Join us on March 2 for Perspectives on Our History
Dear Baylor Family:
We recently announced an upcoming series of virtual discussions that are being held as part of our ongoing Baylor Conversation Series to explore “Perspectives on our History.” The first of these gatherings is scheduled for this Tuesday, and I believe the time together will provide opportunities for greater understanding and healing within our community.
Last summer, the Baylor University Board of Regents passed a resolution acknowledging that during the University’s first decades of operation in Independence, Baylor’s three founders, most members of its initial board of trustees, and several early leaders of the institution owned enslaved persons. The Board further acknowledged that a number of Baylor’s leaders and prominent individuals connected to the institution supported Confederate causes and engaged in the fight to preserve and defend the institution of slavery both during and following the Civil War.
The Board’s resolution also created the Commission on Historic Campus Representations at Baylor, a diverse group of faculty, staff, students and alumni charged with reviewing the historical context of the University and its connection with all statues, monuments, buildings and other aspects of the campus. The Commission was asked to provide guidance on how best to present Baylor’s history. Following several months of challenging and prayerful work, the Commission’s members fulfilled their charge with delivering a final report to Board Chair Mark Rountree, B.B.A. ’86, M.T.A. ’87, of Dallas, and me.
Now, as we prepare to release the Commission’s historical findings and recommendations, it is important that we have a shared understanding of the historical context of Baylor’s founding and early years. This historical study is similar to one undertaken by members of the Commission as part of their commitment to help Baylor forthrightly and fully present the University’s complete history and foster an environment of racial equality in which all members of the Baylor Family know they are valued and loved.
In this first of three Baylor Conversation Series events, Dr. Ronald Johnson, The Ralph and Bessie Mae Lynn Chair of History in Baylor’s History Department, will be joined by a panel of experts who will share insight into the history of slavery in America around the period of the University’s founding. This Conversation will provide a foundation for two additional Conversations – one on slavery in Texas and in Baptist life scheduled for March 9, and another on Baylor’s history and recommendations for moving forward, which is set for March 16. This final event will precede the public release of the Commission’s independent report by the end of March.
Please join us Tuesday evening for this important discussion.
Perspectives on Our History
Slavery in America
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. CST
Dr. Ronald Johnson
The Ralph and Bessie Mae Lynn Chair of History, Department of History, Baylor University
Dr. Kate Carté
Associate Professor of History, Department of History, Southern Methodist University
Dr. Matthew J. Clavin
Professor of History, Department of History, University of Houston
Dr. James (Jim) Sidbury
The Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Professor of Humanities, Department of History, Rice University
Click here for a link to the online event. Following the webinar, an archived version of the conversation will be posted on the Baylor Conversation Series webpage.
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.