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Beacon Hill partnering with Agnes Scott College for racial healing conversation series


Beacon Hill partnering with Agnes Scott College for racial healing conversation series

Student organizers from left to right, Bethani Thomas, Genesis Reddicks, Koan Roy-Meighoo and Julian Fortuna hold a sign highlighting the late Congressman John Lewis’ support of Native rights as they stand next to the ‘Indian War’ cannon after a March 20 Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights ‘Decolonize Decatur Day’ press conference calling for DeKalb County to remove the cannon from the Decatur Square. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Decatur, GA — Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights is partnering with the Agnes Scott Gay Johnson McDougall Center for Global Diversity and Inclusion for its “Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Courageous Conversation Series.”

The event will take place on Saturday, May 22, at 1 p.m. and is titled “Decatur Land Acknowledgment: Liberating Minds and People from Ongoing Colonization.”

The conversation will focus on the land Decatur was founded on, its indigenous and African history and the restorative justice actions the community should tackle in order to address ongoing inequity and injustice, according to a press release from Beacon Hill.

This year is the 200-year anniversary of the land lottery that gave stolen Muskogee land to white settlers in DeKalb County, making the discussion particularly important, the press releases states.

Beacon Hill co-chair Fonta High will moderate the webinar and panelists include Georgia State University law professor Natsu Saito, Emory University English professor Dr. Craig Womack, Beacon Hill board member Paul McLennan, and Dãnia Davy, director of land retention and advocacy at the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund.

Saito has taught courses on international human rights, race and indigenous rights. Her most recent book is “Settler Colonialism, Race, and the Law.”

Womack is a leading figure in Native American literary studies, and among his published works is “Red on Red: Native American Literary Separatism,” and the novel, “Drowning in Fire.”

Davy works at the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund which is the largest and oldest cooperatively-owned nonprofit. Its membership includes Black farmers, landowners and cooperatives. Davy has written extensively on heir property, Black land loss, racial disparities in maternal mortality, racial disparities in the criminalization of mothers, and disparities in healthy food access for low-income and communities of color.

McLennan is a human rights organizer, a retired member of the Amalgamated Transit Union and co-chair of Beacon Hill’s Decolonize Decatur Committee.

“As our organizing progressed, it became apparent that our work was not only to remove symbols of white supremacy but to provide community education about how the artifacts came to be erected and what allowed them to continue to stand for more than one hundred years,” High said in the press release. “Focusing on the issue of land, we see this webinar as way to continue to deepen a critical community conversation about restorative justice and reparations. Beacon Hill believes this is what decolonization looks like at the local level.”

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