Program Schedule

In the Wake of Slavery and Dispossession: Emory, Racism, and the Journey towards Restorative Justice

Table of Contents

View the recorded sessions in the Symposium on Slavery and Dispossession YouTube playlist. Links to individual session recordings are available throughout this schedule.

Download the symposium schedule (PDF) for session locations and times.

This page was last updated on October 15, 2021.

Wednesday, September 29 

Emory Atlanta Campus

All events from 5:45 - 7:30 p.m. held in the Emory Student Center Multipurpose Room; watch recording on YouTube 

5:45 – 6:15 p.m.
"Acknowledging the Ancestors with Readings, Music, and Prayer”

  • Artistic welcome
    • Movement Artists: Charray Helton & Malia Craft
    • Choreographer: Indya Childs
    • Readers: Ola Jimenez Sanchez, Aston Fox, Tre Harp III, Sofie Khaki, Yanet Abraham, Ciara Collins
    • Reading Arrangement: Dr. Alix L. Olson
    • Program Music & Arrangement: Carlton Mackey
  • Ifa priest: Baba Odutola
  • Rev. Chebon blessing
  • Speaker (Cooper) with Land Acknowledgement

6:15 – 6:30 p.m. 
Welcome and Overview of the Symposium

  • Yolanda Cooper, Dean and University Librarian, Co-Chair, Symposium Steering Committee 
  • Carol Henderson, Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion/Chief Diversity Officer/Advisor to the President,  Co-Chair, Symposium Steering Committee  

6:30 – 7:30 p.m.  
Keynote Panel Discussion: Black Student Activism and the Black Student Experience
This panel explores Emory University’s long and diverse history of student activism, particularly those (revolutionary) legacies of black students. More than acknowledge the time-labor that black students have and continue to invest in the fruition of institutional diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, this panel hopes to demonstrate a significant and historical interlocution between the (revolutionary) program of black student struggle and those national movements for black liberation as originary to the DEI programmatic. This panel contributes to that burgeoning national forum, peopled by students and educators alike, considering the coextensive realities of underserved, under-resourced, and overloaded black students and the historical dispossession and enslavement of black and indigenous peoples. Constituted entirely by black students, this panel represent a unique and generative moment in the modern history of Emory University—in the history of the modern university itself—in which strategic partnerships between students of color and the administration are being devised and leveraged to centralize our experiences, knowledges, and histories from the margins of this campus’s cultural commons. Among several other questions this panel proposes for consideration, we question the future of these cooperations as special interests between the both groups continue to diverge.      

  • Eddy Cabrera 22C, Emory College
  • Rosseirys De La Rosa 22C, Emory College
  • Coumba Diao 22B, Goizueta School of Business
  • Matthew Nails 22C, Emory College
  • Anne Odney 23C, Emory College
  • RW Poole 23C, Emory College
  • Marie Roc 23C , Student, Emory College
  • Kyle Truevillian 22C, Emory College
  • Candice Williams, Assistant Director, Atlanta Urban Debate League, moderator

7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Outdoor Meet and Greet (in-person attendance only)
        Emory Student Center Plaza
        Snack boxes will be provided and soft drinks will be served.

Thursday, September 30 

Emory Atlanta Campus

All events from 8:00 - 9:45 a.m. held in the Emory Student Center, Room N104; watch recording on YouTube 

8:00 – 8:30 a.m.
Acknowledging the Ancestors with Readings, Music, and Prayer

  • Rev. Chebon Blessing
  • Rev. Avis Williams Blessing
  • Introduction of Craig Steven Wilder

8:30 – 8:40 a.m.
President’s Welcome & Address — President Gregory L. Fenves

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Welcome from Conference Chairs and Introduction of Keynote

9:00–9:45 a.m. 
Keynote: Universities as Instruments of Colonialism 
This talk will review the new history of American universities to show how we arrived at this moment of reckoning and the obligations of institutions examining their historical ties to dispossession and enslavement.  

  • Craig Steven Wilder, Barton L. Weller Professor of History, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

10:00–10:45 a.m. 
Concurrent Sessions
        History Track
        Emory Student Center, Room N104; watch recording on YouTube 

  • Geechees and Other Gullahs in Georgia: Remembering Their Alliance with the Muskogee Nation During Enslavement Before and After the 1821 First Treaty of Indian Springs 
    An examination of the alliance between Gullah Geechee people and the Muskogee Nation during the enslavement period before and after the 1821 First Treaty of Indian Springs. 
    • J. Vern Cromartie, Professor of Sociology, Chairman of the Sociology Department, Contra Costa College 
  • “University of the People”? UNC’s Investment in Dispossession 
    An analysis of the role that Chickasaw and Cherokee dispossession played in the founding and funding of UNC Chapel Hill in the nineteenth century. 
    • Lucas Kelley, Assistant Professor of History, Valparaiso University 
  • In the Wake of Slavery and Dispossession  
    The complex coupled history of the Native and African begs the question, after all we have survived, where will we go from here? 
  • Performance: Poets for the Revolution: A Poetic Protest CANCELLED
    Impact Track 
            Emory Student Center, Room TBD 
    A performance of poetry and music centered on “the revolution” or poems about civil and human rights and the emotions African Americans are collectively experiencing. Listeners will consider how their privilege grants them access to spaces and more importantly, how that privilege can become a tool for justice. The performers also hope to inspire the audience to view poetry and their own artistic endeavors as a vehicle for protest. 
  • Panel Discussion: Rutgers Experience in Studying Slavery and the Development of the Scarlet and Black Project 
            Healing and Restorative Justice Track 
            Emory Student Center, Room N102; watch recording on YouTube

    Panelists will share experiences studying slavery at Rutgers University and the Scarlet and Black Project, the recruitment of students in related research, and the process of naming buildings and creating historical markers on campus.  
    • Tracey Johnson, incoming Scarlet and Black Postdoctoral Fellow, Rutgers University
    • Beatrice Adams, Assistant Professor of African American History, College of Wooster
    • Jesse Bayker, Digital Archivist, Scarlet and Black Project, Rutgers University (moderator) 
    • Miya Carey, Assistant Professor of History, Binghamton University

11:00–11:45 a.m. 
Plenary Session 
Panel Discussion: Understanding Indian Removal and Its Legacies 
        Emory Student Center, Room N104; watch recording on YouTube
Emory University is located on Muscogee (Creek) land. This panel proposes to provide crucial regional and national context to promote an accurate and thoughtful discussion about how Emory came to occupy this land and why. Indian Removal was a sustained, structuring process that unfolded over an extended period of time and changed the course of American history and the fortunes of Black and White Americans, as well as Indigenous people. What most Americans think of as the “Trail of Tears”—forced marches of thousands of Native people from their homes in Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi—was one part of a policy that also unfolded nationwide for dozens of tribal communities. The four historians on this panel approach Indian Removal from a variety of perspectives that offer an introduction to this phenomenon which is responsible for so much of the way our society looks today. 

  • Nakia D. Parker, College of Social Science Dean’s Research Associate, Michigan State University
  • Christina Snyder, McCabe Greer Professor of History at Pennsylvania State University 
  • Michael Witgen, Professor in the Departments of History, American Culture, and Native American Studies, University of Michigan 
  • Malinda Maynor Lowery, Cahoon Family Professor of American History, Emory University (moderator)

12:45–1:30 p.m. 
Plenary Session 
Families Divided: The Human Costs of Enslavement in Emory’s History
     Emory Student Center, Room N104; watch recording on YouTube
Chattel slavery was woven into the fabric of Emory College from 1836 until the Civil War, as the labor required for the college’s operation in Newton County was provided by enslaved people, primarily owned by the college’s antebellum board members, presidents, and faculty. In turn, the grounds on which the modern Atlanta Emory University (Clifton Road) campus are now located were slavery-based plantations, succeeded by sharecropping-oriented farms after the Civil War. In complex ways, Emory’s foundational history was anchored in structural violence directed towards enslaved and free families of color, many of whom were repeatedly divided and ruptured through sales, gifts, estate distributions, and economic privation, even as these families struggled to maintain their integrity and dignity across the generations. This presentation details the human costs of enslavement at Emory and considers how the afterlives of “the peculiar institution” have continued to resonate through the university’s history.

  • Mark Auslander, Research Scholar, Anthropology, Brandeis University and Visiting Associate Professor, Boston University and UMass-Amherst  

1:45–2:45 p.m. 
Concurrent Sessions  

  • Conversation: Transformation or Reform: How Colleges and Universities Respond to the Afterlives of Slavery 
            History Track 
            Emory Student Center, Room N104; watch recording on YouTube
    The conversation will explore the complicated and sometimes contradictory ways that universities have responded to the afterlives of slavery in their curriculum, hiring, and admission processes and practices in the past decade.  
    • Robert J. Patterson, Professor and Chair of African American Studies, Georgetown University 
    • Susana Morris, Associate Professor of Literature, Media, and Communications, Georgia Institute of Technology
    • Gregory Ellison, Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling, Emory University (moderator) 
  • Panel Discussion: Crafting Democratic Solutions: Situating Colleges and Universities in Community-Based Reparations Solutions 
            Impact Track 
            Emory Student Center, Room N103; watch recording on YouTube
    The Center for Social Solutions at the University of Michigan received a $5M Just Futures grant from the Mellon Foundation for an initiative called Crafting Democratic Futures: Situating Colleges and Universities in Community-Based Reparations Solutions. This panel will explore the role of community fellows in working with colleges and universities to develop research-informed, community-engaged reparations solutions.
    • Richard Cammarieri, Director of Community Engagement, New Community Corporation
    • Jessica Cruz, Managing Director, Just Futures Initiative, Center for Social Solutions, University of Michigan 
    • Timothy K. Eatman, Ph.D. Dean of the Honors Living-Learning Community, Professor of Urban Education, Rutgers-Newark

    • Ryan P. Haygood, Esq., President and CEO, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice

    • Mark Krasovic, Associate Professor of History, Rutgers University
    • James Postema, Chair and Professor of English, Concordia University
    • Ricky White, Chief Executive Officer, First Nations Consultants
  • Panel Discussion: Engaging Tribe-Owned Businesses as a Strategy for Sustainability and Restorative Justice; We Still Remain: Advancing University-Indigenous Partnerships in the Southeast  
            Healing and Restorative Justice Track 
            Emory Student Center, Room N102; watch recording on YouTube
    This panel discussion offers an opportunity for individuals to understand some of the business models that tribes use and share ideas on viable business ventures between tribes and other entities. It also will give a better understanding of university–tribal nations partnerships and how to gauge attitudes.
    • Billy Rice 17G, Sustainability Manager, ALPLA (Emory Alumnus)
    • Danielle Hiraldo, Tribal Outreach Specialist/Senior Researcher, Native Nations Institute, Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, University of Arizona
    • Mary Ann Jacobs, Chair and Associate Professor, American Indian Studies, University of Carolina at Pembroke
    • Hannah Goins, Graduate Research Assistant, University of Arizona 

3:00–3:45 p.m.  
Plenary Session 
In the Wake
Emory Student Center, Room N104
In her talk, Sharpe will read from a section of In the Wake, speak about writing the book, and what she wanted the work to do in relation to TransAtlantic slavery and its continuing reverberations.

4:00–4:45 p.m. 
Concurrent Sessions  

  • Panel Discussion: Student Activism at Emory (Decolonizing in Practice: Resistance, Repossession, and Restorative Justice) 
            History Track 
            Emory Student Center, Room N104; watch recording on YouTube

    Panelists will provide an overview of Black, Native, and Latinx student activism at Southern institutions including Emory and the connection of these histories, and they will explain the necessity of recognizing that connection when moving toward justice-oriented activism. The discussion will contextualize current events on Emory’s campus as well as inspire more individuals to become involved. 
    • Klamath Henry, 19C, Research Librarian at Chachalu Tribal Museum and Cultural Center (Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde)
    • Koan Roy-Meighoo 25C, Emory University Student, Organizer for the Beacon Hill Black Alliance
  • Panel Discussion: Moving Forward—Acknowledging Our Past/Empowering Our Future
      Impact Track 
            Emory Student Center, Room N103; watch recording on YouTube 
    The presentations will explore the lived experiences of Black students, patients, and physicians from the 1860s until today and examine segregation; discrimination; early health policy; and how continued health disparities, redlining, and environmental racism affects African Americans. 
    • Khaalisha Ajala, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
    • Sophia Stylianos 23M, Student, Emory University School of Medicine 
    • Sheryl Heron, Professor of Emergency Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
  • Using Children’s Literature to Confront Racial Injustice
         Healing and Restorative Justice Track
           Emory Student Center, Room N102; watch recording on YouTube
    The panel discussion and reading of Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice will examine how children develop ideas about race, the rationale for race-conscious parenting, and how to confront racial injustice using children’s literature.
    • Marietta Collins, Associate Professor, Family Medicine and Psychiatry, Morehouse School of Medicine
    • Marianne Celano, Director, Emory Parent Child Interaction Therapy Program, Emory University School of Medicine

5:00–5:45 p.m. 
Concurrent Sessions 

  • Panel Discussion: The BYU Slavery Project: Student-Centered Research and the Work of Anti-Racism in History Education
           Impact Track
           Emory Student Center, Room N104; watch recording on YouTube
    Faculty panelists will discuss the origins, development, and vision of the Brigham Young University Slavery project, with hopes that it may be useful for other universities who do not have obvious ties to the history of slavery and the slave trade, and that it will help refine the project.  
    • Farina King, Associate Professor of history at Northeastern State University
    • Christopher Jones, Assistant Professor of History, Brigham Young University
    • Matthew Mason, Professor of History, Brigham Young University
    • Louise Wheeler, Assistant Clinical Professor in Counseling and Psychology, Brigham Young University
    • Rebecca de Schweinitz, Associate Professor of History, Brigham Young University
    • Makoto Hunter, undergratudate senior in History, Brigham Young University; Research Assistant for the BYU Slavery Project and the website Intermountain Histories
    • Aïsha Lehmann, undergraduate in Art, Sociology, and Africana Studies, Brigham Young University 
    • Lindsey Meza, undergraduate in History, Spanish, and Latin American Studies, Brigham Young University
    • Grace Soelberg, Honors Alum, Brigham Young University; former Research Assistant for the BYU Slavery Project
  • Panel Discussion: “I Looked Out onto the Water and Saw Hands Beckoning Me”: The Wanderer, the “Weeping Time” and the Powerful Black Hands of Unnamed, Unpaid, and Unappreciated Black Women as Caretakers of White Children 
            History Track 
            Emory Student Center, Room N103; watch recording on YouTube
    This panel connects Emory’s history to the last ship (the Wanderer) that brought enslaved Africans to Georgia, the largest slave sale in American history and to the anonymous labor of African American women serving as caretakers for White children. The Wanderer’s ship manifest, held by the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, will be on display for the first time for this symposium.
  • Art as a Catalyst for Dialogue: Discussion Using Art
    Healing and Restorative Justice Track 
           Emory Student Center, Room N102 
    Considering that historical events have an impact on present social interactions, a conversation around identity (i.e., race, ethnicity) and how much space a person can “take up” due to their identity is beneficial. Participants will use art as a catalyst for discussion. 
    • Di’J Press 22C, Volunteer, Emory's Social Justice Education Team
    • Ben Levitt 22C, Volunteer, Emory's Social Justice Education Team
    • Isha Konety, 23C, Volunteer, Emory's Social Justice Education Team
    • Prue Nkansah 20Ox 22C, Volunteer, Emory's Social Justice Education Team
    • Summayah El Azzioui, 24C, Volunteer, Emory's Social Justice Education Team

6:00–6:45 p.m. 
Concurrent Sessions 

  • Three Presentations: The African American Experience at the Virginia Military Institute: An Update on Historical Research; Centering Narratives of Desegregation and Inclusion in Texas; Bringing up the Bodies: Unearthing Slavery on “Free” Soil 
     History Track 
            Emory Student Center, Room N104; watch recording on YouTube
    History faculty from the Virginia Military Institute, in Lexington, Virginia, have participated in the Universities Studying Slavery. This presentation will be an update on the situation at the Virginia Military Institute and related scholarly projects, and the presentation will situate current research and work underway to commemorate the historic struggle to desegregate higher education at the University of Texas at Austin. Presenters will offer research findings on the ways in which Northwestern University and other universities in the Chicago area have profited from slavery and settler colonialism.
    • Bradley Coleman, Professor of History, Director of John Adams Center, Virginia Military Institute
    • Heather Menefee, PhD Candidate in History and Mellon Cluster Fellow in Native American and Indigenous Studies, Northwestern University
    • Hope McCaffrey, Graduate Student in U.S. History, Northwestern University
    • Edmund Gordon, Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies and Vice President for Diversity, University of Texas at Austin
    • Olivia Mena, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of African American Studies, Princeton University
  • Remembrance as Resistance: The Praise House Project
    Impact Track 
            Emory Student Center, Room N102; watch recording on YouTube
    Visual artist Charmaine Minniefield and her collaborators will discuss this public art series by revisiting “The Ring Shout”, a religious ritual experienced by the ancestors who gathered in circles in song and movement with collective intention to realize infinite possibilities. The place of worship, the Praise House, created a safe space away from White oversight and oppression to finally imagine freedom cultural encoding hidden in plain sight, pointing the way home to freedom, and keeping space for Black possibilities.Thanks to a NEA grant, there will be three praise houses: South-View Cemetery (opens 9/25), Decatur Square (January 2022), and Emory University (Sept 2022). For more detailed or to volunteer, visit
  • A Mental Model for Racial Healing Now in Virtual Programming
            Healing and Restorative Justice Track 
            Emory Student Center, Room TBD  
    The purpose of this project is to dispel myths of racial hierarchy and address White supremacy, explore and acknowledge bias, and find connection and support across cultures. The session is a seven to ten–minute spoken word by Salaam Green and Moneka A. Thompson based on their experiences with The Little Book of Healing.  
    • Moneka A. Thompson, Staff Chaplain, Kirklin Clinic, University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital
    • Salaam Green, Artist in Resident for Creative Writing and Poetry/UAB Arts in Medicine Team 

Friday, October 1 

Oxford College Campus

All events from 8:00 - 9:15 a.m. held in the Oxford Student Center; watch recording on YouTube

8:00 – 8:15 a.m.
Acknowledging the Ancestors with Readings, Music, and Prayer

  • Lyn Pace, Oxford Chaplain
  • Land Acknowledgement
  • Welcome & Remarks: Dean Doug Hicks and Greg Ellison

8:15 - 8:20 a.m.
Welcome Dean of Oxford College, Doug Hicks

8:30–9:15 a.m. 
Plenary Session 
Panel Discussion: The History of Oxford and Where We are Today: Oxford Men of Color and Black Student Alliance (Oxford College)  
The panel will focus on relaying and giving context to Oxford/Emory’s complicated history with slavery and the Confederacy, and the state of ongoing debates around the monuments and historical sites, which still stand today.  

  • Devin Gee, President of Oxford Men of Color
  • Sarah Bekele, President of the Oxford Black Student Alliance

9:30–10:15 a.m. 
Concurrent Sessions 

  • Academic Paper: James Baldwin’s America in Myth and Truth
            History Track 
            Dean's Dining Room; watch recording on YouTube
    This presentation will examine how the White supremacist myth distorts the truth about America’s past, present, and people, and will further investigate the rejection of White supremacy as the means of uncovering America’s truth. The presentation aims to promote awareness of James Baldwin’s work as a writer and witness to racism and possibility, as well as his dedication to rejecting America’s lies, revealing the truth, and building a better future that lay the foundation for this work in truth and reconciliation.  
    • Jay Jones 22Ox 24C, Student, Oxford College of Emory University   
  • Combined Presentations and Panel: From Slavery, Nativism, and Eugenics to Policing, Detention, and Sterilization
    Impact Track 
             Oxford Student Center; watch recording on YouTube
    This panel will explore the legacies of slavery, nativism, and eugenics in reaction to Black freedom, migration, and female empowerment. Behind the Glass (BTG) and Students for Prison Education, Activism, and Resistance (SPEAR) bring to light how the immigration system and the criminal justice system alienate minorities and historically dispossessed groups. Panelists discuss the White fear behind policing and mass incarceration, as well as the pseudoscientific roots of the forced sterilization exposed at Irwin Detention Center in 2020 and across the US.
    • Leslie Alexander, Associate Professor of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, Arizona State University
    • Grace Shrestha 22C, Student, President, Behind the Glass
    • Henry Mangalapalli 22C, Student, Vice President, Behind the Glass
    • Elizabeth Pittenger 22C, Student, Co-President, SPEAR
    • Reina Ambrocio 22C, Co-President, SPEAR
    • Danielle Blemur, 22M 22PH, Student, Emory University  
  • Creative Presentation and Panel Discussion: A Path to Reconciliation: Acknowledging the History to Inform an Equitable Future 
     Healing and Restorative Justice Track 
            Phi Gamma; watch recording on YouTube
    This session is a multimedia presentation and panel. Historical information will be provided with photography and clips included as a backdrop and include a discussion. Throughout the presentation, ancestral scents will be used in the room with explanations of their symbolism. This presentation provides an interdisciplinary discussion with context and practical information and steps for navigating reconciliation waters. 

10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. 
Plenary Session 
The Native American Leadership Model: A Focused Approach to Overcoming Native American Trauma (Includes a Student Panel) 
        Oxford Student Center; watch recording on YouTube
The Native American Leadership Model is a source for understanding leadership styles through a lens of tribal core values and indigenous methodologies of learning. This model will serve as a tool to reclaim and assert the indigenous perspective on Native American Leadership that was broken down over centuries of United States policies aimed at assimilation. Native American people experienced traumatic historical events imposed upon them by the United States government to assimilate the people into their society. As a result, many cultural traditions were lost during this period of Native American history. An important aspect of culture that was targeted was the model of Native American leadership to divide the people and open their lands for settlement. Today, models of traditional Native American leadership still exist through many practices of ceremony and spiritualism. However, the contemporary model of leadership for Native people was created through centuries of assimilation and from Western educational systems. To further the works of decolonization, Native people must claim our roles as leaders based on a modern view of the world through our cultural lens of knowledge. 

  Student Panelists

  • Jacqui Knight, Natural Resources Student
  • Tristin Flora, Native American Studies Student
  • Blanch Bear, Tribal Services Student

1:00–1:45 p.m.  
Concurrent Sessions 

  • Art Installation/Performance: “Qutaanuaqtuit: Dripping Music”: Indigenizing Music Performance 
      History Track 
            Oxford Student Center; watch recording on YouTube
    This video art installation will bring attention to concepts of musical score interpretation, Indigenous language revitalization, interpretation of ancestral material arts, and musical performances as acts of sovereignty. “Qutaanuaqtuit: Dripping Music” was created for the 2019 art exhibit Soundings: An Exhibition in Five Parts. A lecture-recital presentation examines the development of the work, a live performance accompanied with the video, followed by community discussion. 
  • Creative Workshop: Indigenous Poets: Mirrored Poetry Workshop
      Impact Track 
            Dean's Dining Room; watch recording on YouTube
    This interactive workshop is designed to connect with the original indigenous authors and their work by having attendees read five poems written by Indigenous poets, and explore the poets, their experiences, and the poems themselves through a guided conversation. Attendees will be asked to write an imitation piece and share their poems with the group.  
    • Christine Ristano, Senior Lecturer in Italian, Emory University
    • Matowacipi Horse 24C, Student, Emory University 
    • Malaika Cheney-Coker, Founder, Ignited Word
  • Presentation and Discussion: Trauma, Restorative Justice, and the American Descendants of the Dispossessed 
     Healing and Restorative Justice Track 
            Phi Gamma; watch recording on YouTube
    This presentation will offer participants a broader understanding and a new revelation as it relates to what restorative justice truly looks like from the perspective of the American Descendants of the Enslaved in the twenty-first century. This presentation will also reveal the spiritual, physical, emotional, and psychological trauma that dispossession and oppressive injustices has placed upon African Americans since their existence in America.  
    • Briyant Hines 22T, MDiv Student, Candler School of Theology, Emory University 

2:00–3:30 p.m. 
Plenary Session 
Racial Healing Next Steps in Racial Justice and Our Collective Liberation 
    Oxford Student Center; watch recording on YouTube
In this session, Anneliese Singh describes core racial healing strategies that people can practice in the aim of collective racial justice and liberation. In doing so, Singh invites people to explore their own racial healing so they can build stronger relationships across multiple races/ethnicities to identify and transform structural racism within institutional settings. 

  • Annaliese Singh, Associate Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity/Chief Diversity Officer, Tulane University

3:30–5:00 p.m.  
Plenary Session 
Panel Discussion: Ethics of Community and Institutional Archives 
        Oxford Student Center; watch recording on YouTube
The panel will consider questions of community involvement in efforts to build archival collections. Critical developments at Emory University, including the Emory University’s Untold Stories Task Force’s Report and the Native American Initiative, have advanced the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library’s interest in building collections that will contribute to knowledge of Indigenous and Native American history. As the library considers how to contribute to documentary efforts important questions must be asked regarding motives and archival practices. To explore the question of ethics of community and institutional archives, the panel will offer three case studies to understand methods and practices, including the Rowasu'u Xavante archive, the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library’s African American collections, and the D’arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the Newberry Library. Together these case studies will offer critical insights into contemporary models for archival practices, providing context for institutional efforts to document, preserve and promote engagement with cultural heritage in the twenty-first century.  

Rowasu’u: A’uwẽ (Xavante) Repossession of Scientific Objects

  • Lori Jahnke, Emory Libraries Subject Specialist for Anthropology, Emory University 
  • James R. Welch, Assistant Professor of Human Ecology and Health, National School of Public Health, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Rosanna Dent, Assistant Professor of Federated History, New Jersey Institute of Technology

Abstract: Indigenous A’uwẽ (Xavante) people in Central Brazil have experienced a long history of racism and dispossession of traditional lands, autonomies, and sovereignties reaching back to at least the seventeenth century. Through decades of paternalistic legal and economic guardianship by the federal government, A’uwẽ communities have become prized subjects of scientific research in fields such as anthropology, genetics, public health, demography, and ecology. Although scholars of A’uwẽ society, bodies, and environments have advocated vigorously for human, political, and social rights of study populations, their practice of science has nevertheless failed at returning its products and thereby contributed to the continued dispossession of certain Indigenous scientific assets. At the same time, A’uwẽ protagonists have sought to augment their sovereignty in the face of radical social, political, and environmental transformations associated with internal colonialism by forging relations with non-A’uwẽ scholars characterized by mutual care and reciprocity. Within this context, several A’uwẽ communities have long expressed their wish to recuperate access to the products of studies for which they served as subjects and collaborators, including publications, audiovisual records, and other scientific objects. Responding to these requests, the collaborative project Rowasu’u is making reparations on behalf of a large group of scientists who have worked with the A’uwẽ since the 1950s by returning digital versions of scientific products to subject communities. Rowasu’u is being constructed from the ground up based on A’uwẽ notions of appropriate sharing and protection of intellectual property. Through A’uwẽ leadership, guidance, and oversight, the archive is positioned to redress historical scientific oversights for inclusive access to and control of scientific resources.

The Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, African American Collections

  • Kimberly Wallace-Sanders, Associate Professor of American and African American Studies, Emory University 
  • Valerie Boyd, Associate Professor and the Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia 
  • Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women’s Studies and English, Spelman College
  • Randall Burkett, Emeritus Curator of African American Collections, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University
  • Jennifer Gunter King, Director, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University

Abstract: African American history and culture is a core collecting area for the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, and lie at the center of the Rose Library’s mission to “promote access and learning, equity and justice by documenting, preserving and making accessible distinctive and diverse collections.” The African American collections include materials in the areas of art and art history, religion, theater, civil rights, sports, music, literature, business, radicalism, Black print culture, and many other areas. Our standout collections include the Camille Billops and James Hatch archives, the Atlanta Daily World records, the collections of James Weldon Johnson and Carter G. Woodson, and the papers of Alice Walker, Lucille Clifton, and Kathleen Cleaver, among many others.

The panel will address questions of community engagement in the archive's development and services. The panelists will include the perspectives of prominent African American scholars who have played significant roles in attracting collections, curating exhibitions, and teaching from collections. The former Curator of African American Collections will address engagement efforts in the Rose’s history, and the library’s current director will address practices now and going forward. How much of the repository’s systems and processes are influenced by the communities the library seeks to document? What level of community engagement influences curatorial, collections care, and the access services offered by the Rose Library?

The Newberry Library's D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies and Ayer Collection

  • Will Hansen, Director of Reader Services and Curator of Americana, D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies, Newberry Library 
  • Analú López, Ayer Indigenous Studies Librarian, D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies, Newberry Library 

Abstract: This presentation will discuss the Newberry Library's 110-year history of collecting materials related to the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, and the accelerating efforts toward Indigenous community engagement and community-focused collection development since the founding of the McNickle Center in 1972--including community oral history and photography projects, hosting visiting delegations of tribal officials, and more. The presentation will particularly focus on the library's current multiyear project to expand access to its collections for Indigenous communities, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Together these 3 case studies will offer critical insights into contemporary models for archival practices, providing critical context for institutional efforts to document, preserve and promote engagement with cultural heritage in the 21st C.

5 – 6 p.m.
Plenary Session
Panel Discussion – Stories and Insights from the Descendants of Emory’s History

        Oxford Student Center; watch recording on YouTube

Descendants of enslaved persons associated with antebellum Emory College and with the lands that later became Emory University will join in dialogue and reflection about the significance of this painful history. The panel will also share their thoughts and reactions to the information shared throughout the symposium. The conversation will be facilitated by Rev. Dr. Avis Williams and Dr. Eugene Emory. 

  • Darcel Caldwell and Cynthia Caldwell Martin, great-great-great granddaughters of Catherine “Miss Kitty” Boyd and her son Rev. Alford Boyd (enslaved by James Osgood Andrew, first President of Emory College Board of Trustees)
  • Mr. Anderson Wright, President Oxford, Historical Cemetery Foundation and Past President, Oxford Historical Shrine Society, great grandson of George Washington Sims and Angeline Sims (Muscogee Creek (both enslaved by Richard L. Sims, founding trustee of the Oxford Female Academy)
  • Dr. Eugene Emory, Professor of Psychology, Emory University (descendant of John Emory, slaveowner and namesake of Emory University)
  • Clarence Burton. Great-great-grandson of Scipio and Winnie Paden, and their daughter Adelecta Paden (enslaved by Judge James Paden, owner of the plantation that later became the main Emory campus)
  • Rev. Dr. Avis Williams, Co-Facilitator, great-great-great granddaughter of Toney Baker, enslaved by one of Oxford College’s first trustees 

6 p.m.
Closing Comments
Oxford Student Center; watch recording on YouTube

  • Yolanda Cooper, Dean and University Librarian, Co-Chair, Symposium Steering Committee
  • Carol Henderson, Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion/Chief Diversity Officer/Advisor to the President, Co-Chair, Symposium Steering Committee  

6:10 p.m.
Closing prayers, blessings, and acknowledgements
Oxford Student Center; watch recording on YouTube

  • Rev. Avis Williams

Virtual Programming 

Into the Archive with Pellom McDaniels III - Small Steps 
Watch on Vimeo
Password: Remember

Debuted at Bronze Lens Film Festival. A documentary film about the shocking experiences of a group of Upward Bound students visiting St. Augustine, Fl. -- the site of some of the most dramatic events in the days leading up to the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts -- in July,1969. The film includes an interview with the late Dr. C.T. Vivian, a hero of the Civil Rights Movement and the architect of Upward Bound, and was co-created by archivist, author and activist Dr. Pellom McDaniels III, who passed away in 2020, before the project could be completed. Directed by Eddy Von Mueller.

White Men's Magic as Slavery: The Politics of Acquisition, Exhibition, and Scholarship
Watch on YouTube 

This session convenes a conversation between Dr. Vincent Wimbush, Dr. Valerie Babb, and Dr. Clinton Fluker on the process of creating an archival exhibition at Emory University and the questions it raises about Emory’s institutional collecting practices as it pertains to African American collections. 
In the Fall of 2021, Emory University’s Pitts Theological Library will host an exhibition curated by Dr. Wimbush titled, The Masquerade: Scripturalizing Modernities Through Black Flesh. Based on research used to produce his widely acclaimed book, White Men’s Magic: Scripturalization as Slavery (2014), the exhibition will use Olaudah Equiano's narrative, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano; or, Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself (1789), as a window through which to interrogate the creation of the modern subject in history, its relationship to the institution of slavery in the United States, and our contemporary understanding of the bible.

  • Dr. Vincent Wimbush, Director, Institute for Signifying Scriptures
  • Dr. Valerie Babb, Andrew Mellon Professor of Humanities in African American Studies and English, Emory University


  • Dr. Clinton Fluker, Curator, African American Collections, Stuart A. Rose Library, Emory University

Transforming Community Project: Legacy & Impact
Watch on YouTube

  • Dr. Carol Henderson, Co-Chair, Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer, Special Advisor to the President 
  • Dr. Leslie Harris, Professor of History and African American Studies, Northwestern University

A Mental Model for Racial Healing
Watch on YouTube

The purpose of this project is to dispel myths of racial hierarchy and address White supremacy, explore and acknowledge bias, and find connection and support across cultures. The session is a seven to ten–minute spoken word by Salaam Green and Moneka A. Thompson based on their experiences with The Little Book of Healing.  

  • Moneka A. Thompson, Staff Chaplain, Kirklin Clinic, University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital
  • Salaam Green, Artist in Resident for Creative Writing and Poetry/UAB Arts in Medicine Team