April 4, 2017

VSU Partners with United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for Panel Discussion

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University will present “Liberty and Justice for All? Race, Sexuality, and Citizenship in the Wake of the Holocaust and Jim Crow South” at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11, in the Student Union Theater. This event is free of charge and open to the public.
VSU’s Dr. Thomas Aiello, associate professor in the Department of History and the African American Studies Program, and Dr. Jake Newsome, VSU alumnus and campus outreach program officer at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, will discuss the role of law and legal continuities in both justifying and challenging systemic discrimination in society.
“This is a panel about discrimination and the residue that it leaves in communities and societies long after its legal eradication,” said Aiello. “It offers the Jim Crow South and post-World War II Germany as comparative models, particularly relevant ones in a South Georgia society still saturated with discrimination and in a national political climate where comparisons, some cavalier and some roughly accurate, are made to Nazi-era Germany.”
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is partnering with institutions of higher education across the nation to enrich campus dialogue about discrimination, persecution, and trauma in historical contexts; forge connections with diverse audiences; and ensure the continued relevance of the history of the Holocaust in an increasingly interdisciplinary and multicultural academic landscape.
“The opportunity for our faculty to partner with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum scholars is a unique opportunity for VSU and we intend to continue our partnership throughout the years,” said Dr. Gerald Williams, interim director of the Department of Student Diversity and Inclusion.
VSU’s panel discussion is sponsored by the Department of Student Diversity and Inclusion, Honors College, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, Department of History, and Graduate School.
“It is compelling ... to teach people in our region about the importance of being open and understanding,” said Dr. Mike Savoie, dean of the Honors College. “We live in a difficult time politically. It’s not about swaying people’s opinion ... it is about how we can be more civil to each other and tolerate disagreements.”
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is a living memorial to the Holocaust. It works to inspire citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity.
“Liberty and Justice for All? Race, Sexuality, and Citizenship in the Wake of the Holocaust and Jim Crow South” is part of VSU’s 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium, which runs through Thursday, April 13. (The full press release can be found at http://www.valdosta.edu/about/news/releases/2017/04/vsu-presents-undergraduate-research-symposium-april-11--13.php.)
Contact Dr. Gerald Williams at gewilliams@valdosta.edu or (229) 333-5941 to learn more.  
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