Jon Key, The 1619 Project

This event brings together two path-forging creatives for a conversation about race and representation in the current moment. Taylor Shaw is a writer, producer and founder of Black Women Animate, a studio dedicated to cultivating talented women of color and other underrepresented people in the entertainment industry. Jon Key is an illustrator, designer and fine artist whose work across different media addresses themes including Southerness, Blackness, Queerness and Family. He also contributed illustrations to the original 1619 Project publication. After Taylor and Jon introduce us to the work they do, the heart of the event will be a lively conversation about passion, identity and experience in creative industries, with a focus on how Taylor and Jon use their voices to contribute to the narratives they’re helping to tell. We will welcome questions from the audience and provide a syllabus of resources related to the event.


 Jon Key, Illustrator for 1619 Project
 Taylor K. Shaw, Founder of Black Women Animate

In conversation with:
 Keith Murphy (Anthropology)
 Ella Turenne (Visual Studies)
Respondent and Discussion Facilitator:
 Desha Dauchan (Film and Media Studies)

Suggested Readings and Art Work:

• Poem by Clint Smith, Art Work by Jon Key, pp. 28-29
• Writing by Eve L. Ewing and Reginald Dwayne Betts, pp. 42-43
• Essay by Barry Jenkins and Jesmyn Ward, 1619 Project, Art Work by Jon Key, pp. 46-47
• Poem by Tyehimba Jess, Darryl Pinckney and ZZ Packer, Art Work by Jon Key, pp. 58-59
• Essay by Yaa Gyasi and Jacqueline Woodson, Art Work by Jon Key, pp. 68-69
• Writings by Rita Dove, Camille T. Dungy, and Joshua Bennett, Art Work by Jon Key, pp. 78-79
• Writing by Lynn Nottage, Kiese Laymon, and Clint Smith, and Art Work by Jon Key, pp. 84-85
To read the 1619 Project, see:  (
To access the podcasts, see: (
To participate in The 1619 Project in 2020: Student Showcase (one minute reflection videos eligible for gift card drawings), see:

The 1619 Project in 2020 #UCI1619Project

The 1619 Project, published by the New York Times, retells the history of the U.S. by foregrounding the arrival 401 years ago of enslaved Africans to Virginia. Through a series of essays, photos, and podcasts, the 1619 Project charts the impact of slavery on the country’s founding principles, economy, health care system, racial segregation of neighborhoods and schools, popular music and visual representations. Conversations around the 1619 project have served as a flashpoint for intensive ideological debates about its content and impact. It has been both widely lauded and subjected to critiques from academics, journalists, pundits and policymakers who challenge its accuracy and its interpretation of history. Conservative politicians even seek to defund schools that teach the project. What is the power of the 1619 Project to reframe our understanding of U.S. history and our contemporary society? How might we go beyond the 1619 Project to develop an even fuller understanding of the centrality of slavery and race in the U.S. and in the broader Atlantic world?  Join us for month plus exploration of The 1619 Project, which culminates in the visit of Nikole Hannah-Jones, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of the project.

The 1619 Project series is presented by UCI Humanities Center and is co-sponsored by: UCI Illuminations: The Chancellor’s Arts & Culture Initiative, UCI Black Thriving Initiative, School of Humanities, Claire Trevor School of the Arts, School of Education, School of Law, School of Social Ecology, School of Social Sciences, UCI Libraries, Academic English, Composition Program, Center for Latin American Studies, Center on Law, Equality, and Race, Center for Medical Humanities, International Center for Writing and Translation, Literary Journalism and Center for Storytelling, Office of Inclusive Excellence, Student Affairs, Staff Assembly, AAPI Womxn in Leadership and Academic and Professional Women of UCI.


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