Marietta, Georgia, January 20, 2021 – With a new year well underway, the Life University (LIFE) Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) continues to expand its “With Liberty and Justice For All” virtual symposium series.

On Tuesday, January 19, members of the LIFE community participated in “With Liberty and Justice for All: Leading the Way,” a discussion which focused on the events that led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and emphasized the tireless efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Hosea Williams, John Lewis, and other individuals and organizations in the Atlanta area who played key roles in the Civil Rights Movement.

The conversation was anchored by veteran civil rights leader, educator and activist Dr. Barbara Williams Emerson, the eldest daughter of the late Hosea Williams and Juanita Terry Williams. Dr. Emerson, who began her civil rights work at age 15 as a voter registration organizer, is an internationally recognized academic and lecturer on civil rights and social justice movements – past, present and future.

Launched in June 2020 in tandem with LIFE’s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion “strives to make Life University a leading institution for inclusive excellence where people of all identities, perspectives and experiences find a welcoming environment where multiplicity, parity and inclusiveness are unwavering values.” ODEI office serves as a resource for all individuals at LIFE and as an umbrella for several University entities, including the Diversity Committee and Gender & Sexual Diversity Committee, and holds frequent events, workshops and trainings for the LIFE community.

In September 2020, Life University proudly announced the creation of the John Robert Lewis Scholarship for Social Justice & Leadership. The scholarship honors Mr. Lewis’s legacy as an American statesman and civil rights leader who served Georgia’s 5th district in the U.S. House of Representatives for 17 terms. As a lifelong adherent to non-violence philosophies, Mr. Lewis is remembered for his belief that in the fight for social justice and equality, we must be willing to get into “good trouble, necessary trouble.”

Mr. John-Miles Lewis, the son of the late Congressman Lewis, was the guest of honor at the John Robert Lewis Scholarship for Social Justice and Leadership Luncheon on September 22, which marked LIFE’s $100,000 endowment of the new scholarship. Through ODEI and the Life University Advancement Department, it will be awarded annually as a cash and tuition award of $10,000.

“With Liberty and Justice For All” events will be held at least once each month throughout 2021 as opportunities for LIFE students, faculty, staff and alumni to communicate with and learn from each other about important issues of civil and human rights. All symposiums are open to the public via the Zoom online meeting platform and recorded for later viewing on the ODEI website.

The next forum, “With Liberty and Justice For All: A Viral Bias Targeting Asian-Americans,” will take place on Tuesday, January 26 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. The conversation will explore impacts on Asian-Americans amid the intersection of COVID-19 and prejudice. From continued references to COVID-19 as the “Chinese Flu” and “Kung Flu” to the violence that bias has sparked against Asian-American people, LIFE community members will share the ways in which they have been impacted by these characterizations and references. LIFE Vice President for International Affairs Dr. John Downes, Assistant Professor of Sport Health Science Dr. Yit Lim and Mrs. Ida Downes will lead the discussion.

Founded in 1974, Life University is a health sciences institution most known for its Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) program, the largest single-campus chiropractic program in the world. Undergraduates can pursue 14 undergraduate degrees as well as a pre-chiropractic, degree-seeking pathway. Three graduate degrees are available, encompassing areas of sport health science, clinical nutrition and positive psychology. Some degree programs are offered to distance learners through the College of Online Education.

Life University strives to empower its students to succeed both professionally and personally. LIFE advances a leading-edge approach to higher education while also remaining true to the University’s philosophical commitment to produce informed leaders who exemplify humanistic values in their professions. To achieve this goal, LIFE recognizes and demonstrates its dedication through three official Life University Values: Lasting Purpose, Vitalism and Integrity.

LIFE’s 110-acre campus in Marietta, Georgia, just northwest of Atlanta, is home to more than 2,700 undergraduate, graduate and professional students who come from all 50 United States and more than 45 countries.

Additional information about the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is available at

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