Confronting Our Past: The Role of Memorials and Memorialization

Acknowledging Our Past: How to Apologize for Slavery


Public monuments and memorials reflect the values and attitudes of communities that design them. They shape the way we understand particular moments in history -- and how we deal with legacies of violence and injustice. How should a country memorialize aspects of its past that are shameful and regrettable? What should be
done with public symbols of the confederacy? How could memorials help the U.S. turn to face its legacy of slavery? What role can public memorials play in social healing? We were fortunate to be joined by Professor James E. Young of UMass-Amherst, who has devoted decades of thought and study to such questions -- including as a member of the jury for the “National 9/11 Memorial” design competition, as well as the five-member Findungskommission for Germany's national "Memorial to Europe's Murdered Jews."

Production Date: 
Friday, March 15, 2019

Critical Connections

Critical Connections is a non-profit organization based in western Massachusetts that seeks to improve understanding of social, political and religious trends related to Muslim communities here in the U.S. and abroad. 

We carry out our mission by:

  • Convening timely panel discussions, film screenings, workshops, and dialogues
  • Producing community television shows and video blogs
  • Publishing backgrounders and commentaries on our website as well as disseminating informed opinions through social media
  • Reaching out to public sector officials, institutions and people of all beliefs to develop ways to build inclusive and more resilient communities


Please know that if I could be at every event, I would. The speakers and conversations are so helpful for me to learn, so I can then work to offset the anti-Muslim sentiment in our culture. I find far too many other local inter-religious events or dialogues to not engage issues deeply enough. Critical Connections provides me the fullness and richness of thought, politics, culture, religion, etc, that I am looking for. So just keep doing what you are doing!

— Rev. Corey Sanderson, 1st Congregational Church, Greenfield, MA

Public Contact Information: 
CALL OR VISIT 468 Inverness Lane Longmeadow, MA 01106 (978) 660-2844