Session 3: Telling the Full Story: African Americans, Activism and Architecture

Hotel Marcel

500 Sargent Dr
New Haven, CT


Jennifer Walkowski

K. Kennedy Whiters

Daniel Williamson

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Telling the Full Story: African Americans, Activism and Architecture

In this session, panelists will challenge historical narratives and how notable African Americans used architecture in their response to adversity. Discussion will include Black writer, poet, and environmental designer, June Jordan, who until recently, remained an uncited collaborator of Buckminster Fuller on their Harlem project, “Skyrise for Harlem” (1964). MIT-trained African American architect, Robert Traynham Coles (1929-2020) and his impact on the African American community Buffalo, New York. J. Max Bond Jr. ‘s design for the King Center whose deliberately anti-monumental memorial of humble materials and diffuse open spaces that created a dignified setting for King’s resting place.

Speakers & Abstracts:
  • 'Leaders and Revolutionaries': Two Works by Robert Traynham Coles 
    Jennifer Walkowski, Historic Preservation Program Analyst in the Survey and National Register Unit at the NY State Historic Preservation Office, serving Western NY.
  • (Un)Redact the Facts of Teaching Modernism to Tell a Full(er) (Hi)Story for Racial Equity 
    K. Kennedy Whiters, AIA, professional architect in the states of Washington and New York, a member of the “less than 1%” of all architects in the United States that are Black women.
  • Urban and Activist Continuities at J. Max Bond Jr.'s King Center 
    Dr. Daniel Williamson, Ph.D. in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, currently teaches art and architectural history at the Savannah College of Art and Design.
  • JC Calderon

Hotel Marcel, 500 Sargent Dr, New Haven, CT, 06511