Discussion on race, social justice scheduled in Blue Hill

BLUE HILL — The Americans Who Tell the Truth portrait and educational project, with support from Maine Initiatives, The Bay School, WERU and Reversing Falls Sanctuary, is bringing together Bree Newsome from North Carolina and Maulian Dana from the Penobscot Nation for a conversation about race, gender and social justice.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, March 30, at 7 p.m. at the Bay School’s Emlen Hall in Blue Hill.

Bree Newsome, then 30 years old, became famous in June of 2015 when she climbed the flagpole outside the State House in Columbia, S.C., and took down the Confederate flag.

Several days earlier, a white man had entered the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., and shot and killed nine black worshippers, including their minister.

Newsome found it intolerable that the Confederate flag, seen by many as a symbol of slavery and white supremacy, continued to fly at the South Carolina capital and was not even lowered to half mast after the murders.

Although she was arrested for her action, it led to the South Carolina Legislature voting to permanently remove the flag from the State House. In addition to her activism for racial justice, Newsome is a community organizer, a musician and an award-winning filmmaker.

Maulian Dana is the current tribal ambassador of the Penobscot Nation. She grew up on Indian Island on the Penobscot Reservation.

As a founding member of the Maine chapter of Not Your Mascot, she has been the leading exponent for discontinuing the use of Indian mascots. She is active in preserving and teaching the customs of the Penobscot people.

Newsome and Dana will be in conversation with Rob Shetterly at the event. Shetterly painted Newsome’s portrait in 2017 for the Americans Who Tell the Truth project, and will be adding Dana’s to the collection this spring.

The conversation will focus on the legacy of systemic racism in the United States and what can be done to dismantle it. Comparisons will be drawn between the experiences of African-Americans and indigenous peoples.

Donations at the event will be accepted in support of Americans Who Tell the Truth’s citizenship engagement programs in Maine schools.

For more information, call 326-8459 or email [email protected].

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