By Curt Yeomans
Etta Simpson Ray was one of 14 students expelled from Tennessee State University in 1961 for participating in Freedom Rides.
Freedom Riders traveled through the southern states in the early 1960's to protest segregationist, "Jim Crow" laws. Many times, the riders arrived at their stops, only to be met with counter protests from pro-segregationists.
Ray is also the aunt of LaJaun Simpson, a professor of English at Clayton State University. The former Freedom Rider will give a presentation on her experiences Thursday, at 11:30 a.m., in room 267 of the James M. Baker University Center. Her presentation is sponsored by Clayton State's Department of Campus Life.
"Etta Simpson Ray's story will give the Clayton State University community a strong, first-hand account of the struggle during segregation," Simpson said in a statement. "It will provide the community with a greater sense of the magnitude of the Civil Rights movement from a woman's perspective."
Ray's presentation is one of several events taking place this week at Clayton State. The university will open its doors to the public for five, free events, which will feature a variety of speakers, ranging from Ray to a dietetic intern, to a bank president.
In addition to Ray's presentation, people who want to know more about St. John's Wart pills, or protein shakes, can attend a 30-minute seminar on nutrition supplements Friday at 11:45 a.m., at the cafe in the lobby of the university's Student Activities Center.
The seminar will be offered by the university's Department of Recreation and Wellness. It will be led by Darin Spurlock, a dietetic intern from Southern Regional Medical Center, who is working for Cindy Lauer, the university's director of recreation and wellness. Spurlock has a bachelor's degree in dietetics, food and human nutrition from the University of Florida, according to Lauer.
Lauer also said Spurlock is working with the university as part of a program in which interns at the hospital work at Clayton State for a few weeks to gain experience in their field.
The recreation and wellness director said she has all of the interns do presentations on topics of their choosing. Lauer said Spurlock is doing an interactive program on supplements, because he believes that food, rather than dietary supplements, is a person's best source of nutrition.
"The scary part is a lot of people don't realize these supplements have not been tested by the FDA [U.S. Food and Drug Administration]," Lauer said. "They just trust what's in the bottle." Lauer said people are encouraged to bring their dietary supplements to the seminar to ask questions about them.
For more information on the nutrition seminar, call (678) 466-4974. For more on Ray's presentation, call (678) 466-4558.
Other events happening this week at CSU include:
· The university's American Democracy Project will host "Salt in Bolivia," a discussion on alternative energy sources, Tuesday from 1:15 a.m., to 12:30 p.m., in room 322 of the university's James M. Baker University Center. During the discussion, Khedija Gadhoum, an assistant professor of Spanish, will show part of a documentary she filmed at the Uyuni Salt Fat in Bolivia. For more information, call (678) 466-4803.
· Laurel Snyder, a commentator on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," will participate in the Clayton State University Visiting Writers Reading Series on Tuesday, at 6 p.m., in room 200 at the university's library. Snyder will read selections from her collections of poetry, "The Myth of the Simple Machines," and "Daphne & Jim: A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-Biography-in-Verse;" from her picture book "Inside the Slidy Diner," and from her children's book "Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains OR The Search for a Suitable Princess." For more information, call (678) 466-4775.
· James E. Young, president and chief executive officer of the Atlanta-based Citizens Trust Bank, will speak Wednesday, from noon to 1 p.m., in room 272 of the James M. Baker University Center, as part of the university's James Wood Speaker Series. For more information, call (678) 466-4546.