50th Speakers Bureau

Kent State has numerous experts, including eyewitnesses, survivors, historians and other members of the university community, who are available for presentations and media interviews about the 50th Commemoration and the history and impact of May 4. If you are interested in obtaining a speaker or speakers for your event or classroom, please contact us at may4ksu@kent.edu or call (330) 672-2423. We can help you arrange the following:

  • Speakers for your organization
  • Conference speakers and panelists
  • Education, school programs or Skype classroom discussions
  • Media (TV, radio, print, podcast) interviews

In addition to the people below, you can also visit our Experts Guide for additional speakers that can present on a variety of additional May 4-related topics.


Topic: Eyewitnesses & Shooting Survivors

Alan Canfora

Alan Canfora, 1970
Tom Grace

Tom Grace, 1970
Chic Canfora

Chic Canfora, 1970

Alan Canfora was a leading Kent State University anti-war student protester when he was shot and wounded on May 4, 1970. While earning his bachelor's and master's degrees at Kent State, Mr. Canfora emerged as the leader of the ongoing May 4 movement for truth and justice – and he remains recognized as a top expert regarding the 1970 tragedy at Kent State and the history of American student activism. Today, he continues as director of the nonprofit, educational Kent May 4 Center as well as library director at the Akron Law Library and chairperson of the Barberton Democratic Party in nearby Barberton, Ohio.


Chic Canfora was an eyewitness and survivor of the shootings at Kent State University on May 4, 1970. A Kent 25 defendant, she was one of 24 students indicted by the Ohio Grand Jury, and later exonerated, for activism during a weekend of protests against the Vietnam War. She earned three degrees, including a Ph.D. at Kent State, where she teaches in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication today. She is a stalwart advocate for May 4 remembrance and for the importance of connecting the lessons of the anti-war movement to emerging movements today, including Black Lives Matter and March for Our Lives. Chic is also the co-spokesperson for the Advisory/Planning Committee.


Thomas M. Grace is one of nine former students who survived wounds inflicted by Ohio National Guard gunfire on May 4, 1970, at Kent State University. He is a scholar and adjunct professor of American history. He specializes in both the protest movement in the 1960s and the American Civil War. His published work includes “Kent State: Death and Dissent in the Long Sixties” (University of Massachusetts Press, 2016); “Kent State and Historical Memory” in “Democratic Narrative, History & Memory,” edited by Carole A. Barbato and Laura L. Davis (Kent State University Press, 2012); as well as scholarly and popular format articles about the Civil War, for which he is a regular contributor to America’s Civil War.



Dr. Mindy Farmer
Dr. Mindy Farmer is the director of the May 4th Visitors Center and an assistant professor in the History Department at Kent State University where she oversees all aspects of the Center’s educational programming and academic outreach.  During her tenure, the Center has doubled in size to include a new Reflection Gallery which hosts new, original exhibitions.  She and her team are currently working on a series of exhibits celebrating the lives of the four students killed on May 4, 1970 and a collaborative tribute to the 50th anniversaries of the shootings at Kent State and Jackson State. Farmer was also a coauthor of the successful application to make the May 4 Shootings Site a National Historic Landmark.