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Dillon Symposium 2017 explores heritage and development in Dallas Freedman's Towns

November 18, 2017


The Dillon Center is proud to present this year's Dillon Symposium,Equity + Freedom's Footprint in Dallas Freedman's Towns, co-sponsored by the Dallas Festival of Ideas. Save the date for Saturday, November 18, 10am-3:30pm at the Zale Library at Paul Quinn College in Dallas.


This event is free and open to the public but we do ask for pre-registration. Lunch be provided to pre-registrants free of charge; vegetarian options will be available.

Dallas has a rich heritage in its historic Freedman’s Towns, self-sufficient communities founded by freed slaves after the end of the Civil War. While many were destroyed by policies of urban renewal and highway construction from the 1950s to the 1980s, the footprints of those communities survive in the Tenth Street Historic District, Joppa, and Elm Thicket in south and west Dallas. Today, these neighborhoods face choices about how to balance that heritage with rapid development and change. This year’s Dillon Symposium gathers historians, housing advocates, architects, landscape architects, planners, and real estate developers with neighborhood residents to evaluate strategies. Working groups will give a chance for all symposium attendees to participate in the conversation about heritage and its meaning to communities in the 21st century.

The keynote speaker is Andrea Roberts, PhD, an assistant professor at Texas A&M University’s Department of Landscape Architecture and Planning. Roberts is the founder of the Texas Freedom Colonies Project, and a leader in advocating for the Freedman’s Towns of East Texas. For the full roster of speakers and the event schedule please visitour Symposium page.