Image of a Historical Sculpture

The event features three segments. First, we will screen the 30-minute documentary Descended from the Promised Land, which centers on family stories of transgenerational trauma and resilience related to the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Then, a panel consisting of members of families touched by the 1908 Springfield Race Riot will share perspectives about issues raised by the film, but in a local context. We will conclude with a moderated audience discussion. The discussion will highlight suggestions for action toward healing and repair for those left in the community that are still directly impacted by these events, thereby moving toward more positive race relations in Springfield.

Gina Lathan is Co-Chief Executive Officer and Co-Owner of Route History, where visitors can experience and learn about the tragedy, resilience, and excellence of Black people, Black-owned businesses and related events and places located along historic Route 66. A native of Springfield Illinois, Dr. Lathan has over 25 years of experience as a senior administrator and entrepreneur with expertise in public health and community capacity development.  She holds a PhD from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Community Health with specializations in Public Policy and Program Evaluation, and a Master of Public Health from UIS.

Nalo Mitchell (Panelist) is Executive Director of the Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum. Her family roots in the area date back to the 1800’s. Ms. Mitchell has a BA from Arizona State University in Broadcast Journalism and a Master of Science in Management from Colorado Technical University.

Candice Trees (Panelist) is a lifelong resident of Springfield, Illinois. She has a Bachelor of Arts from University of Illinois Springfield and a Master’s in Organizational Behavior from Benedictine University. She has experience on the local, state and federal level.

Brian Mitchell (Panel Moderator) is Research Director at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, with expertise in Civil Rights and African American History. For many years, Dr. Mitchell has been involved in researching and commemorating the 1919 Elaine (Arkansas) Race Massacre.

Co-sponsored by the UIS Sociology and Anthropology Department, UIS History Department, Brookens Library, UIS Center for Lincoln Studies, UIS Institute for Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Social Justice, &  Springfield & Central Illinois African American History Museum

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Brookens Auditorium
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