Selected list of presentations:
CASL Leadership Residency. Plenary Speaker.
“The HBCU Legacy.” | Washington, D.C. | September 12, 2019.
UNCF Career Pathways Initiative 4th Annual Convening. Panelist.
“The Black Aesthetic.” With Melissa Butler and Amanda E. Johnson. Atlanta, Georgia | August 2, 2019.
FAMU Advance Distinguished Lecturer Series. Keynote.
“Hidden No More: A History of Black Women STEM Faculty at HBCUs.” Tallahassee, Florida | April 17, 2019.
For a few months back in 2016, Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae, joined by Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst and Jim Parson, seized movie theatres and moviegoers all across this nation with their box office hit—Hidden Figures. The film, a biographical drama, was loosely-based on black female mathematicians who worked at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)—during the 20th-century Space Race the Soviet Union and the United States, for dominance in spaceflight capability. Led by the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, joined by the remaining black Greek-Lettered organizational members of the Divine Nine ensured that the names of mathematician Katherine Coleman Goble, Dorothy Johnson Vaughn and Mary Winston Jackson, all historically black college and university alumnae, became household names.
It is important to note, that in addition to sharing membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Goble, Vaughn and Jackson are all graduates of HBCUs—West Virginia State, Wilberforce and Hampton universities, respectively. You can be sure that their successes, were harnessed on the backs of black women and men, most whose names you will likely never know.
Harvard University’s The Future of Black Institutions: A Symposium. Presenter.
“Into the Promise Land: A History of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.” Cambridge, Massachusetts | March 29, 2019.
It is my privilege to greet you today on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of souls that I represent. We, Historically Black College and University students, alumni, administrators, faculty and staff are—not only our best and most convincing testaments—we, HBCU products, are also our most impassioned advocates.
For us, someone at a black college, at some time in the more than the one-and-three quarter-centuries that we have been in the business of education—loved us, into being.
Someone’s mother’s mother’s mother, and someone’s father’s father’s father; someone whose names we will likely never know; someone by picking 200 pounds of cotton a day—back bent and bloody-browed; someone, through the hiring of themselves out; someone through the taking-in of borders and laundering of clothes;
someone, through industry and through innovation, through invention and entrepreneurship, by the passing of the proverbial hat and the selling of sweet pies and multilayered cakes; someone though ‘buked and scorned, sought to learn how to read and write; by the sunlight, starlight, and moonlight, and by the light of candles and oil lamps—someone, set for themselves, the goal of spelling their name.
2018 Leadership Frankfort Diversity Day. Presenter.
“Unpacking Privileges: A Diversity Conversation” | Frankfort, Kentucky | March 21, 2019.
Honors Convocation of Edward Waters College. Keynote.
“An Honor to Honor.” Jacksonville, Florida | March 13, 2019.
More Than the Promise of the American Myth: Rethinking Burleigh and Sheppard in the Second Gilded Age. Presenter.
“Institutionalizing the Concert Spirituals: From Ella Sheppard to Beth Howse, Honoring the Honorable” | New York, New York | March 3, 2019.
LexHistory Talks! Presenter.
“Forever Forward: A History of Kentucky State University” | Lexington, Kentucky | February 10, 2019.
Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, sponsored by the Frankfort/Franklin County Ministerial Association Keynote.
Frankfort, Kentucky | January 20, 2019.
“She was inspired by community’s annual tribute to MLK” The State Journal. January 31, 2019.
Dr. Crystal deGregory, inaugural director of the Atwood Institute for Race, Education, and the Democratic Ideal at Kentucky State University, gave a keynote address that was intensely thoughtful, with a power that seemed to creep up on the audience. Dr. King was a strong leader for his time with a strong legacy, but what/who is our cornerstone moving forward? Dr. deGregory blessed us mightily and challenged us to be aware of all that is going on around us, and to actively come together to shape our community, commonwealth, nation and world in ways to bring honor, respect, health and abundance to all.
The Rev. Donna Aros
Pastor, Frankfort St. Paul United Methodist Church
Frankfort/Franklin County Ministerial Society
The Southern Historical Association Committee on Women, Gender, and Sexuality. Panelist.
Strategies for Dealing with Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination in Academia. With Drs. Catherine Clinton, Jim Downs, Nikki Taylor + Kristen Wood | Birmingham, Alabama | November 9, 2018.
Fifth Annual Slave Dwelling Project Conference at Middle Tennessee State University. Moderator + Panelist.
Resistance and Community Building in Nashville Before and After Civil War. With Dr. Learotha Williams Jr., Kelli Gibson + Victoria Hensley. Murfreesboro, Tennessee | October 25, 2018.
2018 Southern Festival of Books. Moderator.
With Dr. David W. Blight author of Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom. Nashville, Tennessee | October 13, 2018.
“The prophet is human; he is neither a singing saint, nor a moralizing poet—but an assaulter of the mind.” – Rabbi Abraham Heschel
Jefferson County Public Schools. Diversity Equity and Poverty Department. Keynote.
Community Conversation Topic: The Need For Us to Come On Home. Louisville, Kentucky | September 17, 2018
Professional Development (PD) Topic: How Black Colleges Uplift–The Role of HBCUs. Louisville, Kentucky | September 18, 2018.
Georgetown/Scott County NAACP Annual Freedom Fund Banquet. Diversity Equity and Poverty Department. Keynote.
Georgetown, Kentucky | June 2, 2018.
This is America…Where the median wealth of white households is 13x more than that of black Americans. And where black Americans hold just 2.7% of the nation’s wealth, and where blacks are 5x more likely to be incarcerated than whites. Where these realities and others like it, have made it easy for us to think that there is something ailing Black America, and consequently, that there is something wrong with black people. And many of us — white and black, rich, middle and working class, as well as those poor too, think that this is true.
March on Frankfort by People’s Campaign Community Network. Presenter.
Frankfort, Kentucky | April 4, 2018.
By TOM LATEK, Kentucky Today
FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Hundreds of Kentuckians honored the late Martin Luther King Jr. on the 50th anniversary of his assassination, rallying on the same spot where the civil rights leader led a civil rights march in 1964.
“They marched for justice and equality, for equal protection under just laws,” said Crystal DeGregory, a professor at nearby Kentucky State University. “They marched for freedom of speech and freedom of the press. They marched for good jobs and funding for public education. They marched to forge a better nation and for creation of a better, more just and equitable world.”
Morehouse College KING50 Commemorative Symposium. Panelist. with Victor Anderson, Ph.D., Lewis V. Baldwin, Ph.D. + Larry O. Rivers, Ph.D.
Atlanta, Georgia | April 2018.
Kentucky Black Legislative Caucus 2018 Black History Month Celebration. Presenter.
“We Have Come: A Moment in Kentucky History” | Frankfort, Kentucky | February 13, 2018.
The Kentucky Black Legislative Caucus presented the 15th annual Black History Month celebration at the State Capitol on Tuesday. The event also featured remarks by Gov. Matt Bevin, Senate President Robert Stivers (R-Manchester), Sen. Gerald Neal (D-Louisville), House Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne (R-Prospect), House Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins (D-Sandy Hook), Rep. Reginald Meeks (D-Louisville), Rep. Attica Scott (D-Louisville), and Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John Minton. Kentucky State University President M. Christopher Brown II delivered the keynote address.
“Stamped From The Beginning.” | Nashville, Tennessee | September 15, 2017.
A conversation with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, one of the nation’s most prolific and accomplished young professors of race, as he builds on his firm belief that in order to understand racism in America today, we must confront the history of anti-Black ideas. Dr. Ibram X. Kendi is a National Book Award-winning historian and author of “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.”
Conversations@NPL aims to stimulate serious public dialogue surrounding current issues that shape all facets of culture, history and education.
Southern University Freshmen Convocation. Keynote.
“Hold on to Hope, Despite the Hell in the Hallway.” | Baton Rouge, Louisiana | August 20, 2017.
“This school, founded in 1880, with just twelve students and five teachers, was opened against the backdrop of post-reconstruction. With more courage than we could imagine, former slaves walked away from canes fields and from cotton fields; they walked in the blazing heat of sun, and they walked through downpours of blinding rain to do which far too many of us, far too often take for granted — things like the ability to vote, and the opportunity to go to school. If they had described their social, political, and economic realities as a kind of hell — they would’ve been right. And still I know they knew how to hold on to hope. I know because we are here, in this place, more than a century later, celebrating the beginning of your college careers. And today, despite how far we have come, you live in a world and in an age where hate has traded in its old white sheets and pillow cases for new tiki torches from the local home improvement store. It is in many ways the same hell that your foremothers and forefathers endured. In order to triumph over it, you will have to learn to hold on to a hope, a hope that begins by believing in yourself despite the inevitable hell in the hallway.”
HBCU Executive Media Training Institute. Presenter.
“What’s Canada Got That We Don’t.” | Washington, D.C.| July 14, 2017.
Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage. Keynote.
“What Juneteenth Means on a President’s Plantation.” | Hermitage, Tennessee | June 18, 2017.
Bishop Michael Eldon School. Commencement Speaker.
“Success Is Not Just For Perfect People.” | Freeport, Bahamas | June 14, 2017.
“Here’s what I know for sure. Success is not an absolution from struggle. In fact, success is just the opposite; it is a kind of last laugh in the face of the challenges that are a natural part of life. Challenges will come, and when they do, you must be as willing to fight for your happiness as much as you will fight for your peace. Because this is the truth — for as many of life’s hardships that we hope to have you avoid, there are many others which are unavoidable — unavoidable, no matter what you do, or how good you do it. If you live long enough, you will make mistakes; you will attempt to do something that on balance looks like failure. And trust me when I say, no one can see failure in others more than people who in fact, have done little, tried virtually nothing, and risked even less. But here’s another I know for sure: those who risk nothing, gain nothing.”
University of The Bahamas, Northern Campus. Commencement Speaker.
“Bahamians, We Are Magic” | Freeport, Bahamas | June 1, 2017.
“If it seems as if I’m taking issue with poverty — I am. Because I believe that until we eradicate unacceptable sub-standards of living, we demean the dignity of our people, we shirk our collective responsibility, and we deny each other as well as ourselves, the kind of world we deserve — a world in which each, and every one of us has the opportunity to fulfill our God-given potential and the opportunity to live out our God-given destiny.”
HBCU Educators, Advocates & Entrepreneurs | Austin, Texas | March 6, 2017.
The panel discussion featured young alumni from HBCUs who have become outstanding advocates, innovators, entrepreneurs and educators. Given the participants’ range of experiences, the panel showcased how HBCUs cultivate the talents of African American millennials. It included perspectives regarding how students, alumni, and administration from these institutions can continue to maximize the potential of students for graduate education, entrepreneurship and advocacy through human capital given these institutions’ relatively limited monetary capital.
Engaging the New American Majority and Making the Ballot More Accessible to Voters: A Conversation with Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams. Moderator.
Hosted by the Women’s Political Collaborative of Tennessee. Nashville, Tennessee | November 18, 2017.
Fort Negley: A Symbol of the Struggle for Civil Rights in Nashville. Panelist.
Bobby Lovett, Reavis Mitchell + Daniel Sharfstein. Nashville, Tennessee | October 18, 2016.
The Tennessee Historical Society, the Fort Negley Visitors Center and Park, and the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities at Vanderbilt University sponsored a half-day program entitled “Fort Negley: A Symbol of the Struggle for Civil Rights in Nashville” The program educated residents of Middle Tennessee about the history of the fort and the role the site played in the history of the Nashville Civil Rights Movement.
HBCUstory Symposium IX. Convener.
Dallas, Texas | October 31 + November 1, 2016.
Sought and secured partnership with Paul Quinn College; secured keynote speaker Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie; secured sponsorships; organized meeting of scholarly research and case studies outlining the historic and contemporary value of historically black colleges and universities; featuring 30+ presenters, including United Negro College Fund, Southern Education Foundation, and Honda Campus All-Star Challenge.
MTSU Center for Historic Preservation. Speaker.
“Reconstruction: A Moment in the Sun.” Screening and Q+A Murfreesboro, Tennessee | October 18, 2016.
Vanderbilt University. U.S. and Northern Ireland Civil Rights Movements Past & Present: People, Politics, Music, and Memory. Speaker.
Nashville, Tennessee | May 17, 2016.
New Black School. Panelist.
“Black Lives Matter 101: A Comprehensive Course on Black Social Movements.” Charlene Carruthers, umi selah + Mychal Denzel Smith (moderator). New York, New York | April 29, 2016.
Western Kentucky University Department of History. Speaker.
Bowling Green, Kentucky | April 28, 2016.
Tea Time for Education. Speaker.
Washington, D.C. | April 17, 2016.
Builders Mutual Insurance Company. Speaker.
“Why HBCUs and Black History Month Matters, And Always Will.” Raleigh, North Carolina | February 26, 2016.
Florida Memorial University + Club 1964’s Inaugural HBCU Symposium. Keynote.
“Stony the Road We’ve Trod—The Perilous Place of HBCUs in the Age of Obama and Anti-black Respectability.” Miami Gardens, Florida | February 12, 2016.
“If there is any institution behind which Black America could and should stand in formation, it is our own HBCUs. How we choose to do so is up to us, but neither hashtag advocacy alone nor using the word Formation at every possible moment, is going to be enough to ensure that HBCUs survive and thrive for future generations.”
Alcorn State University Social Justice Forum. Speaker.
“Black Lives Matter as Reconstructed Resistance: HBCUs, Social Justice, and Why Our Degrees Won’t Save Us.” Lorman, Mississippi | October 21, 2015.
“Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton is a graduate of Florida Memorial University. Jonathan Ferrell attended Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University where he was a football player before seeking help following a car crash resulted in 10 shots that took his life. Sandra Bland was a Prairie View A&M University alumna and new-hire when a routine traffic stop ended with her dead in a police cell. And for those who seek educatability and respectability I offer the victims of the Charleston Massacre, six of whom — The Honorable Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney, Allen University ’95, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, South Carolina State University ’91, Cynthia Graham Hurd, Clark Atlanta University, Tywanza Sanders, Allen University ’14, The Reverend Daniel L. Simmons Sr., Allen University, and Myra Singleton Thompson, Livingstone College + Benedict College ’79 — were HBCU graduates. Let it be known, that our degrees nor our silence will save us. If indeed, we believe that “black lives” matter, they must matter to our institutions and to us.”
HBCUstory Symposium III. Convener.
Nashville, Tennessee | October 9 + 10, 2015.
Sought and secured partnerships with Fisk University and the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation and the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area; secured keynote speakers Jarrett L. Carter, Sr. and three college presidents; secured sponsorships; organized meeting of scholarly research and case studies outlining the historic and contemporary value of historically black colleges and universities; featuring 30+ presenters, representing the symposium is the only conference of its kind to convene expert voices in areas of history, information science, fundraising, partnerships, athletics and new media.
TEDx Grand Bahama. Presenter.
“The problem with what we teach and tell girls.” Freeport, Bahamas | August 8, 2015.
“All too often, girls are told they are too much–too sassy, too womanish, too talkative–too much, but never enough. This talk challenges listeners to teach and tell girls that great women embrace “enoughness” and “talk back.”
Watch her Tedx talk here:
Association of Public Land-grant Universities. Panelist.
“Telling Your Story: The Importance of Media, Messaging, and Marketing at HBCUs.” + “Black Lives Matter: Social Justice at HBCUs.” Atlanta, Georgia | April 26 + 27, 2015.
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Speaker.
“Building a Beyond-the-Classroom Brand.” Ann Arbor, Michigan | April 3, 2015.
“A well-built brand equals more recognition for you + your work. The more people feel like they ‘know’ your brand the more inclined they are to think of you as an authority in your field. Your brand should be a clear statement of your commitment to service above self. We can get so caught up in the academy that we forget to be relatable and relevant to non-academic and academic audiences alike.”
Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage. Speaker.
“Been in the Storm So Long: Black Lives in Slavery + Un-freedom.” | Nashville, Tennessee | February 28, 2015.
“While Andrew Jackson was “Born for a Storm,” his rags to riches story is not merely the story of his charm, his charisma, or even of his passion. It is a story that is undergrided by the toiling of enslaved black lives that stretch from the nine slaves Jackson owned when he purchased The Hermitage in 1804, to the approximately 150 slaves he owned at the time of his death in 1845. The strivings of these, enslaved, black, men, women, and children produced not just a sprawling 1,000+ acre self-sustaining plantation; they functioned as a part of a slave-sustained economy, driven by greed, justified by the myth of black racial inferiority, enshrined in the American Constitution, and protected by the supremacy of ‘King Cotton.’”
Nissan North America Headquarters. Panelist.
“Looking Over Jordan: Black History Month Observation.” Robert DeHart and Jim Hoobler | Nashville, Tennessee | February 24, 2015.
HBCUstory Symposium II. Convener.
Washington, D.C. | October 2014.
Sought and secured partnerships with Association of Public Land-Grant Universities (APLU); secured keynote speakers Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole and Dr. Ivory A. Toldson; secured sponsorships; organized meeting of scholarly research and case studies outlining the historic and contemporary value of historically black colleges and universities; featuring 20+ presenters, representing the symposium is the only conference of its kind to convene expert voices in areas of history, information science, fundraising, partnerships, athletics and new media.
Southern Festival of Books. Moderator.
“Last Days of the Fight: The Civil War in Tennessee.” Daniel Cone and James R. Knight | Nashville, Tennessee | October 2014.
National HBCU Media Week Hosted by Dillard University. Presenter.
“Leveraging History + Contemporary Traditions Into Friendraising + Awareness Building.” | New Orleans, Louisiana | July 11, 2014
Tedx Grand Bahama. Moderator.
“Bahamian Development: How Can We Further It.” Freeport, Bahamas | July 5, 2014
Sisters of Strength: A Brand New You. Presenter.
“Seven Steps to Strategic + Sustainable Success.” | Freeport, Bahamas | June 14, 2014
Tennessee State University: Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated’s Zeta Alpha Chapter Week. Panelist.
“State of the Union: The NPHC in the 21st Century Seminar.” | Nashville, Tennessee | April 22, 2014
The Faculty Breakfast Club: Women’s History Month. Presenter.
“Our Sister’s Keeper.” | Nashville, Tennessee | March 17, 2014
National Institutes of Health: Black (African-American) History Month. Presenter.
“Herstory: Civil Rights (and Wrongs) at Home and Abroad.” | Bethesda, Maryland | February 27, 2014
deGregory’s story begins in Freeport, Bahamas, where she was born and reared. She arrived in the U.S. 15 years ago after a chance encounter with a college recruiter led her to Fisk University, a historically black college in Nashville. A partial scholarship and her mother’s blessing made it possible for her to attend college. The experience inspired her to become an ardent advocate for black college education and expanded opportunities for minorities. – Dana Steinberg, NIH Record
Watch the NIH “Herstory” Talk online:
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: Black (African-American) History Month. Presenter.
“Herstory: Civil Rights (and Wrongs) at Home and Abroad.” | Raleigh, North Carolina | February 7, 2014
“Demonstrating her talent as a dynamic storyteller, deGregory’s interwoven stories illustrated how the civil rights movement in America influenced the revolution in the Bahamas during the 1950s and 1960s.” – Kimberly Cannady, Ph.D., Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) fellow in the NIEHS Chromatin and Gene Expression Group
Read the entire story online:
Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources’ K-12 Black History Month Workshop. Presenter.
“Intersections of Black and Latin America: Many Movements, One People.” | Vanderbilt University Center for Latin American Studies/Co-sponsored Middle Tennessee State University | Nashville, Tennessee | February 5, 2014
Mr. Tennessee State and the Student Government Association. Presenter.
“A Moment in Black History: Recognizing the Central Role of African-Americans.” | Tennessee State University Forum | Nashville, Tennessee | February 3, 2014
NPT’s The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross Teachers Workshop. Presenter.
“Slavery, the un-Civil War and Reconstruction.” | Nashville Public Library | Nashville, Tennessee | November 13, 2013
2013 History of Education Society Annual Meeting. Presenter.
“If These Walls Could Talk: A Talk and Tour of the Fisk University Campus.” | Fisk University | Nashville, Tennessee | November 1, 2013
Southern Festival of Books. Moderator.
“The New York Times: Disunion: Modern Historians Revisit and Reconsider the War from Lincoln’s Election to the Emancipation Proclamation.” | Nashville, Tennessee |October 11, 2013 | Drs. Kenneth W. Noe, Daniel Sharfstein and Minoa Uffelman
Nation’s Classic Symposium. Panelist.
“Keepers of the Culture” | AT&T Nation’s Classic | Crampton Auditorium, Howard University | Washington, D.C. | September 5, 2013 | Dr. Bryant Marks, Jeff Burns, Jr., Franchell “Frenchie” Davis, Chris Washington and Ralph Remington
“We must see HBCUs as insurgent institutions. We must see them as we see the Black church.”
- Crystal A. deGregory, Ph.D. at the Nation’s Classic
National HBCU Media Week. Presenter.
“The Art of HBCU Storytelling.” | HBCU Digest | Jackson State University | Jackson, Mississippi | June 2013
“When you are not telling your story, you are still sending a message. The message that you don’t care so neither should anyone else.”
- Crystal A. deGregory, Ph.D. at the National HBCU Media Week
Nashville Public Library (Main Branch). Moderator.
“Separate Can Never Be Equal.” | Nashville Public Library | Nashville, Tennessee. February 2012 | Drs. Rebekah Dobrasko and and Dr. Carter Savage
31st Annual Conference on African American History & Culture. Presenter with Learotha Williams, Jr., Ph.D.
“Service, Scholarship and Steppin’: An Exploration of Black Greek Lettered Organizations at Tennessee State University.” | Avon Williams Campus, Tennessee State University | Nashville, Tennessee | February 2012
Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Inc. Presenter.
“Before Black Athens: Black Education in Antebellum Nashville.” | Richmond, Virginia | October 2011
Middle Tennessee State University Center of Educational Media & Teaching with Primary Sources Across Tennessee. Presenter.
“Not Just a Fairytale: Fisk and Her Jubilee Singers.” | Middle Tennessee State University | Murfreesboro, Tennessee | August 2011