Conn is participating in The 1619 Project, a New York Times initiative observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery.
According to the Times, The 1619 Project “aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.”
Conn hosted a community reception commemorating the anniversary in December. Cherise Harris, chair of the sociology department and associate director of Conn’s Center for the Critical Study of Race and Ethnicity, told The Day newspaper that the aim of the event was to not let the moment go by unrecognized, and to honor The 1619 Project’s effort to bring 1619 to the present.
“This is not just black history; this is American history,” she said.
The event, co-hosted by CCSRE and the Office of the Dean of Institutional Equity and Inclusion, featured poetry readings and a reading of a narrative of an enslaved woman. It was the first in a series of events at the College that will continue throughout the spring semester.
Above: Poet-in-residence Kate Rushin recited two of her poems, "The Bridge Poem" and "On the Eastern Shore of Maryland," at the 1619 Project commemoration event.