Lillian Smith

A miracle before her time

The Lillian E. Smith Center at Piedmont University is proud to host, “The Civil Rights Movement t and the Nine-Word Problem,” the second annual Professional Educators Program from June 12 to June 16, 2023 at the LES Center. Lillian Smith was an integral part of North Georgia’s connection to the Civil Rights Movement. This program highlights ways that we, as modern educators, can facilitate the knowledge and path to peace that will enhance young and older minds through Smith’s words and vision.

We encourage you to be a part of this educational mind-driven,  thought-provoking program.

About Lillian

Her experiences are everyone's story.

Where were you during segregation? What is it like where you are today? Modern times have shown us that we still have so much to learn about equality and how to teach it to others.  Throughout her life Lillian Smith stood up and spoke out about the injustices that were happening around her. Upon her death, Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote to her family, “Perhaps no southerner seared the consciousness of white southerners on the question of racial injustice than Lillian Smith.”

The Format

What Will We Do?

While the mornings and the readings for the program will focus on Lillian Smith and the Civil Rights Movement in Georgia, the program will bring together the arts, history, literature, environmental science, and more, providing opportunities for interdisciplinary conversations that will benefit our students and our educational communities. In the afternoons, the participants will take part in a variety of activities from lesson plan construction to discussions of environmental science at the camp and in the region. As such, we will have speakers and facilitators throughout the week to discuss the ways to have these conversations within the classroom.


The program is open to any K-12 educator in Georgia.  Participants will receive professional development hours; a $200 honorarium; complimentary copies of the books and texts for the program, and complimentary housing in the LES Center’s bunkhouses for the week.


Strange Fruit


The Journey

It is as relevant today as it was in 1944.

Writing to a high school English teacher and his students, Lillian Smith told them, “I don’t know when learning stops. But I know a writer never stops learning, not ever—until she is dead as a creative being. When you stop leaning, stop looking and asking questions, always new questions, them it is time to die.”


As educators, we never stop learning, discovering new things and pedagogies that we can use to plant that spark within our students’ minds. This professional development opportunity, hosted by the Lillian E. Smith Center and sponsored by Write to Change is an opportunity to gather with fellow educators and talk about our pedagogical approaches in the classroom, sharing our knowledge, experience, and more.

Learn more about Lil

Apply Today

Opens March 1, 2023
Closes May 1, 2023

To apply, send a CV/Resume and a 250-500 word statement detailing why you would like to participate in “The Civil Rights Movement and Northeast Georgia,” to

Applications must be received by May 1, 2023. We will contact accepted participants by May 15, 2023.  

The program will take place June 12-16 at the LES Center. 


What Lillian can teach us today

Our goal with the program is to work with educators on bringing important discussions into the classroom and helping their students see the history that exists around them, specifically in connection with the Civil Rights Movement. At this time, not many educators, students, or citizens know about Northeast Georgia’s connection to the Civil Rights Movement, especially through Lillian Smith.

Professional educators civil enlightenment Program

What our program is all about.

Program Details:

  • June 12-16 at the LES Center
  • Open to any P-12 educator in Georgia;
  • Participants will receive professional development hours;
  • Participants will receive a $200 honorarium;
  • Participants will receive complimentary copies of the books and texts for the program;
  • Participants will receive complimentary housing in the LES Center’s bunkhouses;

Program Schedule


Photos of the camp