“Juneteenth and the Intellectual Emancipation of America,” is the topic of the free Faces of Diversity Brown Bag series at noon on Friday, May 18, at the Phoenix City Council Chambers, 200 W. Jefferson St. The speaker is Gershom Williams, Ph.D., historian, writer, teacher, lecturer and community activist. Williams has taught for the Maricopa Community College District for 18 years and is co-founder and chairman of the Bennu Institute of Arizona, an African-centered, community-based study group and educational collective.

Williams’ visual and interactive presentation will examine how most Americans of various racial and ethnic backgrounds are “mis-educated” about the history and cultural heritage of African Americans, due to popular, persistent racial myths and stereotypes. Thus most of us are still in need of “Intellectual Emancipation.”

To tell the Juneteenth story, Williams will draw on his research and independent study of the African origins of humanity, the African/Nubian influence on western civilizations, and the role Africans played in the development of world religions and spirituality.

The free event is co-sponsored by the Phoenix Human Relations Commission and the city’s Equal Opportunity Department. The Faces of Diversity series features dynamic people telling their stories about diversity. Bring your lunch and enjoy a cultural experience.

No reservation is needed. For more information, call (602) 495-0358 or (602) 534-1557/TTY, or visit phoenix.gov/eod/whatsnew.

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