Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine brought together scholars, activists and community members for a day-long event observing the 400-year anniversary of the beginning of slavery in America and exploring its lasting impact on inequalities for communities across the country.
The event, “400 Years of Inequality: Changing the Narrative,” was held on Saturday, Oct. 12, in the school’s Diboll Auditorium. It featured a speaker series, a panel discussion about mass incarceration, local performers, an art exhibit and a documentary screening.
“This community event aims to encourage an open discussion surrounding the impact of slavery on the United States,” said Dr. Thomas LaVeist, dean of the school. “We hope that by commemorating 400 years of inequality, we can promote reconciliation and healing while joining the community in reaffirming our commitment to a future of equality.”
Dr. LaVeist and others recognized the importance of this anniversary in an American Journal of Public Health editorial, “400 Years of Inequality Since Jamestown of 1619,” proclaiming the significance of this observance and the call to schools of public health around the country to lead the charge in being a part of the solution to transforming systems of inequalities.
In 1619, about 20 enslaved Africans were brought to Old Point Comfort in the English colony of Virginia. The event acted as a catalyst for the system of slavery to spread, fueling racial inequities that persist long after the institution was abolished.
The schedule of events is available online.
Tulane School of Public Health plans to hold additional events as part of the “400 Years of Inequality” series throughout the academic year.Tags: Friday Letter Submission, Publish on October 11