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Aerial shot of Ponce Hall at Flagler College



September 28-October 1, 2023
Flagler College
St. Augustine, Florida

Registration closes on Tuesday, September 12 at 5 pm

“The Freedom to Teach: Confronting Complex Themes in Contested Spaces” is a non-partisan conference that seeks to bring history and civics educators from a variety of different backgrounds (including but not limited to higher education, K-12 public education, libraries, museums, administrative, and college students) to share their perspectives on and experiences with teaching difficult topics. The event’s objective is to build bridges between these different constituencies, share best practices, outline common tasks, and develop solutions to teaching complicated themes that are based on our shared educational mission. Those common values are based on the values of a liberal arts education and the related pursuit of academic truth, whose mission transcends political boundaries.

Featured Speakers

David Blight

Dr. David Blight

Yale University

Sterling Professor of History, of African American Studies, and of American Studies and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center (GLC) for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition.

Ken Davis

Kenneth Davis

New York Times best-selling author of Don’t Know Much About History.

Dr. Reginald K. Ellis

Dr. Reginald K. Ellis

Florida A&M University

Associate Professor of History and African-American Studies, Assistant Dean in the School of Graduate Studies and Research. Dr. Ellis will represent the American Historical Association on the Concluding Roundtable panel.

Derrick Black

R. Derek Black

Doctoral Candidate in History at the University of Chicago.

Tammie Fields
Tammie Fields

Tammie Fields

Tammie Fields is the weekday evening co-anchor at Spectrum News 13 in Orlando and president of the Central Florida Association of Black Journalists. She will be in conversation with R. Derek Black, whose story is told in Rising Out of Hate: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist. Black is an alumnus of New College of Florida and a Doctoral Candidate in History at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Nancy MacLean

Dr. Nancy MacLean

Duke University

William H. Chafe Distinguished Professor of History and Public Policy.

Keynote Speaker

Conference Location

Flagler College, a private institution grounded in the Liberal Arts, is located in scenic St. Augustine, the “Nation’s Oldest City,” and forty miles south of the Jacksonville International Airport via I-95. Within downtown St. Augustine, there are a number of local accommodations within walking distance of the College.

For more information on the event, please contact Dr. J. Michael Butler, Kenan Distinguished Professor of History at Flagler College.

Walking Distance to Campus

On the Beach 10 min travel time



Event Partners

Funding for this program was provided through a sponsorship from Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed at this conference do not necessarily represent those of Florida Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.