Twice a year, the Universities Studying Slavery consortium hosts a public conference with a panel filled with dozens of speakers to discuss, collaborate and learn.
This year, the University Commission on History, Race, and a Way Forward will be hosting the 2023 Universities Studying Slavery Conference at UNC.
The four-day program, titled “At This Place: History, Race, and a Way Forward,” will be held from March 15 to 18. The conference will feature speakers from various academic institutions dedicated to creating a just and equitable future.
The Universities Studying Slavery consortium was founded by the University of Virginia in 2016 and consists of over 90 institutions in the United States, Canada, Columbia, Scotland, Ireland and England to promote collaboration and examine histories of slavery and racism.
The 2023 conference was planned by the University Commission on History, Race, and a Way Forward, which provides recommendations to the chancellor and examines archives and history to develop teaching curriculums for the University.
Patricia Parker, co-chairperson of the University commission, said it is important to note the difficult conversations that might arise during the conference.
“There are things that have been left unsaid, and to say them in a place that seems productive, and where people are coming together to try to find a way forward—that’s a part of our commission’s title—we’re in a way forward,” she said.
Jim Leloudis, the other co-chairperson of the Commission, said one of the main goals of the conference is to be an inclusive conversation to both teach and tell a complete and honest history of the University, including ways to reckon with the lasting legacies of that history.
He said the conference is a chance to learn from peers — in both times of success and times when there needs to be a redevelopment of an approach to instruction and teaching.