Justice & Democracy forum on Memory of Trauma: March 7, 2018

Feb. 20, 2018

Justice & Democracy Forum Series

UNLV Center for Democratic Culture

William S. Boyd School of Law
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
4:00 p. m. – 7:00 p.m.

Millions of people have experienced slavery, persecution, war and genocide.  Such traumatic events scar the bodies and mark cultural memory for generations to come.  This is what Martin Luther King Jr. stressed in his letter from Birmingham jail where he explained how racial stigma warps the minds of parents and children “when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick, brutalize, and even kill your black brothers and sisters with impunity; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she cannot go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her little eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see the depressing clouds of inferiority begin to form in her little mental sky, and see her begin to distort her little personality by unconsciously developing a bitterness toward white people..."

This conference focuses on three signature historical events – the Armenian Genocide, the Jewish Holocaust, and racial violence against African Americans.  The panelists will explore the multigenerational nature of cultural trauma, show how traumatic experiences are incorporated into communal narratives, and highlight the psychological, biological, cultural, and family factors in the transmission of trauma whose cumulative effect is felt long after the traumatic events have ceased. 

The public forum “Memory of Trauma: Armenian, Jewish, and African American Experience” is part of the Justice & Democracy Forum Series sponsored by the UNLV Center for Democratic Culture and William S. Boyd School of Law. The conference will take place on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, 4:00-7:00 p.m., at the Tam Alumni Building, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  Among the distinguished speakers addressing the persistence of cultural trauma are Andy Armenian, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Armenia in Las Vegas; Esther Finder, President, Generations of the Shoah – Nevada; Roxann McCoy, President, Las Vegas Chapter of the NAACP; Shelley Berkley, Former Congresswoman, U.S. House of Representatives; Rev. Dr. Ralph Williamson, First African Methodist Episcopal Church; Rev. Leonard B. Jackson, First African Methodist Episcopal Church; Dr. John P. Tuman, Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science, UNLV; Professor Michelle Tusan, Department of History, UNLV; and Professor Simon Gottschalk, Department of Sociology, UNLV.


UNLV Center for Democratic Culture • William S. Boyd School of Law • College of Liberal Arts • Department of Sociology • Department of History • Department of Political Science • Generations of the Shoah–Nevada • Holocaust Survivors Group of Southern Nevada • Jewish Nevada. The event is held at the Tam Alumni Building, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  Conference attendance is free. For more information about the Justice & Democracy Forum series visit http://cdclv.unlv.edu//programs/justice_democracy.html.