Sunday, April 07, 2019

17th Annual Symposium, “Religion, Racism and Religious Racism: The Color of Faith Discrimination”--Africana Studies Department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte

25 and April 26, 2019, the Africana Studies Department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte will host its 17th Annual Symposium, “Religion, Racism and Religious Racism: The Color of Faith Discrimination.” The symposium will open on April 25 with a moderated discussion with Babalorixá Gustavo Melo Cerqueira titled “Religious Racism in Brazil: Evangelical Extremism Against African Diaspora Faiths.” On April 26, the event will continue with five hour-long panels, as well as a special midday presentation by Dr. Abbas Barzegar, Director of Research and Advocacy at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

The opening event on April 25 will be held in the auditorium at UNC Charlotte’s Center City Campus. The remainder of the symposium will be held at UNC Charlotte’s Main Campus in Atkins Library Room 143 (space is limited). 

The opening event will be live streamed on Youtube. The other presentations will be accessible by video conference for registered attendees. The Conference Notw follows.

17th Annual Africana Studies Department Symposium
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
April 25-26, 2019
In an era of increasing awareness and conversation about the many facets and forms of racial discrimination, the role of religion as a motivation for racism and the manifestation of racism as religious discrimination are often under-examined. However, it is clear that religion and racism are closely linked.

In many circumstances, white nationalist/white supremacist groups represent themselves as religious organizations and ground their claims of racial superiority or opposition to interracial mixing in their faith. These groups also frequently espouse discriminatory views against both racial and religious minorities. Likely as a result of these links, hate crimes based on religious discrimination might disparately impact racial minorities or might incorrectly target individuals who fit a stereotype of how the attacker perceives members of that religious group.

Restrictions on religious freedom also frequently stem from racial bias. For example, policies banning certain types of hairstyles, head-coverings, or other religious attire in schools and public places often begin as a response to concerns about minority immigrants. Similarly, growing limitations on certain religious practices, such as the ritual slaughter of animals and circumcision, have a disparate impact on racial or ethnic minorities. Furthermore, laws and policies addressing religious-based terrorism frequently stereotype racial minorities as having a greater propensity for violent crime.

Through the discussion of these and related topics, this symposium seeks to unpack the relationship between religion and racism. We invite proposals exploring any aspect of the relationship between religion and racism or any aspect of “religious racism.”

Suggested topics include:
● Discrimination against the religions of indigenous and minority populations
● Religion and immigrant/migrant rights
● Religion and white nationalism
● Race and anti-Muslim bias/policies
● Race, religion, and the use of the term “terrorism”
● The “religious freedom” to engage in racism
● Hate crimes against racial and religious minorities
● Race discrimination and religious attire

We welcome submissions pertaining to any religions; however, we particularly encourage submissions related to African diaspora and African indigenous faiths as well as the impact of religious discrimination on people of African descent.

We encourage submissions pertaining to international and comparative topics. U.S.-centered submissions will receive full consideration; however, we seek a diverse and global discussion on religion and racism.

Abstracts (max. 500 words) should be sent to Dr. Danielle N. Boaz at, along with a short bio (max. 150 words) by Feb 25, 2019. Notifications will be provided by March 1, 2019.

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