Spring Symposium: Interracial Dialogue

Oates Institute is offering an online symposium, An Interracial Dialogue, an in-depth examination of challenges faced by caregivers in all kinds of settings. The online symposium experience includes two documentaries, a discussion between the two documentary producers, a Question & Answer session, a panel discussion, and a three-week collaborative learning experience based on Yvette Johnson’s book. The focus of the symposium will be on practical ways faith groups, spiritual caregivers, and others can participate in the transformation of attitudes and behaviors in relation to racial issues. Prior to the symposium, participants will have an opportunity to view both documentaries.

Booker’s Place: A Mississippi Story is co-produced by Yvette Johnson, author of The Song and the Silence: Family, Race, and What Was Revealed in a Small Town in the Mississippi Delta While Searching for Booker Wright (Simon and Schuster). Ms. Johnson appeared on the NBC Dateline episode, “Finding Booker’s Place,” and her documentary premiered at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival, garnering compelling reviews.    

“With profound insight and unwavering compassion, Johnson weaves an unforgettable story. ... Brilliantly constructs a complex and empathetic look at racism in the South.” – Publishers Weekly.

YvetteJohnson - CG Photo & Design
Yvette Johnson
Myra Ottewell
Myra Williams Ottewell

Myra Williams Ottewell produced and directed Mississippi Remixed: A Fresh Look at Race Relations in the Deep South, in association with Mississippi Public Broadcasting.  After being broadcast within the state numerous times, it was shown nationwide in 2015, including some surprising markets, e.g., Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, and the state of Vermont, receiving many diverse positive comments from viewers around the country.

“I have spent my 45-year career in public television working for five different PBS stations and three national distribution entities, including PBS headquarters where I was Vice President of Programming. During that latter time, I have been responsible for a large number of programs, but few as important as the film Myra has made.” Alan Foster, EPS    

The first dialogue will take place on Sunday, April 28, from 3 – 5 p.m. CT (4-6 p.m. ET), at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Miss., where Myra Williams Ottewell and Yvette Johnson will lead discussions about their films and experiences in working toward racial justice, not just in

Mississippi but around the country. Participants attending the dialogue and those joining by Adobe Connect will then be able to participate in a Q & A session with the two producers. A reception will follow for those attending the presentation.

The second dialogue will take place at Simmons College in Louisville on Wednesday, May 1, from 6 – 8 p.m. ET, during which time Ms. Ottewell and Ms. Johnson will continue their dialogue, inviting questions from the audience and a panel. This event will also be presented live via Adobe Connect.


Persons who register for the live events or to watch online via Adobe Connect will be provided a link to watch both documentaries before the live event in Mississippi. TO PURCHASE LIVE EVENT TICKETS ONLY (without access to the online symposium), choose the event button below.

Those who are registered for the symposium may also choose to take part in a three-week online collaborative discussion focused on Yvette’s book, The Song and the Silence. The Oates Institute will offer 18 hours of CEUs for full participation in the symposia.


For those wishing to attend the live presentations in person, the locations are:

Sunday, April 28, 3–5 p.m. CT / 4-6 p.m. ET
Mississippi Civil Rights Museum
222 North Street
Jackson, MS  39201

Wednesday, May 1, from 6 – 8 p.m. ET
Simmons College
1000 South Fourth Street
Louisville, KY 40203


Includes online links to both documentaries, access to the two live dialogues via Adobe Connect, access to the two recordings of the live dialogues, and participation in the three-week online discussion of Yvette Johnson’s book. Chaplains may earn a total of 18 CEUs for full participation.


For the complete symposium package: 

(access to both documentaries and discussions, either live or via Adobe Connect, plus the three-week online discussion group for The Song and the Silence)

  • Oates Institute members: $ 45 – Individual / $75 for 2 or more on one computer
  • Non-members: $95 – Individual / $125 for 2 or more on one computer

For the symposium without the online 3- week discussion of Yvette’s book and CEU credits: 

  • Individual - $25 / $50 for 2 or more on one computer (some scholarships available) - To purchase live event tickets, see the buttons above.


This Oates Institute symposium is co-sponsored by