Hofstra University Sponsors Emancipation Day Program

In the one hundred and fifty years since the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation has the United States healed its racial divide? Can we create a society where all men and women are fundamentally equal?

January 1, 2013 was the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. This August is the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. On April 18, Hofstra University will commemorate both events as well as promote a dialogue on racial issues in the United States today in a special program for Long Island high school students.

The program will open with a play, “Grand Emancipation Jubilee,” based on historical primary sources, performed by students from the social studies teacher education program and will feature Reeces Pieces, a well known Brooklyn rap artist (aka Professor Alan Singer of the School of Education Department of Teaching, Literacy, and Leadership). Historical re-enactors from the Department of Speech Communication, Rhetoric, and Performance Studies will interact with high school students and Professor Michael D’Innocenzo, Professor of History and the Harry H. Wachtel Distinguished Teaching Professor for the Study of Nonviolent Social Change, will open a student dialogue on the struggle for Civil Rights in the 1960s and the continuing struggle today.

The program will conclude with an interactive dialogue as students from local high schools examine and search for solutions to racial divisions on Long Island and the United States. Schools that are scheduled to participate include East Williston (Wheatley) High School, Wyandanch Memorial High School, Hastings Academy (Alternative Baldwin High School), East Meadow High School, Uniondale High School, Garden City High School, the Uniondale Cornelius Court School, and the Bronx Design and Construction Academy.



10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. 
Panel I:  Overview of the Emancipation Proclamation outlining the debate over the significance of the Proclamation issued by Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863 and its actual and immediate impact on slavery in the United States presented by Professor Alan Singer, School of Education.

10:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.
Dramatic Presentation: Historical re-enactments that highlight pivotal moments in our nation’s history --James Weldon Johnson; Freedom Summer; Henry Ward Beecher/William Lloyd Garrison.

11:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Panel II: Overview on Civil Rights by Professor Michael D’Innocenzo, Department of History.

12 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Panel III: Group Discussion and Response on the hope of Dr. King, led by panel facilitators.


Location: Student Center Theater, Mack Student Center, North Campus

This event is open to high schools making reservations and is free for the Hofstra community.


For more information, please contact Athelene A. Collins at athelene.a.collins@hofstra.edu


Thursday, April 18, 2013



Student Center Theater
Student Center - Sondra and David S. Mack
Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549


Athelene Collins

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