Miami Presents: Critical Race and Ethnic Studies

Presented on: Friday, April 30th at 4:00 PM EDT

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Join us for a discussion on alumni who studied in the Black World Studies program at Miami. The program is now called the Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Program. Dr. Rodney Coates will moderate the discussion. The alumni will share about their experiences in Black World Studies and how it helped them in their career.

Biographies for Panelists

Letitia S. Block serves as the Director of Law for the City of Hamilton. Letitia earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Black World Studies from Miami University in 2001. During her time as an undergraduate, she became a member of the Lambda Mu chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Following her time at Miami, she earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law. Prior to her current role, Letitia served as the Assistant Law Director (Labor and Employment Counsel) and Director of Human Resources for the City of Hamilton.  Before joining the City, she practiced law as an Associate for Thompson Hine LLP and Baker Hostetler LLP, primarily assisting public and private sector clients with their labor and employment law needs. Letitia has been listed as an Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Star, a YWCA Outstanding Women of Achievement honoree, and in Cincinnati’s Forty under 40 class.


John Killings serves as an Associate Director of Multicultural Leadership & Programming, Office of Multicultural Affairs for Case Western Reserve University. John earned a bachelor of arts degree in Black World Studies from Miami University in 2010. During his time at Miami, he worked as a residential assistant. He participated in the following organizations: the Miami University Gospel Singers, the Black Student Action Association, and Abundant Life Campus Ministries. John was a recipient of the prestigious Miami University Presidential Distinguished Service Award. Following his time at Miami, he earned a master’s degree in higher education from Bowling Green University. Prior to his current role, John served as the Assistant Director of Student Advocacy and Programming (Case Western Reserve University) and Assistant Director of Student Activities and Multicultural Programs (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute). John has amassed a decade of experience in higher education. 


Tamika Nunley is an associate professor of American history at Oberlin College. Her research and teaching interests include slavery, gender, 19th-century legal history, digital history, early America and the American Civil War. At Oberlin, she created the History Design Lab that allows students to develop scholarly projects that involve methodological approaches such as digital humanities, public history, creative nonfiction, and curatorial practices. Her book, At the Threshold of Liberty: Women, Slavery, and Self-making in Washington, D.C., which examines African American women’s strategies of self-definition in the contexts of slavery, fugitivity, courts, schools, streets, and the government during the Civil War era, is forthcoming with the University of North Carolina Press. She is the author of essays and articles featured in William & Mary Quarterly, the American Journal of Legal History, and the Journal of Southern History. She serves on the editorial board of Civil War History. Her work has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon and Woodrow Wilson foundations as well as the American Association of University Women. Tamika earned a bachelors of arts degree in Black World Studies from Miami University in 2007.