The 1619 Project conveys the legacy of slavery


lance lagoni

Professor Clark Anson-Hallpike opens the MAGIC initiative’s presentation of the 1619 Project.

Bryan Zbojna, Staff Writer

Clark Hallpike wants to give Elgin Community College students the opportunity to interact with a diverse group of students before they graduate.  

“My passion is to help our students to be culturally competent when they graduate,” Hallpike, the coach of MAGIC, said.

Short for Multicultural And Global Initiatives Committee, MAGIC focuses on diversity, equity and inclusion, trying to bring up topical issues that help students understand and appreciate cultural competence. 

Hallpike says that MAGIC wants their events to be informative, interesting and inspiring. 

“We want students to feel inspired and to feel ‘I want to do something about this’,” Hallpike said. “I believe that MAGIC is vital because not all education happens in the classroom.”

Nearly 250 students and faculty attended The 1619 Project in the Spartan Auditorium to hear and learn about how slavery’s legacy is still embedded in United States’ systems today. 

Hosted by MAGIC, The 1619 Project saw speakers talk about how slavery impacts people to this day, specifically in education, employment, housing and politics. The speakers that participated in the event used statistics, factual data, history and even a short play to show students the legacy of slavery.

The event started with an audience-wide Kahoot game, which had students answer questions found on literacy tests given to African Americans to earn their eligibility to vote. Not a single person got them all right. 

“That means that no one in this auditorium is eligible to vote based upon the test,” said Hallpike. 

The event struck a chord with many of the audience members. 

“Listening to each speaker give different information on the history and impact of slavery helped me understand and realize that slavery’s legacy is still seen to this day,” said second-year ECC student Sierra Schaaf. “This event was a great experience for me and I enjoyed having the opportunity to learn and think about slavery from a different perspective.” 

MAGIC is hoping to hold more events in the future that will benefit ECC students and expose them to topical issues and promote diversity, equity and inclusion.