Conference this week in Louisville commemorates 400th anniversar - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Conference this week in Louisville commemorates 400th anniversary of slavery in America

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A week-long conference in Louisville will commemorate the anniversary of slavery in America.

The Angela Project Conference is being hosted this week by Historic Simmons College of Kentucky, The National Baptist Convention of America, International, Inc. and several other religious organizations.

The focus of the conference is bridging the education and wealth gap between blacks and whites and righting some of the wrongs of slavery in America.

Slavery began in America in 1619 when the first African slaves arrived in Jamestown, Virginia. For the next 240-plus years, blacks helped build America with little or no reward or compensation.

"It is still relevant today," said Rev. Lynn Burten, who is attending the conference.

Burten is a social worker and one of several hundred people attending the conference at the the Galt House this week. The Angela Conference highlights the effects of slavery.

"There are places I still can't go," Burten said. "Or if I go, I am looked down upon."

The Angela Project Conference is a three-year movement commemorating the 400th anniversary of black enslavement in America.

"Today, the purpose is to focus on the crisis in public policy in education for African-American folk," said Chris Sanders, Coordinator of Empower West.

Empower West is a coalition of local pastors and churches working to maximize the potential of people in west Louisville. Sanders said the week-long conference includes speakers with ideas on how to make that happen. 

"Folks who are talking about the racial wealth gap, folks who are talking about the difficulty in public education, people who are going to be talking about the power of historically black colleges," he said.

Simmons and Kentucky State University are the only two historically black colleges in the state.

"Injustices from this 400-year painful history requires that both Christians and people of good will take some bold steps to set a new trajectory," said Dr. Lewis Brogdon, Provost at Simmons College of Kentucky.

The conference wraps up on Friday and moves to Philadelphia next year.

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