Plenary Session: Race, Policing, and Power in Chicago 1919–2020 

Thursday, April 15, 4:00 pm–5:30 pm

We have just witnessed what the New York Times describes as the largest protest in U.S. history in response to egregious examples of police violence and systemic racism, triggered by the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police in May of 2020. Police brutality has been the spark for urban rebellions since the early 20th century and a new 21st century Abolitionist movement has indicted police and prisons as institutions that perpetuate racism and white supremacy and must be dismantled. Chicago has been at the epicenter of the struggle against police violence from the campaign for justice for victims of police torture under the watch of disgraced police commander Jon Burge; to the 2014 We Charge Genocide delegation that presented grievances to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; to more recent protests by Black Youth Project 100, Black Lives Matter Chicago and others against the police killings of Rekia Boyd, Laquan MacDonald, Harith Augustus and others. This plenary panel of scholars and leading Chicago activists will offer historical background and critical analysis of policing and protests in Chicago, and their racial and economic underpinnings.

Chair: Barbara Ransby, University of Illinois at Chicago

• Aislinn Pulley, Black Lives Matter Chicago
• Alice Kim, Pozen Family Center for Human Rights, University of Chicago
• Simon E. Balto, University of Iowa

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The OAH Awards Ceremony

Friday, April 16, 4:00 pm–4:45 pm

Celebrating the best in American history—writing, teaching, public presentation, research, support, and distinguished careers—the OAH Awards Ceremony recognizes colleagues and friends whose achievements advance our profession, bolstering deep, sophisticated understandings of America’s complex past, and informed, historically relevant discussions of contemporary issues.  Longtime members of the organization will also be honored.

OAH Presidential Address

Saturday, April 17, 4:00 pm–5:30 pm

George J. Sanchez * OAH President, Professor of History, American Studies & Ethnicity Director, USC Center for Diversity and Democracy University of Southern California Long Beach, CA

George J. Sanchez 
OAH President
Professor of History, American Studies & Ethnicity
Director, USC Center for Diversity and Democracy
University of Southern California
Long Beach, CA

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OAH President's Reception

Saturday, April 17, 5:30 PM

All attendees are cordially invited to the OAH President’s Closing Reception in honor of OAH President George J. Sanchez. Please join us in thanking him for his service to the organization and the history profession following the OAH Presidential Address.

“Jarocho and Bomba: Music, History, and Activism”

Sponsored by Northwestern University
Folk music from Mexico and Puerto Rico has found a special place in the life and culture of Chicago’s Mexican and Puerto Rican communities. This performance highlights two styles that often find themselves in dialogue, as a way of connecting stories of struggle and resilience in Latin America and the United States, in the past and present.

A Focus on...

Contingent Faculty

OAH CPACE Sponsored Sessions and Events


The Committee on Part-Time, Adjunct and Contingent Employment will host a series of panels, discussions, and gatherings as part of the virtual OAH Annual Meeting on issues that are salient to all faculty in the historical profession, but especially to contingent faculty. On Friday afternoon from 2:00 pm‒ 3:30 pm, we will have a virtual roundtable on “Contingent Academic Labor and Professional Associations.” This panel session will focus on the activities of various professional groups—from the OAH and the AHA to LAWCHA and the AAUP—regarding the status and needs of contingent faculty in higher education. Amidst this long-term employment crisis for historians, exacerbated now by the pandemic, what are the most productive roles for professional organizations? Roundtable participants include Claire Goldstene (LAWCHA), Rachel Buff (AAUP), Emily Swafford (AHA), Elizbeth Hohl (OAH), Dorothee Schneider (OAH), and Eric Fure-Slocum (OAH and LAWCHA). There will be plenty of opportunity for discussion with the audience as part of the round table. Following the roundtable we invite everyone to join us at the scheduled network gathering “Contingent Connections and Cocktails” hosted by a member of CPACE at 5:30 pm.


On Saturday, April 17 CPACE will host two events. The workshop on High Impact Teaching in the Age of the Pandemic will take place, 11:00 am‒1:00 pm, and feature reports from the teaching front from a variety of perspectives by colleagues Lance C. Thurner (Rutgers, Newark), Rosa Squillacote (Hunter College, CUNY), Janine Giordano Drake (Indiana University) Marc Kagan (CUNY) and Eric Schuster (City Colleges of Chicago), launching then into discussion about how contingent faculty have responded and been affected as teachers.


The workshop will be followed by a session, 2:00 pm‒3:30 pm, “Contingent Faculty in a Time of Coronavirus: Views from the Front Lines.” Molly Ball (University of Rochester) and Trevor Griffey (UCLA and UC Irvine) will talk about the work environment and the role of unions for contingent faculty during the COVID-19 crisis. Chaired by Thomas Cox (Sam Houston State University), Naomi R. Williams (Rutgers) will offer comments. There will be opportunity for conversation and virtual networking with and among the audience in connection with this event.


A crowd of African American men standing on the sidewalks in front of a Walgreen Drugs at the corner of 35th and South State Street in the Douglas community area of , during a race riot. Police officers are standing at the forefront of the crowd.

A crowd of African American men standing on the sidewalks in front of a Walgreen Drugs at the corner of 35th and South State Street in the Douglas community area of , during a race riot. Police officers are standing at the forefront of the crowd.(Wikipedia)


We invite K-12 history educators to take part in the many teaching focused sessions and workshops at the 2021 OAH Virtual Conference. We are especially thankful to the Newberry Library who are offering some sessions and workshops that are eligible for CDPUs in the State of Illinois.

To register for these sessions and receive CDPUs, go to the main registration page, select the workshop(s) you in which you would like to participate, and add your IEIN (Illinois Educator Identification Number) if applicable. Please note that only Illinois teachers are eligible to receive Professional Development credits, however all K-12 history educators are welcome to attend.

A limited number of $10 registrations are available to K-12 teachers on a first-come, first served basis. Please email meetings@oah.org for more information.

Sessions and Workshops eligible for CDPUs in the State of Illinois:

Native Pathways to Democracy: American Indians and Civic Culture in the Greater Chicago Region Session and Workshop | 3 CPDUs
Friday, April 16, 12:00 pm‒3:30 pm

Sponsored by Northwestern University

In this three-hour workshop, K-12 teachers are invited to attend the “Native Pathways to Democracy” conference panel (Friday, 1:30 pm‒3:00 pm) and participate in this breakout seminar following from 2:00 pm‒3:30 pm, led by Philip Deloria of Harvard University. This breakout session will examine central themes of the panel and emphasize classroom application and pedagogy. All K-12 educators are invited to attend.

Workshop for K-12 Teachers: ¡Vivan las Revoluciones!: The Age of Revolutions in the Americas | 3 CPDUs
Saturday, April 17, 9:00 AM‒12:00 PM

Sponsored by Northwestern University

In this three-hour workshop, K-12 teachers will virtually experience the Newberry Library’s exhibition, ¡Vivan las Revoluciones!: The Age of Revolutions in the Americas, and participate in a professional development seminar led by Professor Caitlin Fitz, Northwestern University. The seminar will examine central themes of the exhibit and emphasize classroom application and pedagogy. This exhibition of rare books, manuscripts, maps, and artworks from the Newberry’s collections explores the impact of the Age of Revolutions across the Americas—from struggles for racial justice to border disputes, from gold mines to gauchos, and from democratic ideals to dictatorships.

K-12 Social Gathering
Friday, April 16, 6:00 pm‒7:30 pm

During this reception, Dr. Kara Johnson (Manager of Teacher & Student Programs, Newberry Library, Chicago) will speak briefly about the Newberry’s various efforts to incorporate digital education tools into their education programming, and will be available to answer questions about K-12 humanities education, teaching with primary sources, and how the library is working hard to meet the needs of teachers and students during the pandemic. The Newberry is the Illinois Professional Development credit provider for the K-12 sessions on Friday and Saturday.

Teachers Trivia Challenge and Networking Hour
Saturday, April 17, 5:30 pm‒6:30 pm

Join us for a fast-paced Kahoot! challenge where you will play games like Race the Presidents, President IQ, Date Duel, and Who’s the Notable American? Haven’t heard of these games? They are easy and we will explain them as we go. These games are fun for adults and they are fun in classrooms too! For this challenge you will log into Zoom and answer from a smart phone or split screen. Extra points for a clever U.S. history-related player name. We will weave in networking time to this challenge.