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Frank Bryant Jr., MD, Endowed Memorial Distinguished Lecture

Racial Reconciliation, Institutional Morality, and the Social Life of DNA

March 19, 2019
Noon to 1:00 p.m. Presentation | 1:00 p.m. Reception and Book Signing
UT Health San Antonio Holly Auditorium, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive

Donations go to The Frank Bryant Jr., MD, Endowed Memorial Distinguished Lecture fund

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Tuesday March 19, 2019
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
"Racial Reconciliation, Institutional Morality, and the Social Life of DNA": Speaker Alondra Nelson, PhD, President, Social Science Research Council, and Professor of Sociology, Columbia University. The use of genetic ancestry testing in the United States has grown exponentially since its emergence about 15 years ago. In this same period, U.S. colleges and universities have increasingly uncovered and confronted their ties to the history of racial slavery. Although genetic ancestry tests are principally sought to provide genealogical information, these data have been marshaled into a wider range of social ventures, including the politics of remembrance and reconciliation. In this presentation, Dr. Nelson examines the recent use of genetic ancestry testing by the descendants of nearly 300 enslaved men and women owned by Georgetown University, whom the institution's Jesuit stewards sold to Southern plantations in 1838 in order to secure its solvency. The case of the GU 272 will be explored as a "reconciliation project"-a social endeavor in which DNA analysis is put to the use of repairing historic injury.
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