America can heal from its troubled racial history.
Join us to learn how.
The Gathering for Racial Repair and Reconciliation
Our annual Gathering celebrates the legacy of America’s Black Holocaust Museum founder, Dr. James Cameron. In his honor, we bring together people from all corners of Greater Milwaukee for learning, dialogue and fellowship.
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Centennial Hall • 733 N. 8th Street • Milwaukee WI
This year’s topic:
Let’s Face It: How Communities Remember and Repair Racial Trauma
- How should America commemorate some of the most disturbing chapters of our racial history?
- How might that commemoration help or hurt victims, perpetrators and bystanders.
- What role should our museums and institutions play in the work of memory and racial healing?
• MORNING SESSION •
9:00 -11:30 am – Open to General Public & Sponsors. Tickets on sale here.
Introduction: Let’s Face It!
Sneak Preview of a New Film, Always in Season
Experience a premiere preview of a new film that documents how lynching still impacts Americans to this day. It shows how descendants of victims and perpetrators in four communities are working to acknowledge the victims, repair the damage, and reconcile. View the film trailer here and the film website here.
Audience Talkback with Film Director and National Community Experts
Interact with film director Jacqueline Olive. Jackie creates documentary projects that tell stories underrepresented in mainstream media. She coordinated the production of the Emmy award-winning PBS series, Independent Lens, and the internationally-themed documentary series, Global Voices. She will be joined on stage by members of the communities represented in Always in Season. Additional experts from around the country and Greater Milwaukee will also introduce their restorative projects. All presenters will then take questions and comments from the audience. (See the list of additional national and local presenters below.)
In addition, there will be:
- Live music
- Book sales & author signings
• AFTERNOON SESSION •
12:15 – 4:15 pm – Open to Event Sponsors and their guests only.
(Organizations and individuals wishing to become Sponsors, please click here
for Sponsorship Opportunities, Benefits, and Response Form.)
Luncheon Keynote Address: Why Commemorate?
Listen to public historian Doria D. Johnson address the impact of remembering of racial trauma on victims and the ethics of doing such memory work. An expert in US and African American history, Doria’s great-great-grandfather Anthony Crawford was lynched in 1916. In 2005 she successfully pressed the US Senate to apologize for failure to enact federal laws against lynching. A memorial to her grandfather was recently dedicated in the town where he was murdered.
Roundtables (Small Group Dialoguing and Networking)
Attend two different roundtable discussions of your choice during the afternoon. This is a chance to talk in depth with two of the expert presenters and to network with other attendees who share your interest in particular topics.
(Preview the presenter/topic list below.)
Action Plans and Closing Ceremony
- what have we learned from other communities,
- what might Greater Milwaukeeans do to as a result of this Gathering, and
- how can we support each other in repairing and healing our community?
Our Roundtable Facilitators
Henry Banks (Duluth MN) – Mr. Banks co-founded the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial Project in Duluth, MN, the downtown memorial plaza built by this small city built to commemorate the infamous lynching of three circus workers. Henry is also the host of the regular weekly People of Color talk show on Wisconsin Public Radio.
Karen Branan (Washington DC) – Ms. Branan is the author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated memoir The Family Tree: A Lynching in Georgia, A Legacy of Secrets, and My Search for the Truth. Karen has long been active in Coming To The Table, a national organization that pairs descendants of lynching perpetrators and victims, as well as slaveholders and enslaved people, for the purpose of repair and reconciliation.
Randy Gamble (Memphis TN) – An anti-racism activist for many years, Mr. Gamble is a leader of the Lynching Sites Project of Memphis. LSP is part of Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative to memorialize over 4,000 known lynchings in our country between 1877 and 1950 through local community remembrance projects and a new national lynching memorial. The Memphis lynching of three black men launched Ida B. Wells on her anti-lynching campaign; Randy and the Downtown Clergy Association are organizing a 125th anniversary commemoration of those victims.
Cassandra Greene (Atlanta GA) – Ms. Greene is Director of the Moore’s Ford Bridge lynching re-enactment, which has, for the last seven years, commemorated the victims of that lynching in a small town in Georgia. That re-enactment is featured in the film Always in Season and can be seen in its trailer. Cassandra is also founder/CEO of the W.I.T.N.E.S.S. PROGRAM/ W.O.W.W. where she teaches communications and serves as a minister in Georgia’s State and Federal prisons.
Pardeep Singh Kaleka (Franklin WI) – A former Milwaukee cop, after his father was killed by a white supremacist in the Sikh Temple massacre, Mr. Kaleka paired up with a former violent white power extremist to found Serve2Unite, which teaches schoolchildren peacemaking through the Sikh principles of Chardi Kala: fearless creative compassion, service to others, and relentless optimism in the face of adversity. Pardeep is also a psychotherapist at the D & L Healing Center, where he specializes in treating trauma.
Brad Lichtenstein (Milwaukee WI) – An award-winning documentary filmmaker, Mr. Lichtenstein is developing a feature film that digs into unsolved Klan murders of black men in Mississippi. Despite the 2007 Emmett Till Act giving the FBI $100 million to investigate these crimes, their families have no answers. The murderers walk free. The film explores whether and how the trauma of unresolved violence can be healed.
Erin McCarthy and Colleen Perry (Greendale WI) – Middle school teachers in a white suburb of Milwaukee, Ms. McCarthy and Ms. Perry persuaded their principal and students’ parents of the value of regularly teaching African American history as a part of – not a sidebar to – American history. Erin and Colleen present history as a complex story of complex people in America’s complex society and teach it by building empathy, defining race and developing the whole child. Through their inquiry-based curriculum, they build responsible citizens and communities.
Warren Read (Seattle WA) – Author of the memoir, The Lyncher in Me: A Search for Redemption in the Face of History, Mr. Read offered public apologies to each of the families of the three circus workers lynched in Duluth on the occasion of the dedication of the memorial to them there. Warren is also an elementary school teacher and educational leader/administrator.
Maria Cunningham and Jordan Davis (Milwaukee WI) – Active volunteers with the Dr. James Cameron Legacy Foundation, Maria serves as the Foundation board’s Vice-President and Jordan as a Public Programming Administrative Assistant. Milwaukee Public Library’s Rare Books Librarian, Ms. Cunningham led the project to digitize the dozens of booklets on African American history and race relations by Dr. Cameron, and created and manages a traveling exhibit about his life and writings for the museum. Mr. Davis is a Distinguished Graduate Student Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding program. His research interests center on public and local history, heritage resource management, and the museology of Africa and the African Diaspora.
(as of 1/4/16)
This event is funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the State of Wisconsin. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Wisconsin Humanities Council supports and creates programs that use history, culture, and discussion to strengthen community life for everyone in Wisconsin.
HISTORY SCHOLAR SPONSOR
FREEDOM-LOVING SPONSOR: BARBARA STEIN
FILM SCREENING & AUDIENCE TALKBACK SPONSORS:
Dr. Russell Brooker
- Office of Community Engagement
- Office of Diversity and Inclusion