History and Reconstruction Panel Discussion and Johnson House Preservation Tour

20 Jun 2015
1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Germantown Mennonite Historic Trust, 6133 Germantown Avenue


Johnson House Historic Site. Image courtesy of Hidden City Philadelphia.

The Johnson House Historic Site will host a History and Reconstruction panel discussion between Phillip Seitz, William Goldsby (Chair, Reconstruction, Inc.), and two participants of Reconstruction Inc.'s Alumni Ex-Offenders Association members. Guests will also be able to tour the Johnson House basement to view recent Center-supported preservation work.

Supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, History and Reconstruction pairs formerly incarcerated African American individuals and at-risk youth with public historian Phillip Seitz and a team of professional historians and psychologists. All parties attend workshops that address the history and legacy of race and racism in American culture, in an effort to enhance participants' capacity for self-determination, and to build their self-confidence through learning. The participants are trained in storytelling techniques and share their personal experiences at public events in schools, youth detention centers, churches, and other venues, thereby demonstrating how, in the project team's words, "history is a current event."

The panel discussion will take place at 1:00 p.m. on June 20, 2015 at the Germantown Mennonite Historic Trust, 6133 Germantown Avenue. Panelists include two participants of Reconstruction Inc.'s Alumni Ex-Offenders Association members, Atiba Kwesi and Deion F. Morrison, as well as William Goldsby and Phillip Seitz.

Visitors can also travel a short distance to the Johnson House Historic Site to learn about recent preservation efforts, supported by the Center in 2013, and to see the work of Christopher Keyser, colonial master builder. Tours will be guided by Joseph McCarthy, AIA, and restoration project manager, Phillip Seitz. Bring a flashlight, as the basement can be very dark.