Past Events


Ebenezer Bassett and Frederick Douglass: A History of Haiti, the United States, and U.S. Black Diplomacy

MARCH 10, 2022 – Dr. Brandon Byrd, Vanderbilt University, “Ebenezer Bassett and Frederick Douglass: A History of Haiti, the United States, and U.S. Black Diplomacy”


The Ties That Bind

SEPTEMBER 8, 2018 – JANUARY 7, 2019 / DOLPH SIMONS FAMILY GALLERY, 316; THE ESTELLE S. & ROBERT A. LONG ELLIS FOUNDATION GALLERY, 315 This exhibition reveals the deep historical connections between Haiti and the United States through the lens of 20th-century Haitian art. Both the United States and Haiti were impacted by complex encounters among European colonizers, Indigenous populations, and enslaved peoples. These nations share common revolutions for independence and violent but ultimately successful attempts to abolish slavery. The ongoing migration of citizens between Haiti and the United States has led to hybrid forms of architecture, language, food, and religion. As a culmination of a multi-year collaboration supported by the Spencer’s Integrated Arts Research Initiative, The Ties that Bind marks the first time in more than a decade that a significant display of Haitian paintings has occurred at the Spencer Museum of Art, or in Kansas. The exhibition will feature approximately 12 paintings created by Haitian-born, New Orleans–based painter Ulrick Jean-Pierre that portray striking historic figures and narrate influential events in a monumental scale. Currently the subject of a documentary film, Jean-Pierre is not only a respected painter but also a storyteller and social commentator whose work serves to bring about political and social change, as well as critical awareness and consciousness. Jean-Pierre’s paintings will be juxtaposed with highlights from the Spencer Museum’s collection of influential 20th-century Haitian art, most of which was generously donated by Mary Lou Vansant Hughes in 2011. These pairings can stimulate conversations about significant themes that have defined the relationship between Haiti and the United States, including migration, religion and spirituality, the fight for liberty and freedom, and women as leaders. The endurance of these themes ensures that viewers will learn about key historical moments and figures who have defined the United States, as well as issues that continue to impact residents of both nations, including race, equity, gender, immigration and refugee rights, and the freedom of religious expression.

The Unexpected Caribbean Symposium

A colorful painting of a bird and vegetation

Celebrating the surprising interplay between Caribbean cultures and people and the rest of the world. The symposium will offer Kansans the opportunity to explore the diversity of the Caribbean through a variety of lenses, including through the eyes of Lawrence’s acclaimed native son, Langston Hughes. It will also allow visitors from around the nation to learn about and access the University of Kansas’ Caribbean resources, particularly the significant art holdings and library collections on Haiti and its diasporas. The symposium will be held October 18-20, 2018 with events and activities held at various venues across the University of Kansas campus and Lawrence, KS. In addition to KU faculty, staff, and students, we welcome members of the Lawrence, Kansas City, and Topeka communities to attend all programs. The entire symposium is free and open to the public. 

The Neo-African-Americans: Black ‘?’ Immigrant

Film Screening and Discussion "The Neo-African-Americans: Black '?' Immigrant" PDF
Film Screening and Discussion "The Neo-African-Americans: Black '?' Immigrant" PDF

Film screening and discussion

A film  by Kobina Aidoo
​Tuesday, October 25th
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Bailey 105

First, Do No Harm: Ethical, Compassionate, and Conscious Volunteerism and Service Learning

Ethical Service Panel

April 20, 2016
12:30p.m. - 2p.m.
OMA Classroom
Sabatini Multicultural Resource Center

Race & Immigration: Critical Perspectives and Future Directions

Center for Migration Research 
April 7-8, 2016

FREE event open to the community 

Thursday, April 7, 2016
The Commons, Spooner Hall
1340 Jayhawk Blvd. 

Friday, April 8, 2016
Malott Room, 6th Floor, Kansas Union
1301 Jayhawk Blvd.

Literary and Cultural Representations of the Haitian Im/migrant in the Dominican Republic

Presented by African and African American Studies and the Institute of Haitian Studies
Dr. Anne Francois, Professor of French & Francophone Cultures at Eastern University (Pennsylvania)
March 29, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Alderson Auditorium Kansas Union