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CelticMKE Symposium 2021

presented by Associated Bank

Associated Bank CelticMKE


January 16, 2021


12:00 pm Central - 4:30 pm Central

How to Watch:

CelticMKE YouTube Channel





Additional Presentation: Chuck Ward Memorial Lecture | January 14, 2021
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with a special segment from Nettie Washington Douglass as well as the African American Irish Network Diaspora

 12:00pm CT  Opening Remarks  Irish Consulate General of Chicago, Kevin Byrne  
   Ten Abolitionists Who Visited Ireland  Dr. Christine Kinealy
 Based on her latest book, Dr. Christine Kinealy tells the stories   of ten of the amazing abolitionists who came to Ireland; The   presentation will be moderated by Dennis Brownlee
   Leaving Home in Search for a Better   Life  Gerard Moran and Robert Smith
 Forced to leave the only lives they knew, Gerard Moran tells the   story of Irish emigration and Robert Smith explains the Great Migration
   Equal Rights Heroes  David Greenberg and Tim McMahon
 The lives of John Lewis and John Hume, devotees of Martin   Luther King Jr. are explored by David Greenberg and Tim   McMahon
   Two Roads Diverged: Irish and African   American Common Grounds through   Music, Dance, & Humor  Leni Sloan and Mick Moloney
 Leni Sloan and Mick Moloney provide insights into the complex   relationships between African and Irish Music in America; The   presentation will be moderated by Barry Stapleton


Thursday, January 14 Chuck Ward Memorial Lecture

In addition to the January 16 Virtual Symposium, CelticMKE and the UWM Center for Celtic Studies proudly present their annual Chuck Ward Memorial Lecture. The lecture will premiere on January 14 at 7:00 pm Central on our YouTube channel and will be available to watch for free.

 Opening Remarks
 Irish Consulate General of Chicago, Kevin Byrne
 Frederick Douglass and His Songs of Resistance
 Dr. Christine Kinealy explores a little known fact about Frederick Douglass - his love of music



A message from our friends at Associated Bank

"Here. It’s where you belong. It’s the experiences you share. It’s what you take pride in. Simply put, here is community. At Associated Bank, we’re rooted in the Midwest, too."

Learn More about the Presenters

Gerard Moran

Gerard Moran is an emeritus researcher at the Social Science Research Centre at NUI Galway and has lectured in the History Department at NUI Galway and Maynooth University. His research interests include the Irish diaspora and emigration, and he has published extensively on 19th-century Ireland, including Sending Out Ireland’s Poor: Assisted Emigration to North America in the Nineteenth Century (Dublin, Four Courts Press, 2004), Fleeing from Famine in Connemara: James Hack Tuke and his Assisted Emigration Scheme in the 1880s (Dublin, Four Courts Press, 2018) and joint editor of Mayo: History and Society (Dublin, Geography Publication, 2015) and Famines in Ireland before and after the Great Hunger (Hamden: Quinnipiac University Press, 2010).

Robert Smith

Dr. Robert S. Smith is the Harry G. John Professor of History and the Director of the Center for Urban Research, Teaching & Outreach at Marquette University. His research and teaching interests include African American history, civil rights history, and exploring the intersections of race and law. Dr. Smith is the author of Race, Labor & Civil Rights; Griggs v. Duke Power and the Struggle for Equal Employment Opportunity. Prior to joining Marquette University, Dr. Smith served as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Global Inclusion & Engagement and Director of the Cultures & Communities Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Smith also volunteers as the resident historian for America’s Black Holocaust Museum in Milwaukee, WI. 

David Greenberg

David Greenberg is a professor of History and of Journalism & Media Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, and a frequent commentator in the national news media on contemporary politics and public affairs. He specializes in American political and cultural history. His most recent book, Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency (W.W. Norton, 2016) examines the rise of the White House spin machine, from the Progressive Era to the present day, and the debates that Americans have waged over its implications for democracy.

Prof. Greenberg’s first book, Nixon’s Shadow: The History of an Image (W.W. Norton, 2003) won the Washington Monthly Annual Political Book Award, the American Journalism History Award, and Columbia University’s Bancroft Dissertation Award. Calvin Coolidge (Henry Holt), a biography for the American Presidents Series, was published in December 2006 and appeared on the Washington Post’s list of best books of 2007. Presidential Doodles (Basic Books, 2006) was widely reviewed and featured on CNN, NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and CBS’s “Sunday Morning.”

Formerly a full-time journalist, Prof. Greenberg is now a contributing editor to Politico Magazine, where he writes a regular column. He previously served as managing editor and acting editor of The New Republic, where he was a contributing editor until the magazine’s death-in-all-but-name in 2014. Early in his career, he was the assistant to author Bob Woodward on The Agenda: Inside the Clinton White House (Simon & Schuster, 1994). He has also been a regular contributor to Slate since its founding and has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Daedalus, Dissent, Raritan, and many other scholarly and popular publications.

His awards and honors include the Hiett Prize in 2008, given each year to a single junior scholar in the humanities whose work has had a public influence; a fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; and the Rutgers University Board of Trustees Research Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence. He graduated from Yale, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and earned his PhD from Columbia. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, Suzanne Nossel, and their children, Leo and Liza.

Tim McMahon

Timothy G. McMahon is an associate professor of history at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the Past President of the American Conference for Irish Studies. Tim is a social historian with interests in nationalism and national identity, popular culture (especially popular religion), and Empire. He is the author of Grand Opportunity: The Gaelic Revival and Irish Society, 1893-1910 (2008) and editor of Pádraig Ó Fathaigh’s War of Independence: Recollections of a Galway Gaelic Leaguer (2000) and (with Michael de Nie and Paul Townend) of Ireland in an Imperial World: Citizenship, Opportunism, and Subversion (2017).  Tim was named the Rev. William Neenan, S.J., Visiting Fellow at Boston College-Ireland in 2011; received a Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society in 2017; and was Visiting Research Professor at the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen’s University, Belfast, in the spring of 2018. Also in 2018, he received the Way Klingler Fellowship in the Humanities and Social Sciences from Marquette, a three-year award, to facilitate work on his current book project about the impact of Irish partition on identities across the island.

Christine Kinealy

Since completing her PhD at Trinity College in Dublin, Christine Kinealy has worked in educational and research institutes in Ireland, England and, more recently, in the U.S.  In September 2013, Professor Kinealy was appointed the founding Director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. Professor Kinealy has published extensively on modern Ireland, her books include This Great Calamity. The Great Famine in Ireland (1995 and 2007), Frederick Douglass and Ireland. In his own words (2018) and Black Abolitionists in Ireland (2020). In 2017, she received an Emmy for her contribution to the documentary, “The Great Hunger and the Irish Diaspora.”

Leni Sloan

Lenwood (Leni) Sloan serves as Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Monument Project which preserves, conserves, and rededicates historic and cultural monuments throughout the state. In that capacity, he is spearheading the placement of the first monument dedicated to the 15th and 19th amendments in the United States at Pennsylvania’s Capitol. 

He serves as Pennsylvania Governor Wolf’s appointee to the Commonwealth Capitol Preservation Committee (CPC). In addition, he is a board member for The African American Irish Diaspora Network (AAIDN), the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAFA, the Pennsylvania Downtown Association (PDA), the Lancaster (Pa.) Heritage Society (LHS), and the Lancaster (Pa.) Public Arts Program. (LPAP) 

His artistic credits include creating the “Art in the Marketplace” programs for the Rouse Corporation in New Orleans, St. Louis, Boston, and Baltimore. In addition, he participated on the artistic team for five national public television documentaries, Treme- Untold Story, Emmy award winning Ethnic Notions, Stephen Foster, the internationally acclaimed Re-imaging Ireland, and the Emmy award winning Dance Black America. 

American audiences have enjoyed multiple works created by Leni. Sloan including national tours of 13 lessons, a play about adult literacy. Vo-du MacBeth voted one of the 10 best plays of the new south, The Creole Mass commissioned for the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, Her Talking Drums and Williams and Walker for off Broadway’s American Place Theater, Sweet Saturday Night for Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the internationally acclaimed The Wake which received the San Francisco Drama Critics award before touring Berlin Fest, Adelaide Festival, Holland's Festival International and 20 cities in the U.S. 

For the past 30 years, he has collaborated with the renowned Mick Maloney presenting programs, concerts and masterclasses on the convergence, contributions, and conflicts of Black and Irish experiences in the United States. Their collaboration has taken the pair from New York to San Francisco and Cuba to Limerick, Ireland.

Mick Moloney 

Mick Moloney is the author of “Far From the Shamrock Shore: The Story of Irish American History through Song” released by Crown Publications in February of 2002 with an accompanying CD on Shanachie Records. He holds a PH.D in folklore and folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. He has taught ethnomusicology, folklore and Irish studies courses at the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown, and Villanova Universities, and currently teaches at New York University in the Irish Studies program.

He has recorded and produced over forty albums of traditional music and acted as advisor for scores of festivals and concerts all over America. Mick also served as the artistic director for several major arts tours including The Green Fields of America, an ensemble of Irish musicians, singers and dancers which toured across the United States on several occasions.

He has hosted three nationally syndicated series of folk music on American Public Television; was a consultant, performer and interviewee on the Irish Television special “Bringing It All Back Home”; a participant, consultant and music arranger of the PBS documentary film “Out of Ireland”; and a performer on the PBS special “The Irish in America: Long Journey Home.” In 1999 he was awarded the National Heritage Award from the National Endowment for the Arts — the highest official honor a traditional artist can receive in the United States. Mick received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award from the President of Ireland in November of 2013.

Dennis Brownlee

Dennis J. Brownlee is the founder and president of African American Irish Diaspora Network. He became connected with Ireland after he began researching his family ancestry in recent years, following up on information his mother shared with him in his youth about his Scots-Irish ancestry in addition to his African American identity.

Dennis has had an extensive career as an entrepreneur and business development executive in media and entertainment. He was vice president at iHeartMedia in charge of syndicated urban radio and online networks including The Steve Harvey Morning Show, among others. Prior to that, he developed a cable TV network with Quincy Jones and David Falk that led to the launch of TVOne. He was a vice president and board member of United Stated Satellite Broadcasting Company, which launched the nation’s first satellite-to-home television broadcasting system in partnership with DirecTV, and he served as chairman of the Direct Broadcast Satellite Association.

Dennis is an Emmy Award winning executive producer of the documentary On Hallowed Ground: Streetball Champions of Rucker Park. He began his career in IT with IBM, and then developed an IT management firm that became one of Black Enterprise Magazine’s top 100 companies.

Dennis received his AB degree in economics from Princeton University. He is a trustee emeritus of Princeton and a trustee emeritus of Deerfield Academy.

Presenting Partner

Associated Bank CelticMKE  Associated Bank CelticMKE

Collaborators and Partners
African American Irish Diaspora Network - CelticMKE Partner    UWM Center Celtic Studies   Wisconsin Arts Board

This virtual program is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.


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