2020 Symposium

US/ICOMOS 2020 International Symposium and Conference:
U.S. World Heritage and Social Justice in the 21st Century

The 2020 Symposium was an all-virtual event taking place via Zoom in two 4-hour sessions 12-13 November, 1-5 pm EST. Each day began with a keynote presentation followed by three themed sessions. Speakers presented virtually from around the world.

Day One: Social Justice, Civil Rights & Slavery
November 12, 2020: 1 – 5 pm EST

Lonnie G. Bunch III,  Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution; and Robert Stanton, former NPS Director and former ACHP Expert Member (2014-2020)

A conversation between two long-time leaders who have spent their careers engaged in promoting social justice in cultural heritage, the National Parks and society as a whole.



International Examples of Monuments Associated with Oppression

Moderator: Douglas C. Comer, Ph.D., President US/ICOMOS

Rebecca Senior Visual Cultures of British Imperial Monuments
Beatriz Gomes Dias Slavery Memorial: Raising a Historical Counter-Memory
Leonardo Castriota Monuments of Oppression in Latin America and the Caribbean


World Heritage Sites and Slavery

Moderator: Hon. William A. Bell, Former Mayor of Birmingham, Alabama

Wazi Apoh “The Slave Trade Passed Through our Palaces”: Reflections Beyond the Forts and Castles of Ghana
Brandon Dillard Bringing History Forward: Interpreting Legacies at Monticello
Pascall Taruvinga, PhD Social Memory and Generational Transition; Robben Island World Heritage Site, South Africa


Interpretation of Civil Rights Sites

Moderator: Alan Spears, NPCA Senior Director of Cultural Resources, Government Affairs

Judy Ann Forte Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park
Joy G. Kinard, Ph.D. From the Margins to the Center: Interpreting Social Justice in Central Alabama’s Historic Civil Rights Sites of Consciousness as Places of Healing
Sylvia Y. Cyrus Interpretation of Civil Rights Sites

Day Two: Social Justice and Indigenous Peoples
November 13: 1 – 5 pm EST, 5:15 – 6:30 PM EST Cocktail Hour / Mixer

Dorothy FireCloud, NPS Native American Affairs Liaison Welcoming Indigenous Peoples to their National Park Sites


World Heritage and Indigenous Peoples’ Struggles for Social Justice

Moderator: T. Destry Jarvis, US/ICOMOS Trustee, Former NPS Director of External Affairs

Lyn Carranza Uluru World Heritage Site Co-Management
Jan Balsom Grand Canyon as Tribal Homelands: Challenges and Opportunities
Jeff Mow Glacier National Park


Interpreting Indigenous Homeland World Heritage Sites

Moderator: Tom Cassidy, US/ICOMOS Trustee and NTHP Vice President of Government Relations and Policy

Acoma Governor Brian Vallo The Outstanding Universal Value of Chaco Culture World Heritage Site
Jen Aultman & Chief Glenna Wallace The Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma and the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks of Ohio
Ilona Spruce Taos Pueblo World Heritage Site


Diversifying & Decolonizing World Heritage

Moderator: Professor Ian Lilley, FSA FAHA

Ian Bowman Bi-Culturalism at World Heritage Sites in New Zealand
Lila Shahani Rethinking Philippine Heritage
Christophe Rivet Oppression and Reconciliation at Places of Memory in Canada
Ian Lilley War Memorials and Indigenous Australia: Subverting the National “Statue-scape”


Cocktail Hour/Mixer

Virtual Networking and post-Symposium discussions in hosted breakout rooms