"Riding" the Underground Railroad Panel Discussion

4:15 pm, Tuesday, May 1, Burling Library Lounge

What was The Underground Railroad and why did it exist? Panelists Kesho Scott, Chris Jones, Randye Jones, and Catherine Rod will present “’Riding’ the Underground Railroad” on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, 4:15 p.m., in Grinnell College’s Burling Lounge.

The panelists will discuss the Underground Railroad’s societal impact nationally, Grinnell's local perspective, and what roles music and quilt making had in communicating within this secret "railroad." The program, sponsored by the American Studies department and the Grinnell College Libraries, is free and open to the public.

Presenter Randye Jones says, "The Underground Railroad played a significant part in American history of the Antebellum period. Attendees will not only hear about the slavery system that led to its creation and its impact on American society, but learn how Grinnell residents participated in the Underground Railroad and how songs and decorative quilts of the day helped direct riders safely along its routes."

Kesho Scott, associate professor of American studies and sociologyDr. Kesho Scott, associate professor in sociology at Grinnell College, is a diversity consultant throughout the Heartland, the nation, and globally. Her goal is to educate across generations and national cultural boundaries to inspire democratic participation, open new pathways to equality, and celebrate difference. A pioneer of Unlearning Racism (all “ISMS”) workshops and trainings, Scott inspires participants to view their self-evaluation process as part of a human rights commitment to change and to be part of the vision of an “ISMS Free” world in the 21st Century. Recognized as an expert in cultural competency, Scott has over two decades of designing and presenting hundreds of professional and community-based workshops on Unlearning “ISMS.”

Chris Jones, archivist of the CollegeSpecial Collections librarian and archivist of the College Chris Jones was born and raised in Iowa City. In 2001 he earned his bachelor’s degree in French from the University of Northern Iowa, and in 2002 he earned his master’s degree in library and lnformation science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Before becoming a staff member in Burling Library in 2010, Chris worked at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at UIUC and scanned books for the Internet Archive.

Catherine Rod, associate professor, Former College archivistCatherine Rod, associate professor with senior faculty status and formerly Special Collections librarian and College archivist at Grinnell College, has been a member of the Library faculty for over 30 years. She is a graduate of Augustana College (IL) and has graduate degrees from the University of Iowa (library science) and Iowa State University (history). Her many projects include exploring the Social Gospel Movement of the late 19th century and the important part Grinnellians played in it. In addition to her interests in traveling, theater, and reading murder mysteries, she developed an interest in quilting, including piecing the quilt that inspired the presentation.

Randye JonesRandye Jones, Grinnell College Libraries media room supervisor, holds her Bachelor of Arts degree in music education from Bennett College in her hometown of Greensboro, North Carolina, and her Master of Music degree in vocal performance from The Florida State University, Tallahassee, along with additional graduate work in vocal literature at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Jones has gained recognition for her research of and published writings on African American vocalists and composers and as a performer and lecturer through her projects, The Art of the Negro Spiritual, Afrocentric Voices in “Classical” Music, and the recently published The Spirituals Database. Jones currently works with the media collections for the libraries at Grinnell College.

The event is open to the public and refreshments will be served.


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