Panel Discussion, Partner Event, Online Video     

Resisting Cultural Erasure in America

Ethnocide, a word first coined in 1944 by Jewish exile Raphael Lemkin (who also coined the term “genocide”), describes the systemic erasure of a people’s ancestral culture. Just as the concept of genocide radically reshaped our perception of human rights in the twentieth century, reframing discussions about race and culture in terms of ethnocide can change the way we understand our diverse and rapidly evolving racial and political climate today.

Join us for a conversation with author Barrett Holmes Pitner and historian Jennifer Fang on ethnocide in America and its particular effects on Black and Chinese Americans, who have endured that erasure for generations. Pitner and Fang will discuss the personal lived consequences of existing within an ongoing erasure — and how to combat it. This program is part of Rising Up for Human Dignity, a free series of events in April for Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month.

Ability Accommodation Information

This event provides the following accommodations:

  • Hearing-impaired
  • Handicap Accessible

Jennifer Fang is the Director of Interpretation and Community Engagement at Pittock Mansion and an adjunct professor of history at the University of Portland. She earned a Ph.D. in U.S. history from the University of Delaware with a specialization in race and immigration during the Cold War. She was a founding staff member of the Portland Chinatown Museum and served as the Director of Education at the Japanese American Museum of Oregon. Along with Chelsea Rose, she guest co-edited of the Winter 2021 special issue of the Oregon Historical Quarterly about Oregon’s early Chinese diaspora. 

Jennifer Fang

Barrett Holmes Pitner is the founder and Philosopher-in-Chief of The Sustainable Culture Lab. He is a contributing writer for The Daily Beast and the BBC and a lecturer at the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. His book The Crime Without A Name: Ethnocide and the Erasure of Culture in America, released in October 2021, was named by NPR as one of its top books of the year. He has a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Furman University.

Barrett Holmes Pitner

About Rising Up for Human Dignity: Resisting Cultural Erasure

In the face of cultural erasure, what can a community do to ensure the survival of its core identity? What are the shared responsibilities of the greater community? Join community partners for a series of events, in honor of Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month, exploring historical attempts at erasure of various communities’ ancestral cultures, the lived consequences of existing within ongoing erasure, and the radical resilience communities are exhibiting to not only secure survival but to thrive.