BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — On Sunday, the Ballard House Project will host Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, President Emeritus at The University of Maryland – Baltimore County (UMBC), as a speaker in their summer series, Community Talking Circles. 

The series, which began in July and will run through October, is titled “Truth to Reconcile Community Talking Circles” and is meant to engage the Birmingham community in conversation and find a “path to reconciliation.”

“Legacy Voices of Resilience with Dr. Freeman Hrabowski and Guests” will be held on Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Ballard House, located at 1420 7th Avenue North. The event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required.

Special guests at his Ballard House talk will include Dianne Robertson Braddock, Judge Houston Brown, Fania Davis, Jeff Drew and Judge Tamara Harris Johnson. The Ballard House says this is a time to “hear stories and collective memories of courage, fortitude and determination from those who were there.” 

According to the Ballard House Project, each Talking Circle centers on a unique topic with the intention to create dialogue about disparities and barriers that shaped life in 1963 Birmingham that continue to impact our world today. 

In 2012, Hrabowski was named by President Obama to chair the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. A decade later, he was named the inaugural Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Lecture Speaker by Harvard University.

The National Academy of Sciences awarded Hrabowski the Public Welfare Medal in April for his use of science for the public good.

For these events, the Ballard House Project has partnered with The Black Cherry Tree Project, Regions Bank, BLOC Global Group, Jefferson County Commission, The Jacqueline and Freeman Hrabowski Charitable Giving Fund, Protective Life Foundation, Birmingham City Council District 8, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Beta Kappa Boule and others, 

The series is held in conjunction with the City of Birmingham’s “Forging Justice 1963-2023” initiative. Additional Community Partners include the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau, Alabama State Senator Rodger Smitherman, Greater Birmingham Ministries, Birmingham Civil Rights Activists Committee, Jack and Jill of America, Inc., United Negro College Fund and Charles A. Brown-Birmingham Branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).