Weeklong Anti-Eugenics Online Gathering runs through October 2
Eugenics is a long discredited set of beliefs and practices aimed at improving the genetic quality of the human race. On Sunday a weeklong on-line international gathering begins to examine the legacy of eugenics and a Rutgers history professor has played a key role in organizing it.
The Anti-Eugenics Project began its virtual convening September 26 called "Dismantling Eugenics: Legacies, Reckonings, Futures" and it runs through October 2.
WBGO Jon Kalish reports "Dismantling Eugenics" is a free, online convening that reckons with the history of eugenics and dares to imagine an anti-eugenics future. Over the course the week, more than 150 artists, activists, cultural workers, critical thinkers, and others will engage in conversation and offer short presentations, readings, and artistic interventions, geared toward collective learning and re-imagining a more just future.
Dr. Jack Tchen (Price Institute, Rutgers University Newark), a founder of the Anti-Eugenics Project, stresses the importance of this moment reminding us.
“It's been 100 years since the Second International Eugenics Congress was held. Eugenics/dysgenics was a London-NYC generated movement to extend elite Puritan-Protestant breeding techniques to humans.”
Tchen adds it was a horrific racist, ableist, and heteronormative top-down movement that believed in sorting "the unfit" from "the fit."
“Dismantling Eugenics is a coming together of an amazing mix of poets, performers, writers, organizers, teachers, activists, and concerned global citizens across silos and practices. We'll jointly identify this entrenched system of ongoing injustice and push back hard for a truly democratic culture and politics.”
One of the moderators on Friday will be Cara Page, who describes herself as a Black Queer Feminist cultural/memory worker, curator, and organizer. The session will focus attention on an immigration detention center in Georgia notorious for performing unwanted hysterectomies. Page is a prison abolitionist who sees eugenics very much at work during the COVID pandemic.
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