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Freedom Center Current Inaugural Symposium 2007

UC Law’s Freedom Center Journal & The Freedom Center Host Inaugural Symposium

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The October 26, 2007 symposium explored history to craft strategies for social change

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Cincinnati, OH—The inaugural symposium of the University of Cincinnati College of Law’s Freedom Center Journal, "Reconstructions: Historical Consciousness and Critical Transformation," explored the uses of history to understand ongoing subordination and to craft strategies for social change. Held on October 26, 2007 from 8:45 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. on the campus of the University of Cincinnati and at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, this event featured several panel discussions on the issues that have historically challenged races, as well as informative keynote addresses led by some of the nation’s critical thinkers.

This symposium, inspired by the work of Professor Angela Harris (Boalt Hall) and Professor Kimberle Crenshaw (UCLA and Columbia), focused on the use of history to understand current manifestations of subordination as a jumping off point to develop strategies for social change. Additional participants included the following professors:

  • Al Brophy (University of Alabama School of Law), James Campbell (Brown University) and Adrienne Davis (University of North Carolina School of Law) discussed barriers to historical consciousness and how we set the record straight;
  • Courtney Cahill (Ralph R. Papitto School of Law, Roger Williams University), Natsu Saito (Georgia State University College of Law) and Kevin Noble Maillard (Syracuse University College of Law) discussed reconstructed histories [e.g., histories that haven't been told] and what they tell us about the current state of subordinated groups in particular substantive areas, e.g., family law, immigration;
  • Pamela Bridgewater, (American University Washington College of Law), Katherine Franke (Columbia University Law School), Margaret Montoya (University of New Mexico School of Law) & Christine Zuni Cruz (University of New Mexico School of Law discussed how we effect a critical transformation that is truthful about our history and committed to overcoming it.

The evening program, held at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, included a performance on the history of treatment to indigenous and Chicana women in the Southwest, performed by Montoya and Cruz, as well as a discussion by keynote speaker Angela Harris.