On September 21, Clarke University will host Joseph McGill Jr., founder of the “The Slave Dwelling Project,” an interactive presentation dedicated to understanding the role these structures played in the past and how they continue to influence American history and society today. The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. in Jansen Music Hall, with a reception to follow in the R.C. and Celeste Wahlert Atrium. The event is hosted by the Clarke University Society, Culture and Discourse department, and is free and open to the public.
“After my family participated in Joe’s tour at Magnolia Plantation in December, I knew I had to invite him to speak in Dubuque,” said Ann Pelelo, Professor of English and Chair of the Society, Culture, and Discourse department. “His engaging presentation illuminated a deeper and richer context of both our local and national histories regarding enslaved people, which, in turn, provides an opportunity for people to enhance their understanding of the intricacies within our global community. Why not bring such an opportunity to Dubuque?”
McGill is the founder of The Slave Dwelling Project as well as a history consultant for Magnolia Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina. In his role, McGill has led over 250 overnight stays in the slave dwellings at Magnolia Plantation, as well as hundreds of presentations across the country. Previously, McGill worked as a field officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and served as the Executive Director of the African American Museum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
“The Slave Dwelling Project envisions a future in which the hearts and minds of Americans acknowledge a more truthful and inclusive narrative of the history of the nation that honors the contributions of all our people, is embedded and preserved in the buildings and artifacts of people of African heritage, and inspires all Americans to acknowledge their Ancestors,” McGill said.
McGill will also lead a session for students and Clarke employees at 11 a.m. in the Fabiano Conference Room to explore the history of slavery in Iowa. Students may earn GASR credit through the Compass program for attending either or both events, and students can find more information in The Source. In addition, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee will host a Lunch and Learn session on “Teaching and Discussing Uncomfortable Topics” for employees from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in Rose O’Toole.
Learn more about The Slave Dwelling Project at slavedwellingproject.org/about-us.