Past Events

Dedicated to the memory of Art Gilbert, Ph. D.

His courses on genocide were essential and led to his insistence that the largely unexplored intersection of genocide and slavery must be critically examined. This conference owes its initial impetus to him.

Day 1 - Morning

9:00 AM

Welcome

Linda Farb  Chair/ CoAGG

Opening Remarks

Roz Duman  Founder/Executive Director/CoAGG

Special Tribute & Conference Overview

Peter Van Arsdale Former CoAGG Board Member
Advisory Council Member

Introduction of Day 1 Morning Workshops, Speakers and Presenters

Peter Van Arsdale

Day 1 Morning Session Topic- What are the Experiences of “Social Death” in Slavery?

10:10 AM

Morning Topic Overview Speaker

Rep. Naquetta Ricks

Break

11:00 AM

1st Presenter Morning Session

Dr. Devon Wright

11:30 AM

2nd Presenter Morning Session

Dr. Marvin McMickle

12:00 PM

Q & A

Joel Odonkor, Moderator

12:30 PM

Lunch Break – Video

Day 1 - Afternoon

Day 1 Afternoon Session Topic- What Social, Economic and Moral Incentives Promote and Nourish Genocide?

1:00 PM

Introduction of Afternoon Host

Linda Farb  Chair/ CoAGG

Introduction of Day 1 Afternoon Workshops, Speakers and Presenters

Tim Kubik, former CoAGG Board Chair

1:05 PM

Afternoon Topic Overview Speaker

Dr. Gregory H. Stanton

1:50 PM

1st Presenter Afternoon Session

Barbara Coloroso

2:20 PM

2nd Afternoon Session Presenter

Gwen Leaffe Carr

Q & A

Tim Kubik, Moderator

Closing Comments & Credits

Tim Kubik, former CoAGG Board Chair

Day 2

9:30 AM

Welcome

Suzanne Williams, Board Vice Chair

Day 2 Roundtable Discussion Topic-Slavery and Genocide: Differences and Similarities;Systems and the Institutions that Sustain Them

Overview Speaker & Moderator Introductions

Rosalind Harris
Publisher – Denver Urban Spectrum

9:30 AM

Overview Speaker

Honorable Mayor Wellington Webb

Introduction of Sec. Bunch III

Honorable Mayor Wellington Webb

Introduction of remaining Roundtable Panelists

Alfonzo Porter, Moderator & Host

10:00 AM

Panelist Roundtable Discussion (Up to 10 Minutes each) and Q &A

Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III

Simon Maghakyan

Omhagain Dayeen

Karen Z. Brass 

Dr. Pius Kamau

Closing Remarks and Credits

Alfonzo Porter, Moderator & Host

Art Gilbert (In Memoriam)

Art Gilbert, Ph. D. (In Memoriam)

Prof. Arthur Gilbert, Ph.D., passed away on September 13, 2021.He joined the University of Denver faculty in 1962, where he remained a fixture for nearly 60 years. At the Graduate School of International Studies (now the Josef Korbel School of International Studies), Arthur brought a passion for history, political science, literature, poetry, art, and human rights, topped by his passion for teaching students. He was a true polymath. As Dean Fritz Mayer recently noted, “Art lived for his classes and his students, and shared food, humor, and thousands of hours of his time beyond the classroom with them.” Mayer went on to stress that Art was “a historian of the forgotten, the lost in time, the overlooked.” His courses on genocide were essential and led to his insistence that the largely unexplored intersection of genocide and slavery must be critically examined. This conference owes its initial impetus to him.

Peter Van Arsdale, Ph. D.

Peter Van Arsdale, Ph. D.

Peter Van Arsdale, Ph.D., retired from the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies in 2020.  However, he continues there as a Global Fellow (pro bono), working with its new Africa Center.  Having worked or traveled on all seven continents, his most recent focus has been on East Africa, with an emphasis on human rights, humanitarian outreach, and community development (with a special focus on water resources).  He is the author of eight books, including the award-winning Forced to Flee (2006), dealing with refugee issues.  Peter is the recipient of the 2021 Rotary WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene) Legacy Award for work in this field.  He has been affiliated with CoAGG, first as board member and now advisor, for a dozen years.

Representative Naquetta Ricks

Representative Naquetta Ricks
Colorado State Representative

Colorado state Rep. Naquetta Ricks, is a Democrat who represents Aurora and is a Liberian refugee.

Ricks — whose family fled political persecution in Liberia in 1980 — became the first African immigrant to serve in the Colorado General Assembly upon her election last year.

When Ricks was a child in Liberia, dissidents involved in a violent military coup broke into her home and held her mother at gunpoint for nearly two hours.  “They were looking for a government official, who was my mom’s fiance,” she said. “After searching our home, they eventually found him and they dragged my mother and him to our driveway, and they threw him into the back of a pickup truck. By the grace of God, they did not take my mom.”  After they dragged my mom’s fiance off, we knew that the soldiers would come back to the house. So we grabbed one suitcase apiece, whatever we could grab, and we just ran to a relative’s house in the city. That was, like, April of 1980, and we stayed at my relative’s house … My mom got a medical leave of absence (from work), and then we were able to come to the United States. We came to Chicago for the first couple of months, and by August of that year we ended up here in Aurora, Colorado, where we have family members.

During her campaign, Ricks was advised by New American Leaders and Emerge America, non-profit organizations that recruit and train female candidates for office. Upon her election, Ricks became one of the first two Liberian-American elected to a state legislature in the United States, along with Nathan Biah of Rhode Island.

Dr. Devon Wright

Dr. Devon Wright

Devon Wright holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Florida International University’s Global Sociocultural Studies program. He is an Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at Metropolitan State University of Denver, teaching various courses including Introduction to Africana Studies, Social Movements and the Black Experience, The Black Community, Politics and Black People, Hip-Hop Culture and Rap Music and a recently created course called Black Lives Matter and the COVID-19 Pandemic. His research interests focus on black protest movements, racism and conservative right-wing social movement organizations, particularly white supremacist ideology and racist rhetoric in conservative right-wing media.

Dr. Marvin McMickle

Dr. Marvin McMickle

Dr. Marvin McMickle-Professor Emeritus Ashland Theological Seminary (OH), President Emeritus Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of Cleveland State University in Cleveland, OH, president of the Cleveland NAACP and Urban League, and president of the Shaker Heights Board of Education. Dr. McMickle was the Professor of Homiletics at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio from 1996-2011. Upon retiring he was named Professor Emeritus by the Board of Trustee and the faculty. He is the author of 18 books. He has authored dozens of articles that regularly appear in professional journals and magazines.

Dr. Gregory H. Stanton

Dr. Gregory H. Stanton

Dr. Gregory H. Stanton is the Founding President of Genocide Watch. He was the Research Professor in Genocide Studies and Prevention at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution of George Mason University, Arlington, Virginia, USA. He was the James Farmer Professor in Human Rights at the University of Mary Washington, in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He has also been a Law Professor at Washington and Lee University, American University, and the University of Swaziland. 

Dr. Stanton founded Genocide Watch in 1999. He is the founder of the Cambodian Genocide Project. He is the founding Chair of the Alliance Against Genocide, the world’s first anti-genocide coalition. From 2007 – 2009, he was the President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars. Stanton is best known for “The Ten Stages of Genocide,” the most widely used model of genocidal processes. 

Dr. Stanton served in the State Department (1992-1999), where he drafted the United Nations Security Council resolutions that created the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Burundi Commission of Inquiry, and the Central African Arms Flow Commission. He also drafted the U.N. Peacekeeping Operations resolutions that helped bring about an end to the Mozambique civil war. He wrote the State Department options paper on ways to bring the Khmer Rouge to justice in Cambodia.

Stanton was deeply involved in the U.N.-Cambodian government negotiations that brought about creation of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, for which he drafted internal rules of procedure. He also served as Co-Chair of the Washington Working Group for the International Criminal Court. He wrote and lobbied at the UN for the proposal to create the UN Office of the Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide. 

Gregory Stanton comes from the lineage of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, women’s suffrage activist, and Henry Brewster Stanton, anti-slavery leader. Actively involved in human rights since the 1960’s, when he was a voting rights worker in Mississippi, he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Ivory Coast, and as the Church World Service/CARE Field Director in Cambodia in 1980.

Barbara Coloroso

Barbara Coloroso

Barbara Coloroso is an international bestselling author and educator and for the past 52 years an internationally recognized speaker and consultant on parenting, teaching, school discipline, positive school climate, bullying, grieving, nonviolent conflict resolution and restorative justice. She is the author of six international best sellers including the latest edition of The Bully, The Bullied, and The Not-So-Innocent Bystander.

She has appeared on CBC, BBC, Oprah, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN and NPR and has been featured in the New York Times, Time, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, and other national and international publications.

Gwen Leaffe Carr

Gwen Leaffe Carr

Gwen Leaffe Carr, is an award winning, nationally known advocate for American Indian tribes and sovereignty. Her career has been in the service of American Indians and Social Justice. Gwen has also had over 30 years of experience in working with American Indian Tribes. Some of her achievements include; working in Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House in the Clinton Administration. Gwen has had many “first” leadership experiences in her career. She has been first National Political Director for American Indians at the Democratic National Committee and founder of the DNC American Indian Caucus. Gwen is also the founder of the Wisconsin American Indian Democratic Caucus and is the first American Indian woman to be Executive Director of the Arizona Democratic Party. Gwen was first Tribal Liaison for the State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation. 

Gwen also served as the Deputy Secretary for the Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission and Executive Director for the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs.

Gwen is an advocate for Native Women including Missing and Murdered Indian Women . She is currently working on “Relentless” a one woman show focusing on her own struggles with addiction, violence and recovery. She performs in women’s prisons, rehab facilities and jails, wherever Native women need hope and support.

Rosalind J. Harris

Rosalind J. Harris

Rosalind J. Harris Owner/Publisher/Art Director, Denver Urban Spectrum, also referred to and known as Bee is the owner, publisher and art director of the Denver Urban Spectrum newspaper. Since 1987, she and her contributors have been “spreading the news about people of color,” and celebrated 34 years in April in 2021.

As an active member in the community, Bee is politically connected and has volunteered on campaigns locally and nationally.  Over the years, she has served on many diverse boards in the capacity of a director and also as an advisor.

Alfonzo Porter

Alfonzo Porter

Alfonzo Porter is a journalist and educator. Currently he is the Editor-In-Chief of the Denver Urban Spectrum, a 35-year-old, award-winning publication targeting communities of color. He is the Director of Student Media as well as a journalism professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver. A 1987 graduate of  MSU Denver, he has worked as a journalist for various publications throughout his career including the Washington Post. Porter is the Managing Partner of Vertex learning, LLC a full-service educational publishing and consulting firm specializing in assisting educators publish in their areas of specialty. His latest book, entitled Digital Citizenship: Promoting Wellness for Thriving in a Connected World, is designed to help digital natives navigate life in a cyber reality. Porter has also work as a public-school teacher and high school principal across multiple school systems. He has a graduate degree in Educational Policy and Leadership and his doctoral program focused on the Administration of Teaching and Learning.

Wellington E. Webb

Wellington E. Webb

Wellington E. Webb spent 12 years as the leader of Denver’s Mile High City and helped drag it out of the economic doldrums of 1991 to an investment of $7 billion in infrastructure when he left office in 2003. He is the only mayor in U.S. history to serve as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Conference of Democratic Mayors and National Conference of Black Mayors.

The tennis shoes he wore as he walked the city during the 1991 campaign are now housed at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

In October 2003, he founded Webb Group International. The firm works with businesses and cities on economic development projects, public relations and other consulting areas. His clients include Parsons Transportation; the American Beverage Association; Hudson News; and American Petroleum Institute to name only a few.

As mayor, he oversaw the completion of $4 billion Denver International Airport, overseeing 85 percent of the construction and opening airport concession bids to all Colorado-owned businesses, including women and minorities.

Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III

Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III

Lonnie G. Bunch III is the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. He assumed his position in June 2019. He oversees 19 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, numerous research centers and several education units and centers.

Previously, Bunch was the founding director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. When he started as director in July 2005, he had one staff member, no collections, no funding and no site for a museum. Bunch transformed a vision into a reality. The museum has had more than 7 million visitors since it opened in September 2016 and compiled a collection of nearly 40,000 objects.

Before his appointment as director of the museum, Bunch served as the president of the Chicago Historical Society (2001–2005).

A widely published author, Bunch has written on topics ranging from the black military experience, the American presidency and all-black towns in the American West to diversity in museum management and the impact of funding and politics on American museums. His most recent book, A Fool’s Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Age of Bush, Obama, and Trump, chronicles the making of the museum that would become one of the most popular destinations in Washington.

Bunch has previously worked at the Smithsonian Institution, holding several positions at its National Museum of American History from 1989 through 2000, where he oversaw the curatorial and collections staff that developed a major permanent exhibition on the American presidency.

Among his many awards, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Committee for the Preservation of the White House in 2002 and reappointed by President Barack Obama in 2010. In 2019, he was awarded the Freedom Medal, one of the Four Freedom Awards from the Roosevelt Institute, for his contribution to American culture as a historian and storyteller; the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal from the Hutchins Center at Harvard University; and the National Equal Justice Award from the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund.

Simon Maghakyan

Simon Maghakyan

Simon Maghakyan is a Denver-based political scientist and human rights advocate, whose widely-cited investigative research into covert acts of genocide has been praised as “rock solid” and “relentless” by The Guardian and The Los Angeles Times, respectively. Maghakyan’s advocacy and public service tenure includes serving as Amnesty International USA’s primary specialist and campaigner for the ex-USSR, leading the Armenian National Committee of America’s community development in 18 Western Region states, managing civics education at Colorado’s legislature, and coordinating Save Armenian Monuments. His academic experience includes lecturing in international relations at the University of Colorado Denver and serving, in a newly-appointed capacity, as visiting scholar at Tufts University. Maghakyan is a PhD student in Heritage Crime at the UK-based Cranfield University.

Omhagain Somi Dayeen

Omhagain Somi Dayeen

Omhagain Somi Dayeen is a lecturer, researcher, currently a Ph.D. candidate in Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFR) University of Colorado Denver. She is also a Darfur survivor. Omhagain was one of the members of the 2020-2021 Holocaust & Genocide Studies Committee for the Colorado Dept of Education.

Karen Z. Brass

Karen Z. Brass

Karen Z. Brass, Second Generation of a Holocaust Survivor, Holocaust Educator, International Standupster Presenter, and Author.  Mrs. Karen Brass is the daughter of Mr. David Zauder, a Holocaust Survivor and detainee in the Krakow Ghetto and 4 concentration camps, one being Auschwitz Death Camp. Mrs. Brass has provided her father’s personal account concerning the atrocities that befell his family and other victims of the Holocaust. Since 1982 she has spoken at more than 1200 public and private schools, synagogues, churches and to many educational and community groups, graduations and Inaugurations. She is the author of “I Am a Standupster” and “Trauma Filters Through” and most recently, an elementary school children’s book, “How To Create Peace~ Teaching Children How to Navigate Their Personal Choices, and Build their Character and Social Morality”.

Dr. Pius Kamau

Dr. Pius Kamau

Dr. Pius Kamau, surgeon, African activist and writer.  Dr Kamau was born and raised in Kenya and did his pre-med education at Strathmore College, in Nairobi, Kenya and his medical training at the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. Dr Kamau trained in the United Kingdom followed by General and Cardio-Thoracic Surgery training in Albany, Rochester, Buffalo – New York; Winnipeg, Canada and Denver’s Children’s Hospital, Colorado, USA. Surgical practice in Denver, Colorado and retired in 2019. 

Columnist: The Rocky Mountain News, The Denver Post, and Blogger Huffington Post. Colorado Politics and Denver Gazette.  

Commentator:  National Public Radio; KUNC. Writer: for a dozen magazines and nonfiction books including NPR’s “This I Believe,” Marlo Thomas’s The Right Words at the Right Time; Medical Economics; Chicken Soup for the Soul.

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9th Anniversary Fundraising Event

2020 CoAGG Genocide & Slavery Discussion Series

Thank you for attending our four-part discussion series. If you missed any of the events, please view a playlist of the webinars here.

Denver Urban Spectrum and CoAGG Presentation November 3, 2019

On November 3, 2019, the CoAGG, Denver Urban Spectrum and Denver Film Festival hosted the event “Slavery and the Making of America,” a presentation of the film by the same title and a panel discussion with Filmmaker Dante James, Dr. Rachel E Harding, Joel Odonkor, Rev. Quincy Shannon, and moderator (and now CoAGG board member), Alfonzo Porter. Watch a one-hour video of the event here.