On October 25-26, 2019,CRRJ Associate Director Professor Rose Zoltek-Jick and Program Coordinator Lauren Hawkes attended a U.S. Local Racial Redress convening hosted by the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University in New York City. Participants included descendants of those killed by racially motivated violence, representatives from communities affected by historical racial injustices, non-profits, civil rights lawyers, faith-based leaders, museum curators, and scholars.
Opening remarks were made by Tona Boyd, Chief of Staff, U.S. Senate. Three testimonies followed from Melisandre Colombe, a descendant of two enslaved families sold in 1838 by the Society of Jesus to keep Georgetown University afloat; James Darrell Broach, the grandson of Samuel Mason Bacon, an African American man who was killed by Town Marshal Stanton D. Coleman in a jail cell in Fayette, Mississippi and whose case is housed in the CRRJ Burnham-Nobles Archive; and Rita Mosely, a resident of Virginia who could not attend school for two years because in 1959 the Prince Edward County, VA Public schools shut down due to opposition to desegregation.
The conference addressed the following themes: Voices of Those Wronged, Legacy of Harms, Institutional Support and Pathways to Redress.
Lauren Hawkes and Professor Zoltek-Jick joined two CRRJ family members, Sheila Moss-Brown (the granddaughter of Henry “Peg” Gilbert), and James Darrell Broach (the grandson of Samuel Mason Bacon) at the convening.