Cultivating Belonging in Public Spaces
HSSC Programing Calendar 2023-2024
The Historical Society of Southern California
Description of 2023-24 Theme
What does belonging look like in history? When we preserve, research and write history, where do we see ourselves and our communities?
The 2023-24 year’s HSSC program focuses on the theme of belonging in history, and the diverse and innovative ways our communities, educators, historians, and practitioners cultivate belonging in public spaces. This program looks at stories from the past that created spaces of just sustainability in the natural and built landscapes of California. The idea of “belonging” is contested space, and history has proven that laws, policies, and practices have excluded and otherized people in public spaces that were sites of segregation and violence. More importantly, how can we cultivate belonging that honors many stories? California as subject, is the story of success and failure, power and oppression, coalition building and conflict, and environmental conservation and destruction. Join us this year for an impactful and insightful program that features compelling topics to amplify the idea of “belonging,” in the natural and built environments of Southern California.
November 2023: HSSC AUTHOR HIGHLIGHT
Presenter: Stacy Smith, PhD. (Oregon State University)
Topic: Slavery and Unfree Labor in Early Statehood California.
DATE: Wednesday, November 8th, 2023, 6:00pm-8:00pm via Zoom
Despite its antislavery constitution, California was home to a dizzying array of bound and semi-bound labor systems: African American slavery, American Indian indenture, Latino and Chinese contract labor, and a brutal sex traffic in bound Native American and Chinese women. Using untapped legislative and court records, Stacey L. Smith discusses the rise and decline of these different types of unfree labor in California from the Gold Rush to the Civil War.
Dr. Stacey L. Smith is an Associate Professor of History at Oregon State University where she specializes in the history of the American West during the Civil War and Reconstruction eras. She is the author of Freedom’s Frontier: California and the Struggle over Unfree Labor, Emancipation, and Reconstruction (2013).
Presenter: Carol Kwang Park
Topic: The contributions, successes, and struggles of Korean Americans in Southern California.
DATE: RESCHEDULED TBA
Korean American History & Identity
This lecture will focus on the untold tales of the Korean American community and how this small population navigated the US landscape in the early 20th century. The Korean American identity has evolved throughout its 120-year history from independence fighters founding the first Korean Aviation School and Corps. in Willows, CA, to a focus on reunification of North and South Korea, and to where we are today. This lecture will draw from the textbook Korean Americans: A Concise History.
Presenter: Kristine Ashton Gunnell, Ph.D.
Abstract/Title: Financing Social Change: The Daughters of Charity Foundation and Catholic Efforts to Disrupt Poverty and Empower through Education.
DATE: September 27th, 6-8pm
Since their arrival in Los Angeles during the 1850s, the Daughters of Charity have embraced faith as a tool to advocate for disadvantaged and underserved communities. While their services have changed over the last 160 years, these Catholic sisters continue to cultivate an ethos of care and belonging which crosses race, class, and religious identities as they assist individuals and families navigate the systems which keep people in poverty. Recognizing that transformative social change takes vision, commitment, and funding, the Daughters updated their community’s funding infrastructure by establishing the Daughters of Charity Foundation in 1984. By embracing evolving forms of financing, the Daughters provided their ministries greater opportunities to thrive and promoted the sustainability of their works. This presentation will discuss the Daughters educational initiatives in Los Angeles in the early twenty-first century, and how the sisters’ innovations reflected the long history of women’s efforts to pursue freedom, opportunity, and agency on behalf of the common good in the mythic West.
Bio: Kristine Ashton Gunnell completed her Ph.D. at Claremont Graduate University, where she is currently a Visiting Scholar in its School of Arts and Humanities. She specializes in the history of Women and Gender in the American West, especially the role of religious women in public and private life. Gunnell is the author of Daughters of Charity: Women, Religious Mission, and Hospital Care in Los Angeles, 1856-1927 (DePaul Vincentian Studies Institute, 2013). In 2014, she won the Western Historical Association’s Arrington-Prucha Prize for the best article published on the history of religion in the west and she has published articles in the Southern California Quarterly, Vincentian Heritage, and the U.S. Catholic Historian. Gunnell lives in Simi Valley, California, and she is currently writing a history of the Daughters of Charity Foundation and its strategies to fund the sisters’ social justice efforts in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
Rev. Charles Brown-President and Founder of the Compton 125 Historical Society
Pauline Brown-COO, Co-Founder of the Compton 125 Historical Society
Topic: Preserving the History and Legacy of the City of Compton
DATE: September 6th, 6-8pm via Zoom
Join us to discuss the preservation, legacy and the role of the Compton 125 Historical Society for the city of Compton.
1. Historical Landmarks: the importance of preserving iconic landmarks ie. buildings, monuments, and landmarks that hold significance in the city.
2. Cultural Inheritance: discuss how the preservation of cultural traditions, festivals, and customs contributed to maintaining Compton’s unique identity.
3. Historical Exhibits: the role of exhibitions and showcasing artifacts, documents, and artworks that highlight the city of Compton’s past.
4. Community Engagement: ways to involve residents in preserving the city’s history such as through oral history, workshops, and events.
5. Education Initiatives: the importance of educating the younger generation about the city’s history, school programs, tours, and educational resources.
6. Historical Preservation Ordinance: the impact of the legal framework that protects historical sites and structures from demolition or modifications.
7. Public Spaces and Parks: a look at incorporating the element of historical spaces for reflections and appreciation.
Presenter: Daisy Ocampo, PhD. (CSU-San Bernadino)
Topic: Native and public history: specifically, exhibitions, historical preservation projects, and community-based archives. She will feature history from her native community, and the need for an indigenous worldview when collecting and preserving history.
DATE: February 21st, 6-8pm