For release: February 20, 2008
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey
Daphene R. McFerren
Daphene R. McFerren has been appointed director of the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute
for Social Change at the University of Memphis. McFerren is a 1984 graduate of Yale
College and a 1989 graduate of Harvard Law School. She is also a grant recipient of
the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Prior to joining the Hooks Institute, McFerren practiced law as a trial attorney for
the United States Department of Justice and was counsel to former U.S. Attorney General
Janet Reno from December 1999 to January 2001.
She served as a visiting scholar at the Hooks Institute from June 2006 to May 2007
and was responsible for creating the symposium “The Fayette County, Tennessee, Civil
Rights Movement: How African-Americans Changed Themselves, Their Community, and Their
Nation by Demanding the Right to Vote."
McFerren is the daughter of John and Viola McFerren, who were leaders in the Civil
Rights Movement in Fayette County, Tenn.
The Hooks Institute was established in 1996 as a public policy research center. It
is named in honor of Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks, native Memphian and prominent national
leader in the Civil Rights Movement. The Institute houses many of Hooks' papers from
his long career in government and with the N.A.A.C.P.