Allison Paynter, Professor of English in the School of Humanities, Arts and Design

Allison Paynter, professor of English in the School of Humanities, Arts and Design, has taken the lead in initiating a series for the Chaminade community on freedom and racial equity that arose from a summer keynote presentation. The mission of the Emancipation Day Series is to establish Chaminade University as a gathering place for discussions, lectures, and panels that support and promote public awareness of key post-Civil War events that shape current definitions of freedom, and inform about civil rights and racial equity in 21st-century America.

The first event of the series was a well-attended roundtable discussion titled, Tired of racial inequity and violence? What can I do? The panelists primarily addressed how voting is a powerful tool against racial and social injustice in America. The second event was a presentation, with question and answer session entitled, Emancipation Day: American History Overlooked. Allison delivered a Keynote presentation on the history and evolution of both Emancipation Day and Juneteenth as celebrations to honor the final emancipation of slaves after the American Civil War and to provide correlation to independence movements among the Pacific Island nations. Collaborating with colleagues from the faculty, administration, student services, and student government, the team hopes to host more events in the future.