Committee on Elon History and Memory

Meeting Minutes, September 17, 2019 (1:30-2:30 p.m., Mooney 103)

I. Approval of the Minutes
II. National Updates
III. Land Acknowledgement
IV. Website Brainstorming
V. Organization

I. Approval of Minutes from August 2019

The August minutes were not yet ready for review.

II. National Updates

Colleges, universities, and seminaries continue to produce high-quality reports and take concrete steps towards reparative justice.  Dalhousie University (Canada), for instance, just released a major report, and the Virginia Theological Seminary pledged $1.7 million in reparations.

III. Land Acknowledgement

A. After repeated requests (e.g., Chaplain’s Office, Global Neighborhood, Individual Faculty) for a university-wide land acknowledgement, we are taking steps to work one out in active consultation with native leaders, most notably from the Saponi Band of the Occaneechi.

B. From the Elon side, the working group will consist of Clyde Ellis, Paula Patch, Kiah Glenn, Jan Fuller, and Jeff Stein.

C. The group will function as does the USS group, as a subcommittee of the Committee on Elon History and Memory.

D. There will be short- and long-term budgetary implications. Jeff Stein as liaison will make certain the larger committee is aware of any budgetary requests.  To the extent that it is possible without upsetting the process, we will encourage Clyde Ellis to provide documentation of the group’s activities (at least in the form of an end-of-year report).

E. The addition of this working group provided another occasion to discussion the tension between focusing first on race and being eager to empower people from a number of different backgrounds to reclaim or tell their own stories.  Forward momentum on land acknowledgements gives us the opportunity to emphasize that restoration and justice are processes, and to send the strong message that we are all in this together.

IV. Website Brainstorming

A.   We discussed some of the functionalities it would be desirable to include in a new history/memory website, including:

1. U. Archives

2. Old student work

3. Our committee’s work

4. DIG curriculum

5. Digital humanities projects (e.g., “Other Souths”)

6. Traditions page / timeline of university history / etc.

7. Ongoing student work / blog

8. Black Oaks Restoration Project (and parallel efforts?)

9. Equivalent UNC Reckoning Project

10. Other?

B. Over the short term, we will include:

1. Reports from other institutions

2. Links to archival resources from Elon

C. The larger projects will require designated staff.

V. Organization

The chair promised to send out two links:

A. To a scheduling instrument to get four to six meetings on the calendar.

B. To a form to indicate which part of the remaining work was most attractive to committee members (writing one of the several sections, staging events, or reaching out to the community).

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