Citizens and lawmakers have long called for re-thinking who is represented at the Capitol via portraits and statues. Earlier in the month, House Speaker Michael Madigan called for the removal of Stephen Douglas and Pierre Menard statues and other changes. Members of Black caucuses have asked for change as well, like a new statue of President Barack Obama to be placed outside the building. Our panel of Springfield-areas residents and experts will discuss the current calls for change. Speakers include Tiffani Saunders, a sociology professor at University of Illinois Springfield who will share information about the role symbols play in cultures. Robert Moore, retired U.S. Marshal and police/community relations consultant will talk about the history behind controversy surrounding the Martin Luther King Jr. statue. ALF-CIO Illinois president Tim Drea will share the history behind King's 1965 speech about labor rights in Springfield. Vincent "June" Chappelle, a Black history researcher, will tell us about the first lieutenant governor of Illinois, Pierre Menard, and his background as a slave-owner. Others will also join and public comment is welcome. Send advance questions for panelists to firstname.lastname@example.org. The link for the virtual public discussion is also on Illinois Times' Facebook events page.
Statehouse Statue Solutions
Thursday, July 30, 1-8:30 p.m.