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Museum event explores slavery and freedom through a Jewish lens

News Article

Winnipeg – April 13, 2017 – As people of the Jewish faith celebrate their own liberation from slavery during Passover, a special event at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) this weekend examines their complex experiences in the United States during the era when African Americans were enslaved. This free public event will feature drama, discussion and a keynote address by one of America’s foremost experts on slavery, race relations, and the law.

Dr. Paul Finkelman will explore the history of Jewish people in the southern United States before and during the American Civil War (1861-1865), including their relationship to slavery, experience of religious tolerance and the path to freedom. Finkelman is one of America’s foremost experts in constitutional law, American legal history, slavery, race relations and the law, African American history, and the American Civil War. (See more below.)

Actors from the Winnipeg Jewish Theatre (WJT) will also perform an excerpt from their upcoming production of The Whipping Man, which opens May 6. The play’s plot revolves around a Jewish Confederate soldier in the Civil War who returns injured to his home and freed slaves. The event will also include a panel discussion led by Finkelman, director Ari Weinberg and actor Ray Strachan.

WHAT: “Exodus from Slavery” event
WHEN: Saturday, April 15, 2017, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
WHERE: Manitoba Teachers’ Society Classrooms at the CMHR
85 Israel Asper Way
Media access through Group Entrance

Legal historian Paul Finkelman has lectured in Canada, the U.S., Europe, Asia, and at the United Nations on slavery and human trafficking. He has been involved in a number of high profile legal cases. He served as an expert witness against Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore in Glassroth v. Moore (Al. 2002), the "Ten Commandments" case. He was an expert witness for the plaintiff in Popov v. Hayashi (S.F. Sup. Ct. CA, 2002) to determine who owned Barry Bonds' 73rd home run ball. Professor Finkelman has also been part of amicus curie briefs for cases related to Guantanamo Bay detainment camp, gay marriage in New York State, affirmative action, and separation of church and state. In 2013, he was the lead named amici in briefs before the Supreme Court involving affirmative action (Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action) and prayer delivered at public meetings (Galloway v. Town of Greece). His legal scholarship has been cited in four U.S. Supreme Court decisions. He is currently the John E. Murray Visiting Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Last year, he was the Ariel F. Sallows Visiting Professor of Human Rights at the University of Saskatchewan.

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For more information, please contact:                 
Maureen Fitzhenry
CMHR media relations manager
(204) 289-2112
Cell: (204) 782-8442
maureen.fitzhenry@humanrights.ca