Confederate Monuments – Their History and Their Future


Robert E. Lee Monument, New Orleans. Photo by Paulscrawl – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41594119

Panel Discussion on Jan. 26 at UNC Asheville’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

As 21st century America continues to reconsider monuments, building and street names, and memorials of all kinds in public spaces in light of contemporary ideas about slavery and racism, OLLI at UNC Asheville will present a distinguished panel to discuss the history and the issues. Confederate Monuments – Their History and Their Future, will take place from 2-3:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 26 at the Reuter Center on campus. This event is free and everyone is welcome.

The panel will be moderated by UNC Asheville Assistant Professor of History and BPR radio host Darin Waters, and the panelists will include:

• Deborah Miles, director, UNC Asheville’s Center for Diversity Education

• Sasha Mitchell, chair, African American Heritage Commission for Asheville and Buncombe County; creator/editor of The Color of Asheville at colorofasheville.net

• Steven E. Nash, associate professor of history, Eastern Tennessee State University; author, Reconstruction’s Ragged Edge: The Politics of Postwar Life in the Southern Mountains

• Dan Pierce, professor of history and NEH Distinguished Professor at UNC Asheville; author of numerous books on Southern and Appalachian history

• Sheneika Smith, newly elected member of Asheville City Council; founder of Date My City.

This panel discussion is part of the More Than A Month series created by members of OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville, who have come together to promote and celebrate inclusivity at OLLI, develop partnerships with people of all backgrounds, and raise awareness among fellow OLLI members and the greater Asheville community of issues of concern to minority communities.

The North Carolina Arboretum exhibits Roots of Wisdom

The North Carolina Arboretum, a 434-acre public garden located just south of Asheville in Pisgah National Forest, will showcase the relationship between indigenous peoples and cutting-edge science at its newest exhibit, Roots of Wisdom: Native Knowledge. Shared Science. On display Saturday, January 27, through Sunday, May 6, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, inside the Arboretum’s Baker Exhibit Center, this national traveling exhibit educates visitors about the ways in which the traditional knowledge of native peoples and Western science are woven together to improve the natural world.

Featuring four indigenous communities, including the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Roots of Wisdom shares inspiring stories of environmental and cultural restoration that society faces today. Through the voices of elders and youth, engaging video interactives and hands-on games, visitors will gather resources, examine data and take part in the growing movement toward sustainability and the reclamation of age-old practices.

“At the Arboretum, our exhibits and educational programming often blend traditional heritage practices with modern science to help create a stronger connection between people and the natural world,” explained George Briggs, executive director of The North Carolina Arboretum. “Roots of Wisdom aligns perfectly with this mission, and we are excited to share it with our members and visitors.”

From restoring ecosystems to rediscovering traditional foods and crafts, Roots of Wisdom invites guests to understand the important issues that indigenous cultures face and discover innovative ways in which age-old traditions and Western science can work together to restore vital ecosystems, provide sustainable food sources and improve human health. The North Carolina Arboretum is no stranger to working with native indigenous communities. Over the past several years, the Arboretum’s Germplasm Repository has worked with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, United South and Eastern Tribes, and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs to assist in conserving traditional ecological knowledge through a variety of initiatives. Led by Research Director Joe-Ann McCoy, Ph.D., the Germplasm Repository has become a valuable partner in the conservation and study of black cohosh, ginseng, ramps and other native plants, and helps conserve the tribes’ native and culturally significant plants.

“We are thrilled that this exhibit includes the stories of our regional neighbors, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians,” commented Briggs. “We hope that Roots of Wisdom will help shine light on the great work that the Cherokee have done in both the past and present to preserve this beautiful, botanically-diverse region.”

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