Wake Forest Law presents ‘Black Greek-Letter Organization Hazing: A Law “and” Approach’ symposium April 20 at George Washington University

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Wake Forest University School of Law will present a symposium, “Black Greek-Letter Organization Hazing: A Law ‘and’ Approach,” from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, at George Washington University’s Marvin Center.

Symposium organizer Wake Forest Law Professor Gregory Parks says hazing has been a constant within a host of American institutions for more than a century.

“Its manifestation in Black Greek-letter organizations has been unique in its elaborate culture and, arguably, its physical violence,” Parks explained. “Black Greek-letter organization stakeholders have struggled for decades to provide thoughtful analysis and ultimately problem-solving around this issue.”

As a prelude to a book that he is working on about BGLO hazing,  Parks put together this  symposium that he encourages members of BGLOs, university student affairs personnel, and other individuals interested in getting better control on hazing within these organizations  to attend.

“This symposium is intended to be a high-level discussion,” he  said. “It is sure to be enlightening in its approach as much as unconventional in its scope.”

The morning session panelists will present on a range of key topics, which include:

  • Types of evidence that can be brought against BGLOs in court
  • The relationship between leadership financial malfeasance and hazing
  • Homosexuality and black fraternity hazing
  • Organizational behavior perspectives on BGLO hazing
  • The utility of criminological models in explaining BGLO hazing
  • The role of expert witnesses in BGLO hazing litigation
  • The utility of sanctions in ending BGLO hazing
  • Special topics in BGLO sorority hazing
  • Special topics in BGLO fraternity hazing

The presenters will be:

  • Elizabeth Allen, PhD – Associate Professor of Higher Educational Leadership, University of Maine
  • W. Jonathan Cardi, JD – Associate Dean for Research and Development, Professor of Law, Wake Forest University School of Law
  • Oscar Holmes, IV, PhD – Assistant Professor of Business, Rutgers University
  • Matthew W. Hughey, PhD – Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Connecticut
  • Eugena Lee-Olukoya, PhD– Associate Dean of Students, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Gregory S. Parks, JD, PhD – Assistant Professor of Law, Wake Forest University School of Law
  • Rashawn Ray, PhD – Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Matthew Shaw, JD – Doctoral Candidate in Education, Harvard University
  • Tiffany Southerland, MSW, JD- Associate Director of Admissions, Villanova School of Law
  • John Williams, PhD – Vice President for Institutional Research, Assessment, and Planning, Tuskegee University

The afternoon session will consist of three panels for questions and answers.  “Two will be comprised of presenters and one of local law students who are BGLO members,” Parks explained.

The event’s co-sponsors include the Association of Fraternity Advisors, the National Black Law Student Association, the North-American Interfraternity Conference and HazingPrevention.org.

Seating is limited to approximately 100. For those interested in obtaining guaranteed seating, please go to https://pdc.wfu.edu/event/6121/ .  Only 70 seats will be reserved. The remainder will go to those first to arrive the morning of the symposium.

The following are suggested readings prior to attending the symposium


  • African American Fraternities and Sororities: The Legacy and the Vision, second edition (chapters 1, 19, and 20).
  • Alpha Phi Alpha: A Legacy of Greatness, the Demands of Transcendence (chapters 10 and 11).
  • Black Greek-Letter Organizations 2.0: New Directions in the Study of African American Fraternities and Sororities (chapters 12 and 13)
  • Black Greek Letter Organizations in the 21st Century: Our Fight Has Just Begun (chapters 15, 19, and 21)
  • African American Fraternities and Sororities: The Legacy and the Vision (chapter 16)
  • Gregory S. Parks & Rashawn Ray, Poetry as Evidence __ University of California at Irvine Law Review  __ (2013) (http://www.gregoryparks.net/articles.php).
  • Gregory S. Parks, Shayne E. Jones, & Matthew W. Hughey, Belief, Truth, and Positive Organizational Deviance, __ Howard Law Journal __ (2013) (http://www.gregoryparks.net/articles.php).
  • Gregory S. Parks, Social Networking and Leadership Accountability in (Quasi) Secret Organizations, 2 Wake Forest Law Review Common Law 39 (2012) (http://www.gregoryparks.net/articles.php).
  • Gregory S. Parks & Dorsey Spencer, Student Affairs Professionals, Black “Greek” Hazing, and University Civil Liability __ College Student Affairs Journal __ (2013) (http://ssrn.com/author=1699968).
  • Gregory S. Parks & Tiffany Southerland, The Psychology & Law of Hazing Consent (under review) (please visit Gregory Parks’ SSRN page in late March 2013 for a draft copy).
  • Gregory S. Parks, Shayne E. Jones, Rashawn Ray, & Matthew W. Hughey, Complicit in their Own Demise? (under review) (http://ssrn.com/author=1699968).
  • William C. Terrell, Pledging to Stay Viable: Why Fraternities and Sororities Should Adopt Arbitration as a Response to the Litigation Dilemma, 43 University of Memphis Law Review 511 (2013) (contact gakyle@memphis.edu to get a copy).