Katrina Overby to deliver keynote address at RIT’s Let Freedom Ring celebration

Annual event commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day takes place on Monday, Jan. 16

Elizabeth Lamark

Assistant Professor Katrina Overby will deliver the keynote address at the sixth annual Let Freedom Ring event on Jan. 16.

RIT’s annual event commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day will feature a keynote address by a faculty member whose work explores the intersections of communication, race, and identity. Katrina Overby, an assistant professor in the School of Communication in RIT’s College of Liberal Arts, will headline the sixth annual Let Freedom Ring.

The event is free and open to members of the RIT community, taking place from 10:30 to11:30 a.m. in Ingle Auditorium. A reception featuring multicultural refreshments will follow the formal program at the Fireside Lounge from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Overby is a virtual and digital ethnographer whose research is rooted in Black feminist thought and critique. Specifically, she analyzes Black social media usage, primarily Black Twitter; online discourse by and about Black women; Black women’s epistemology and praxis in, through, and out of the academy; and race and gender in sports communication. She has recently taught courses including Communication and Identity, Reporting on Racial Justice, and Public Speaking.

Recently, Overby co-authored “Breaking bread with storyworlding methodology: Black feminist/womanist commentary on unearthing communal lifeworlds,” published in the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. She also co-authored the book chapters, “Black and Quarantined: Celebrating Black Identity during COVID-19 via Instagram” and “#BlackInTheIvory: Utilizing Twitter to Explore Black Womxn’s Experiences in the Academy.” Another book chapter she co-authored, titled “Activist Scholar: Advocating for Change in the Streets and on the Sheets,” will be published in the edited volume Freedom Teachers, Freedom Dreamers in 2023. 

“Dr. Overby is a brilliant and insightful scholar, and we are excited to have her lead the RIT community in reflection on King’s work during this signature annual event,” said Keith Jenkins, RIT’s vice president and associate provost for diversity and inclusion. “We welcome all RIT students, faculty, staff, and alumni to join us to spend this important holiday learning, thinking critically, and building community.”

The day will also feature a film screening and discussion of “The Promised Land 1967-1968” from the Eyes on the Prize documentary series, led by Diversity Education Director Taj Smith. The film highlights the final years of Dr. King’s life. This will be held from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in the 1829 Room in the Student Alumni Union.

ASL interpreters will be provided. To register for the event, go to the Division of Diversity and Inclusion website.


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