Distinguished Lecturer Johnnetta Cole

Thursday 10 October 2019
6–8 pm

“Displaying Historical Ivory in Museums: Let’s Talk about the Elephant in the Room”

“Displaying Historical Ivory in Museums: Let’s Talk about the Elephant in the Room”

In this free public lecture, international scholar, educator and humanitarian Dr Johnnetta Cole will discuss historical African ivory art, wildlife conservation and museum responsibility, about which she is a passionate advocate. Dr Cole is past Director of the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of African Art, and has held formative positions at several colleges and universities across the United States, where she headed and established African-American and black women’s studies programs. Dr Cole’s lecture is followed by a conversation with Dr Shannen Hill, guest curator of The Art of African Ivory. A reception follows.

An American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter will be present during the lecture.

Supported by the Brockington Visitorship Fund and the Justin and Elisabeth Lang Fund, Queen’s University.

Johnnetta Betsch Cole is a noted educator, author, speaker and consultant on diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion in educational institutions, museums and workplaces. After receiving a Ph.D. in anthropology, Dr Cole held teaching positions in anthropology, women’s studies, and African American studies at several colleges and universities. She served as President of both historically Black colleges for women in the United States, Spelman College and Bennett College, a distinction she alone holds. She also served as the Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, as a Principal Consultant at Cook Ross, and as a Senior Consulting Fellow at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Dr Cole is currently the Chair and Seventh President of the National Council of Negro Women, an advocacy organization for women’s rights and civil rights. Throughout her career and in her published work, speeches, and community service, Johnnetta Betsch Cole consistently addresses issues of race, gender, and other systems of inequality.

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