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Postponed: Slavery on Trial

April 7, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

**Update (03/11/2020): Due to Harvard University guidelines on meetings and events in response to COVID-19, this event will be rescheduled for a later date. Please check back for updates.**

On Tuesday, April 7, the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University and the Institutional Anti-Racism and Accountability (IARA) Project at the Shorenstein Center will host “Slavery on Trial.”

The event is the second of a seminar series— Dismantling Racism, Casteism, Colonialism: Similar Struggles for Justice, Equality, and Dignity of Historically Oppressed Groups — created in March 2019 as a space for solidarity and partnership among activists, scholars, and community leaders involved in similar struggles across the world. Voices belonging to various minority and marginalized groups discuss opportunities and tactics to connect, share, and stand together in solidarity against oppression. The seminar series is a joint initiative of Dr. Margareta (Magda) Matache (FXB Center), Dr. Suraj Yengde (Harvard Kennedy School), and Dr. Miriam Aschkenasy (Harvard Kennedy School).

On April 24, 2019, the first seminar of the series, entitled Racecraft. Castcraft. A Transnational Weapon to Criminalize and Dehumanize African Americans, Dalits, and Romani People was hosted at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. 

The second seminar will center on the theft, the sin, and the cultural-economic violence of oppression itself. Committed to truth-telling, our second seminar, entitled Slavery on Trial, will give voice to descendants of enslaved Black, Dalit, Jamaican, and Romani people.  

The event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. in room NYE ABC at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Event Agenda

6:00 pm Framing the Seminar Issues 

Presenter | Miriam Aschkenasy, Program Manager, IARA at the Shorenstein Center, Harvard Kennedy School

Presenter | Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Director, IARA at the Shorenstein Center, Harvard Kennedy School

6:15 pm Panel Discussion | Slavery on Trial

Moderator | Mary T. Bassett, Director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, FXB Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

6:20 pm The Plaintiffs | Slavery and truth-telling

Tiya Miles, Professor of History, Harvard University Faculty of Arts & Sciences

Walter Johnson, Professor of African and African American Studies, Harvard University 

6:45 pm Witnesses | Testimonials from descendants of slaves/experts 

Suraj Yengde, Post-Doctoral Fellow, IARA at the Shorenstein Center, Harvard Kennedy School 

Margareta (Magda) Matache, Instructor at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights and the Director of the Roma Program at Harvard University

Orlando Patterson, the John Cowles Professor of Sociology, Harvard University

7:15 pm The judge | Concluding Remarks

Cornel West, Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy, Harvard University 

7:30 pm Q&A |  Jurors | The Attendees


Event image.


April 7, 2020
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Harvard Kenndy Schoool, NYE ABC