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Dr. Selika Ducksworth-Lawton to discuss Deacons for Defense and Justice during ‘Thursdays at the U’

| Linda Tollefsrud

Selika Ducksworth-Lawton

Dr. Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, professor of history at UW-Eau Claire

On March 10, Dr. Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, will discuss her scholarship on the Deacons for Defense and Justice during UW-Eau Claire – Barron County’s “Thursdays at the U” lecture. The presentation will be from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Blue Hills Lecture Hall (Room 234, Ritzinger Hall) on the Rice Lake campus.

The Deacons for Defense and Justice was not a Black Power group, but a collection largely of World War II veterans, relatively conservative in much of their worldviews, but firmly (if quietly) present to defend African American communities. They also helped guard civil rights leaders during the 1960s.

Ducksworth-Lawton has been a professor of history and of women’s, gender and sexuality studies at UW-Eau Claire for nearly three decades. Her teaching interests are in U.S. social history, African American history and military history. In addition to her teaching and historical scholarship, Ducksworth-Lawton is active in present-day equality actions, ranging from organizing demonstrations to working with the Eau Claire police department to improve their work.

Her achievements include serving on the Eau Claire Police and Fire Commission and co-hosting a weekly podcast “Conversations in Color.” Thus, her talk may have special relevance to modern activists and law enforcement. In early 2021, she became the fourth recipient of UW-Eau Claire’s Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Award for her decades of efforts to create a more inclusive community.

The “Thursdays at the U” weekly series is free and open to the public thanks to support from the UW-Eau Claire – Barron County Foundation. Neither seating reservations nor parking permits are needed for campus guests.

Face masks are required inside all UW-Eau Claire buildings in Eau Claire, Rice Lake and Marshfield.

For more information about the series, call the campus at 715-788-6244 or email Dr. Linda Tollefsrud, the series organizer, at