Safe School/Healthy Students Project — a national project that gathered data about student behavioral and emotional supports.  Cindy will join the Sociology Department at UNC-Greensboro as an Assistant Professor in August 2014.


Schedule of Events

Tuesday, April 8:

  • 6:00pm, Film Showing: Gideon’s Army, Graham 307

Wednesday, April 9:

  • 2:00, Birch Room, EUC, Film Showing: Gideon’s Army
  • 4:00, Azalea Room, EUC, Film Showing: Gideon’s Army
  • 5:00 – 6:30 Reception (in EUC auditorium pre-function area)
  • 6:30 Keynote address (EUC auditorium)

Thursday, April 10:

  • 12:30 – 1:45
    • Graham 308: Sociology in the Courtroom, with Steve Cureton & Cindy Dollar
    • Graham 307: Sociology in the Legislature, with Paul Luebke
  • 2:00 – 3:15
    • Graham 307: Sociology in the Community, with Carol Stack
    • Graham 308: Sociology in Disasters, with Steve Kroll-Smith
  • 3:30 – 4:45
    • Graham 308: Activism and Scholarship, with Bruce Haynes

Film Information

The award winning film Gideon’s Army, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and debuted on HBO Documentary Films in July 2013, follows the personal stories of Travis Williams, Brandy Alexander and June Hardwick, three young public defenders who are part of a small group of idealistic lawyers in the Deep South challenging the assumptions that drive a criminal justice system strained to the breaking point.  Backed by mentor Jonathan “Rap” Rapping, a charismatic leader who heads the Southern Public Defender Training Center (now known as Gideon’s Promise) they struggle against long hours, low pay and staggering caseloads so common that even the most committed often give up in their first year.  Nearly 50 years since the landmark Supreme Court ruling Gideon vs. Wainwright that established the right to counsel, can these courageous lawyers revolutionize the way America thinks about indigent defense and make “justice for all” a reality?