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Virtual Panel Explores Link Between U.S. History, Present-Day Racial Inequities

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March 24, 2021
“Hidden History: Understanding the Origins of Racial Inequity” to discuss how historical laws, policies, and practices laid the foundation for today’s racial inequities

(ST. JOSEPH) – Through a partnership with Spectrum Health Lakeland, Lake Michigan College, and the City of St. Joseph, a three-part virtual panel discussion will explore how historical laws, policies, and practices laid the foundation for today’s racial inequities. The free event, “Hidden History: Understanding the Origins of Racial Inequity” will take place at 7:00 p.m. EDT on April 13, May 11, and June 15, 2021.

Panelists include historians and authors, as well as a journalist and filmmaker, who will share lesser-known and poorly understood episodes in U.S. history from slavery through present day. The series focuses on three broad historical periods in U.S. history: slavery to the Civil War; Emancipation Proclamation through post-Reconstruction; and Civil Rights era to present time.

“It is important to understand how yesterday’s laws, policies, and practices created the conditions of health inequity that we see and struggle with today,” said Lynn Todman, PhD, vice president of health equity, Spectrum Health Lakeland. “This understanding is essential as we chart a path toward a more fair, just, and healthy society.”

The panel series will be moderated by ABC57 news anchor and Benton Harbor native, Brian Conybeare. All programs will air at 7 p.m. EDT on the following dates:
  • Tuesday, April 13, 2021: “Slavery to the Civil War, 1600s to 1860s”
  • Tuesday, May 11, 2021: “Emancipation Proclamation through Post Reconstruction, 1863-1900s”
  • Tuesday, June 15, 2021: “The Struggle for Civil Rights and Beyond 1900s to present”
“As educators, we value the honest investigation and understanding of our history,” said Trevor Kubatzke, PhD, president, Lake Michigan College. “It's a crucial step in our journey toward healing and a better future for all people. We're honored to be part of this important conversation in our community.”

Pre-registration is required. The event will take place live via Zoom, and subsequently be posted on Spectrum Health Lakeland and Lake Michigan College Facebook pages and YouTube channels. For more information, or to register, visit