Reckoning with Organizational History featuring Provost Ben Vinson III

On June 14, 2021, Provost and Executive Vice President Ben Vinson III joined the American Academy of Arts & Sciences for a special event titled Reckoning with Organizational History

Over the last few years, organizations across the United States—including corporations, universities, and nonprofits like the American Academy of Arts & Sciences—have begun to reflect on their ties to slavery, Native genocide, and other troubling elements of American history. This program looked at why historical self-examination matters and what can be gained from studies of the past. Leaders from a diverse group of institutions discussed the reckoning process, best practices that other organizations can use, and how this work can create opportunities for a better future.

The discussion highlighted Telling Our Nation’s Story, one of 31 recommendations in Our Common Purpose, the final report from the American Academy’s Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship. This recommendation encourages honest conversations that bridge divides and help develop new narratives that incorporate all aspects of our history.

View the Recording


Keynote Speaker

  • Claudia Rankine, Poet, Playwright, Writer, Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry; Professor of African-American Studies; Yale University



  • Ben Vinson III, Provost and Executive Vice President, Case Western Reserve University


About the American Academy of Arts and Science

The Academy is both an honorary society that recognizes and celebrates the excellence of its members and an independent research center convening leaders from across disciplines, professions, and perspectives to address significant challenges.

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