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Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Ph.D., to kick off Juneteenth at Durand-Hedden as keynote

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad will be this year's keynote speaker for Juneteenth at Durand-Hedden House & Garden, 523 Ridgewood Road, at Grasmere Park on Sunday, June 23. This annual community event is co-hosted by the Durand-Hedden House & Garden Association and the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race. Dr. Muhammad will kick off the day's events with a keynote speech beginning just after 1 pm on Sunday, June 23.


About Dr. Muhammad (from the Harvard Kennedy School website)

Khalil is the Ford Foundation Professor of History, Race and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. He directs the Institutional Antiracism and Accountability Project and is the former Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a division of the New York Public Library and the world’s leading library and archive of global black history. Before leading the Schomburg Center, Khalil was an associate professor at Indiana University.


Khalil’s scholarship examines the broad intersections of racism, economic inequality, criminal justice and democracy in U.S. History. He is co-editor of “Constructing the Carceral State,” a special issue of the Journal of American History, and contributor to a National Research Council study, The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences (2014), as well as the award-winning author of The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America. He is currently co-directing a National Academy of Sciences study on reducing racial inequalities in the criminal justice system.


His writing and scholarship have been featured in national print and broadcast media outlets, such as the New Yorker, Washington Post, The Nation, National Public Radio, PBS Newshour, Moyers and Company, MSNBC, and the New York Times, which includes his sugar essay for The 1619 Project. He has appeared in a number of feature-length documentaries, including the recently-released Amend: The Fight for America (2021), the Oscar-nominated 13th (2016) and Slavery by Another Name (2012). Khalil was an associate editor of The Journal of American History and an Andrew W. Mellon fellow at the Vera Institute of Justice. He is a member of the Society of American Historians and the American Antiquarian Society.


In 2017, Khalil received the Distinguished Service Medal from Columbia University’s Teachers College. And holds two honorary doctorates. He is on the boards of the Vera Institute of Justice, The Museum of Modern Art, Cure Violence Global, Oliver Scholars, The New York Historical Society, and The Nation magazine, as well as the advisory boards of Common Justice, The HistoryMakers and the Lapidus Center for the Study of Transatlantic Slavery.


Khalil is an award-winning teacher at Harvard and has received numerous honors for his commitment to public engagement, including BPI Chicago’s Champion of the Public Interest Award (2018), The Fortune Society’s Game Changer Award (2017), Ebony Power 100 (2013), The Root 100 of Black Influencers (2012-2014), and Crain’s New York Business magazine 40 under 40 (2011).


A native of Chicago’s South Side, Khalil graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Economics in 1993, and then joined Deloitte as a staff accountant until entering graduate school. He earned his Ph.D. in U.S. History from Rutgers University."



About Juneteenth at Durand-Hedden

Celebrate Juneteenth in Maplewood with historical reenactors, musical performances, and children’s activities on Sunday, June 23 from 1 to 5 pm.


The Durand-Hedden House & Garden Association and The South Orange-Maplewood Community Coalition on Race invite all community members to celebrate this important holiday at Grasmere Park, the beautiful grounds surrounding Durand-Hedden House, 523 Ridgewood Road, Maplewood.


Activities include historical reenactors, learning about the history of enslaved people in New Jersey, and musical performances. Children can enjoy face painting, crafts and storytelling. Delicious food will be available for sale.


Visitors can view the exhibit Slavery in New Jersey: A Troubled History, which provides historical context for Juneteenth and the history of enslaved people in New Jersey. The book, based on the exhibit and written by Durand-Hedden President Gail R. Safian and designed by John Branigan, earned the Kevin M. Hale Publications Award from the League of Historical Societies of New Jersey and is now part of the social studies curriculum in Maplewood/South Orange.


The event is free and all are welcome. Pre-registration is free appreciated at on our event page.

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