Virtual Panel Series, “Hidden History: Understanding the Origins of Racial Inequity” Starts Next Month


A major community-wide discussion in Michigan’s Great Southwest on how historical laws, policies and practices laid the foundation for today’s racial inequities is headed your way in a three-part virtual panel which will explore the link between U.S. history and present-day racial inequities.

The discussion, “Hidden History: Understanding the Origins of Racial Inequity,” is being presented locally through a partnership with Spectrum Health Lakeland, Lake Michigan College, and the City of St. Joseph. The free event will take place at 7:00 p.m. EDT on April 13th, May 11th, and June 15th, 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
  • Civil Rights era to present time

Dr. Lynn Todman, PhD, Vice President of Health Equity at Spectrum Health Lakeland, tells us, “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,” and adds, “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 pm 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”

Lake Michigan College President, Dr. Trevor Kubatzke, PhD, suggests, “As educators, we value the honest investigation and understanding of our history,” and contends, “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 this link:

Launched in 2018, “Community Grand Rounds: Healing the Trauma of Racism” hosts local and nationally recognized speakers, workshops, and other events that explore topics of health equity and population health. The events are designed for professionals in medicine and allied health fields, government leaders, and other non-for-profit leaders and community members.

Community Grand Rounds is a collaborative effort between Spectrum Health Lakeland and The Todman Family Foundation. For more information, including a complete list of upcoming events, visit the link above.

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