Simpson University Invites Community to Forum with Civil Rights Speaker

For Immediate Release


Dr. Todd AllenREDDING, Calif. - Simpson University welcomes Dr. Todd Allen, founder of The Common Ground Project, a community-based nonprofit that promotes understanding of the civil rights movement, to speak during an evening forum on campus Thursday, Oct. 12.

The community is invited to attend the free discussion, which is scheduled for 6 to 7:30 p.m. in LaBaume-Rudat Hall, room 204. The forum is connected to the university’s On the Same Page common reading program, but attendees do not need to have read this year’s book, Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson, to participate.

Dr. Allen will expand on the book’s discussion of how slavery and Jim Crow didn’t end with the Civil War and civil rights movement but have instead “evolved.”

“To understand race in the present we have to understand the past,” he said.

Dr. Allen is special assistant to the president and provost for diversity affairs, as well as a professor of communication, at Messiah College in Pennsylvania. A recipient of the Fellowship of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History at Yale University, The New Pittsburgh Courier 50 Men of Excellence, Minority Opinion Magazine Achiever Award, and the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh Racial Justice Award, Dr. Allen has led a bus tour, “Returning to the Roots of Civil Rights,” which visits key sites of the movement in the South.

While visiting Simpson University, Dr. Allen will also meet with faculty and students to talk about diversity and multicultural issues.

Dr. Gayle Copeland, university provost, said Dr. Allen’s message is timely in light of the ongoing and heightened national discussion about race. “As a university, we are committed to developing a campus community that is intentionally diverse, socially aware, and environmentally engaged,” she said.

Photo of Dr. Allen from Messiah College website.



Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduate, graduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings, including degrees in psychology and organizational leadership. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit


Contact: SU Public Relations
(530) 226-4737