Tuesday, February 11, 2020

UIS Speaker Series explores slavery reparations in college as part of Black History Month

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speaker Series presents “College Students and Reparations: A Georgetown University Slavery Descendant’s Story” with speaker Melisande Short-Colomb.

WHEN: 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, 2020

WHERE: UIS Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library

DETAILS: Melisande Short-Colomb was recently informed that two of her ancestors were two of the 272 enslaved people owned by the Jesuits of Georgetown University and sold in 1838 to keep the university afloat. The move paid down the crushing debt that threatened the school, but left a haunting question of reparations and restitution.

Granted legacy status, Short-Colomb enrolled at Georgetown at age 63 and joined other activist students in documenting the university’s slavery history, grappling with the question of reparations, organizing and voting for a semesterly restitution fee and debating how to best use the fees.

After sharing her remarkable story, which includes working as a professional chef and surviving Hurricane Katrina, Short-Colomb will lead a discussion on college students, alumni, a campus community and restitution.

This event is cosponsored by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Department of Women and Gender Studies, Diversity Center, Black Student Union, UIS Black History Month Academic Ad Hoc Committee, Brookens Library, Department of Political Science, Global Studies and the UIS Office of Access and Equal Opportunity.

Individuals with disabilities who anticipate the need for accommodations should contact the UIS Speaker Series Office at 217-206-6245 or speakerseries@uis.edu in advance. For a list of other upcoming ECCE Speaker Series events, visit uis.edu/speakerseries/.

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