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Project 400: Our Lived Experience Conference

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Wolstein Center

2000 Prospect Avenue East

Cleveland, OH 44115

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The year 2019 marks the 400th year since 20 Africans arrived in Jamestown, Va. as indentured servants in 1619, representing the earliest documented record of Blacks in, what is now, America. This system of indentured servitude rapidly gave way to the enslavement of Blacks which would endure until 1865 and was followed by almost another 100 years of Jim Crow racial segregation. This 400-year history of racial oppression created a racially-stratified society in which racial inequities are deeply embedded in virtually every structural institution and system in American society, bolstered by a philosophy of White supremacy and Black racial inferiority.

Project 400: Our Lived Experience is a city-wide, year-long observation commemorating the 400-years of Blacks in America. A committee comprised of Cleveland State University, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Public Library, Candid, the YWCA of Greater Cleveland and First Year Cleveland is planning activities in observance of this seminal episode in America’s History.

The Project 400: Our Lived Experience Conference kicks-off the year-long activities. The conference is on September 27th & 28th, 2019 at CSU's Wolstein Center. This conference features high profile speakers to frame the historical and contemporary effects of slavery and institutional and structural racism in the perpetuation of racial disparities and inequities found among the African American population today. The conference will begin with a keynote address by world-renown literary scholar, author, Emmy-winning filmmaker, journalist, cultural critic, and institution builder, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Dr. Gates is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. He is a prolific writer and documentarian whose groundbreaking genealogy series, “Finding Your Roots,” is now in its third season on PBS. We believe that his talk will launch two days of in-depth, enlightening dialogue and a call to action for our community.

The conference is designed to demonstrate how the inequities in social conditions forced upon African slaves and their descendants provide the primary explanation for the racial disparities that exist today and serve as a catalyst to collectively address them...so that equity for all Americans may finally be realized.

Please note: You must be preregistered for this event.

Lunch is no longer available with registration. Food venue options will be provided at the event.

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Project 400: Our Lived Experience Website: project400.csuohio.edu

For phone registrations or questions, please contact Emily Lee at (216) 687-9283 or e.lee36@csuohio.edu.


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Wolstein Center

2000 Prospect Avenue East

Cleveland, OH 44115

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