During Black History Month, America celebrates the legacy of Black Americans whose leadership brought about positive change across the nation. Florida State University’s new Civil Rights Institute Director, Ted Ellis, will travel to Capitol Hill this month as Acting Chair for the federal 400 Years of African-American History Commission (400YAAHC).
“Civil rights and Black History Month are not mere chapters in our national narrative, they are the vibrant threads that weave the fabric of our shared identity,” Ellis said. “In celebrating these milestones, we honor the resilience, dignity and triumph of a people who have not only shaped the past but continue to illuminate the path toward a more just and equitable future. Let us not just observe, but actively engage, for in understanding and embracing our history, we empower ourselves to create a legacy of true equality and opportunity for all.”
In Washington, D.C., Ellis and the 400YAAHC will be presenting the commission’s “I Fear for My Life” program. The program focuses on conversations between law enforcement and communities of color and aims to improve policing and criminal justice outcomes.
The commission will also be showcasing the film “The Kemba Story” on Capitol Hill in recognition of Black History Month. The film and panel discussion evolved from the commission’s “I Fear for My Life” program.
Ellis is available to speak to the media about the contributions of Black Americans to the nation’s history.
Director, Civil Rights Institute
Ellis holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Dillard University and a master’s in museum studies from Southern University in New Orleans. His work includes portraits of civil rights icons such as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks and has been showcased in the halls of Congress.
Housed within FSU’s College of Social Sciences and Public Policy, the Civil Rights Institute aims to bring together students, faculty and staff from across academic disciplines including African American studies, sociology, public health, urban and regional planning, criminology, social work, medicine, nursing and education.