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Symposium

In the Wake of Slavery and Dispossession

Emory, Racism and the Journey Towards Restorative Justice 

September 29, 2021 - October 1, 2021

In Fall 2021, Emory University will host a symposium on slavery and dispossession to highlight ongoing efforts and research in this area, to encourage creative interpretations and dialogue, and to reckon with Emory’s legacy of slavery and racism and its ongoing, enduring effects. The symposium will be free to the public.

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Call for Proposals


Key Dates 

  • Proposal submission deadline EXTENDED: June 21, 2021, 11:59 pm EST
  • Notification of successful proposals: June 30, 2021  
  • Conference registration opens: July 1, 2021


Symposium Steering Committee Members 

Carol Anderson, Charles Howard Candler Professor and chair of African American Studies 
Yolanda Cooper, Co-Chair, Dean and University Librarian  
Clint Fluker, Curator for African American History and Culture, Rose Library 
Camille Goldman, Graduate Student, Department of History 
Carol Henderson, Co-Chair, Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer, Special Advisor to the President 
Johannes Kleiner, Associate Director Civic and Community Engagement 
Alix Lindsey Olson, Assistant Professor of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, Oxford College 
Megan O’Neil, Assistant Professor of Art History and Faculty Curator, Michael C. Carlos Museum
Carlton Mackey, Director Ethics and Arts Program 
Beth Michel (Tohono O’odham), Associate Dean of Admission at Emory
Megan Pendleton, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Oxford College 
Ronald Poole II, Undergraduate Student 
Walter Rucker, Professor, Department of African American Studies and History 
Anjulet Tucker, Director of Presidential Initiatives and Special Projects, Office of the President 
Kimberly Wallace-Sanders, Associate Professor of American and African American Studies


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Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that Emory University was founded in 1836 on the historic lands of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, 15 years after the First Treaty of Indian Springs (1821) dispossessed the Muscogee of land including both Emory campus locations. We also acknowledge that Emory University's founders were slaveholders, and the Oxford campus was originally constructed by enslaved people. To these peoples and their descendants, we acknowledge the grave injustices inflicted on them, and we recognize the indelible mark of their labor on the creation of the university.

Collage Images

Black-and-white photos of Black student activists at Emory University (Emory University Archives) 

Rare first edition of David Walker's 19th century anti-slavery book, "Appeal" owned and signed by W.E.B. Du Bois, acquired by Emory University's Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library

Photograph of Muscogee Creek Nation leader Chitto Harjo (Chief Crazy Snake), a vocal opponent of government efforts to divide communal land into individually owned allotments (Library of Congress)

Atlanta Journal newspaper article on Kitty's Cottage in Oxford, GA, home to a woman who was enslaved by one of Emory University's trustees

15th-century AD Mississippian shell gorget (pendant), with spirals and land representation (Michael C. Carlos Museum)

Portrait of Frederick Douglass featured in an original copy of one of the abolitionist’s autobiographies, “My Bondage and My Freedom,” published in 1855 (Rose Library)

1850 edition of The Narrative of Sojourner Truth acquired by the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library (article on p. 31)

1925 aerial view of original buildings on Emory University's Oxford campus, which were constructed with slave labor (Emory University Archives)

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