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How to Apologize for Slavery
February 13, 2019 –
How to Apologize for Slavery
Wednesday, February 13, 7:00-9:00 PM
Amherst Jones Library
43 Amity Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Cosponsors: Critical Connections, The Karuna Center for Peacebuilding
Speaker: Dr. Theodore R. Johnson
Throughout U.S. history, ongoing resistance to offer a state apology for slavery and Jim Crow has served to deepen divides and continues to adversely impact our nation’s social fabric. Why has the U.S. refused to formally apologize for its treatment of African-Americans, what are the costs associated with a state apology, and what impact would an apology have on addressing historical grievances? (Congressional resolutions apologizing for slavery, passed separately by the House in 2008 and the Senate in 2009, were never reconciled or signed by a president and fall short of a formal state apology) Join us to hear Dr. Theodore R. Johnson, a public policy expert on race and social justice, explore these questions and more on Wednesday, February 13, at the Jones Library, 7-9pm.
Theodore R. Johnson is currently a senior fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU. As a public policy scholar and military veteran, Johnson writes and speaks on issues of social justice, race, and politics, as well as cybersecurity and national security. He holds a Doctorate of Law and Policy from Northeastern University and his research has focused on African American political and voting behavior. Johnson also holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University and a Bachelor’s degree from Hampton University.
Prior to joining the Brennan Center, Dr. Johnson was a national fellow at the New America Foundation, where he undertook projects on black voting behavior and the role of national solidarity in addressing racial inequality. Previously, he was a Commander in the United States Navy, serving from 1994 to 2016. While in the service, Johnson also acted as senior policy advisor in the Departments of Defense and Energy, and as speechwriter to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In recognition of his leadership in public service, Johnson was selected as a White House Fellow during the Obama administration.
Since 2013, Dr. Johnson’s research and writing has explored the interaction of policy and politics with race and racial disparities. In 2016, his examination of African American voting behavior won the Dean’s Medal for most outstanding doctoral work and serves as the basis for first book project on race and solidarity in the United States.
His work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Wall Street Journal, POLITICO, WIRED, National Review, New Republic, and other national and niche publications. His academic lectures and media engagements include appearances at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, UCLA’s Hammer Museum, University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and TEDx.
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