FLORENCE – Jennifer Berry Hawes, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Grace Will Lead Us Home: The Charleston Church Massacre and the Hard, Inspiring Journey to Forgiveness will be among the panelists for the second Race and Religion panel discussion 

The event is scheduled for 2-4pm. Wednesday, September. 15 at Norton Auditorium on the UNA campus. Registration is required at

In addition to Hawes as a 2016 Pulitzer winner, the panel also includes a 2019 Pulitzer Prize finalist, religious scholars, and scholars from multiple faiths to discuss the importance of religion as well as to bring awareness to how race and religion continue to intertwine around issues of racism and social justice, according to Ron Patterson, Vice President of UNA’s Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

“This annual event allows UNA to be part of the ongoing conversation we all must have,” he said. “Our guests, including Ms. Hawes, provide an opportunity to the campus as well as greater Shoals community to participate in these important discussions that allow us to move the conversation about race and religion forward.”

September 15 is also the day of the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. The Race and Religion panel discussion and book signing is an opportunity to honor the individuals massacred at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, while remembering the victims of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing, Patterson said.

Panelists will be Hawes, as well as Dr. Paula Michelle Wyatt, Minister at Greater Bethel AME Church in Nashville; the Rev. Christopher Reeves, lead pastor at Greater Saint Paul AME Church in Florence, which is the oldest AME church in Alabama; and the Rev. Dr. Callie Plunkett-Brewton, rector at Trinity Episcopal Church in Florence.

Copies of Grace Will Lead Us Home, which was this year’s selection for the One Book program at UNA, will be for sale at Norton the day of the event, and a book signing with Hawes is scheduled to take place at the conclusion of the panel discussion.