Elmer Lucille Allen Conference

February 21st & 22nd

In service of our mission as a ‘diverse community of learners dedicated to meeting the needs of the times’, Spalding University presents the Sixth Annual Elmer Lucille Allen Conference on African American Studies on February 21 and February 22. Organized by Dr. Deonte Hollowell, Director of African American Studies, and by the School of Liberal Arts, this multi-disciplinary two-day event will be held in the College Street Ballroom and the Egan Leadership Center (ELC) with an option to attend virtually via Zoom. There will also be an exhibition in the Huff Gallery (Located in the basement of the Spalding library) featuring local Black artists.

The conference theme for 2024 is Protecting Black History – The Role of Race in Education. The academic discipline commonly called “Black Studies” has been growing and thriving since its inception more than a half century ago. Since the 1968 founding of the discipline at San Francisco State University, programs offering various forms of the study of Black people have experienced scrutiny. For our young people, Black History and Black Studies are generally non-existent in schools and community centers, even in Black communities. Furthermore, across the U.S., state governments are taking over Black History and Black Studies programs with intentions of “white washing” true Black History.

Elmer Lucille Allen is one of the first African American graduates of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth (now Spalding University) and has the distinction of being the first African American chemist to be hired at Brown-Forman in 1966. Today, she is an accomplished textile artist and ceramicist.


Wednesday, February 21st 10:30 AM – 8:00 PM

College Street Ballroom

10:00 AM: Welcome Statement by Elmer Lucille Allen

10:15 AM: Conference Agenda presented by Dr. Deonte Hollowell

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Youth Performances and Presentations

Coleman Preparatory Academy

River City Drum Corps

Young Prodigies


12:00 – 1:00 PM: Lunch (provided by Salad Chick) and Grassroots Fair

1:00 – 2:00 PM: Black History Poetry Workshop with Frank X. Walker

2:00 – 3:00 PM: Youth Presentations (4 presentations, 15 minutes each)

West Louisville Math and Science Project

Waggoner High School

Power, Inc.

3:00 – 3:30 PM: Charles “Chuck” Thomas Panel with Spalding BSA and Simmons College

3:00 PM: Youth Art Exhibit Tour in the Huff Gallery

4:00 PM: Spalding Campus Tour

Thursday, February 22nd 9:30 AM – 2:00 PM


10:00 AM: Welcome Statement by Elmer Lucille Allen

10:15 – 11:00 AM: Protecting Black History by “Black Yale Group” (Dr. Deonte Hollowell, Dr. Teresa Gilliams, Dr. Amy Tillerson-Brown, Dr. Michael Firven and Dr. Van Dora Williams)

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Intro to African American Studies and African American History Classes (hybrid panel presentation)

12:00 – 1:30 PM: Lunch (not provided)

We encourage you to check out the Huff Gallery

1:30 — 2:15 PM: Toward Racial Equity: An Agency Reduction Formation Analysis of White Allyship Based on Gems from Dr. J. Blaine Hudson by Dr. Deonte Hollowell

2:30 – 3:15 PM: Verses of Liberation: Poetry as a Catalyst for Equity by Mr. Jamaar Smiley

3:30 – 4:15 PM: Racial and Ethnic Disparities and Kentucky’s Juvenile Justice System (Mrs. Tara Kelly, Mr. Eric Hawkins and Ms. Shanecka Powell with Dr. Deonte Hollowell as the Facilitator)

4:30 – 5:15 PM: Archiving Black Creatives in Kentucky: The West End Preservation Society by Ms. Shauntrice Martin

5:30 PM: Keynote Presentation by Dr. Laneisha Conner (in the Library Lecture Lounge)


Dr. Hollowell invites local business owners, grassroots organizations and programs focused on the upliftment of Black people to purchase sponsorships for this year’s conference. Our conference program will feature advertisements encouraging our guests to patronize your business, services or programming. The deadline for sponsorships for the Sixth Annual Elmer Lucille Allen Conference is 11:59pm Friday, February 16th. Any sponsorship submissions that come in after the deadline will go towards next year’s Conference. We will not be able to include sponsors who submit after the deadline in our Conference program for this year. Thanks for understanding and supporting the Elmer Lucille Allen Conference on African American Studies.

For More Info

Deonte Hollowell
Director of African American Studies
Associate Professor – School of Liberal Arts
Email: [email protected]