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Biodiversity Blog


Commemorating Black Agency at UT

Sweatt v. Painter Site Activation Invitation

Friday, September 15 from 2:30 to 4pm is a gathering event at the Gearing Hall Patio to celebrate the "Breaking Barriers: Black Agency at UT Austin" site activation for the Sweatt v. Painter Commemorative Project. The site activation is a temporary art installation that will take place on the north lawns of T.S. Painter Hall along 24th Street from September 11-22. It will feature 12 chloroplast cutout images of some of the key protagonists who preceded and participated in the Sweatt v. Painter Supreme Court case to uplift their stories and the role they played in helping to integrate UT Austin. Each cutout will have a unique QR code that links to additional information about the person featured on the cutout and how that person is connected to the overall history and narrative of the Sweatt v. Painter case.

Among those honored at this event are two early Black UT graduates in Zoology: Oscar Leonard Thompson (UT's first Black graduate) and Dr. Exalton Delco, (UT's first Black Ph.D. in Zoology). He did his work in the late 1950s, studied with Dr. Clark Hubbs who is considered to be one of Texas’ foremost researchers in ichthyology. Dr. Delco received his Ph.D. in 1962. An article about his life and his research is included in the IB History Project and can be read here: https://integrativebio.utexas.edu/about/history/exalton-delco

This site activation and gathering event will also be an opportunity to learn more about the Sweatt v. Painter Commemorative Project, the Contextualization & Commemoration Initiatives (CCI), and how you can get more involved.

Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP here.

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