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USA and USHMM to Co-Host Discussion on Racial Discrimination and Institutionalized Violence

Hannah Clayton, Reporter

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The University of South Alabama and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum are co-hosting a roundtable discussion on racial discrimination and institutionalized violence in the Jim Crow South and Nazi Germany Tuesday, Oct. 10, from 6 – 7:30 p.m. in the Terrace Room of the Student Center.

The USHMM, located in Washington, D.C., is responsible for coordinating the event through their Nazi Germany and Jim Crow South program.

Dr. Jake Newsome, the museum’s campus outreach officer, coordinates these kinds of roundtable discussions as part of the museum’s regional campus outreach program.

The program was initiated and planned at the museum’s Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies in Washington, D.C., according to Newsome.

The event is part of a regional campus outreach program involving twenty universities in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee, according to Newsome.

This year, each university that takes part is given a subtopic on Nazi Germany and the Jim Crow South to discuss at their events.

The event starts off with a presentation of scholarship from an individual typically within the museum or within the museum’s network, according to Newsome.

Newsome, along with Drs. Kern Jackson, David Meola and Phil Carr, will then lead a moderated discussion of their research in regards to the discussion topic of institutionalized violence.

“Bringing to light the injustices and parallels that different groups have suffered through, especially over the past 150-200 years, is part of my mission as a professor of history,” Meola stated in an email.

Meola is the Bert & Fanny Meisler Assistant Professor of History and Jewish Studies at USA.

Jackson, the Director of African American Studies and Assistant Professor of English at USA is scheduled to speak on Alabama’s history of lynching.

Carr, the Chief Calvin McGhee Professor of Native American Studies, is scheduled to speak on the denial of equal education opportunities to Native Americans.

Following the panel discussion, the speakers will open the floor to questions from the audience, according to Newsome.

The event will help students learn how societies function and how they fail, according to Newsome.

“The Holocaust didn’t begin with gas chambers,” Newsome said. “It didn’t start with mass murders. It started way before that.”

According to Newsome, the number one lesson we can learn as a society from the two historical events is how these atrocities need the complicity or collaboration of individuals to occur and don’t aren’t simply directed by governments..

“Our goals are to ensure that the next generation of scholars and students and leaders all understand not only what the Holocaust was, but how and why it happened,” Newsome said.

“Students will encounter new material, which I hope will spur an interest in future class offerings by our faculty here, and more interest in cross-cultural scholarship,” Meola stated in an email.

The event is open to the public and admission is free. Students can register for the event on the USHMM website.

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USA and USHMM to Co-Host Discussion on Racial Discrimination and Institutionalized Violence