Logo Aya Symposium.png
Virtual on Thursday,
July 22, 2021
For Texas Educators, Historians & History Enthusiasts!

Texas Educators receive 7 CPEs for attending the Symposium!
The Aya Symposium is organized by Clay History and Education Services, Inc. Visit our YouTube Channel for curated video content. 
2021 Theme
The Black Family:
Representation, Identity, and Diversity


The Aya Symposium, whose overarching purpose is to serve as a vehicle for the “multidisciplinary exploration of Texas Freedom Colonies,” looks to the 2021 theme of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History for its 2021 focus.

“The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity” is apt for 2021, as Black Americans reflect on our country’s 2020 headlines – the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, the summer of protests against police brutality, the fall election season – and our 2021 responses to those events.

One hundred years ago, most Texas Freedom Colonies were between 10 and 50 years old with their founding families playing active roles in their responses to similar national events – the “Spanish Flu” pandemic (1918-1920), “Red Summer” (1919) and the racist, “America First” policies of President Woodrow Wilson.

Through this theme, the 2021 Aya Symposium proposes to explore African-American/Texas Freedom Colony family and community solutions to these contemporary concerns – both one hundred years ago, and today.



Subscribe for Updates



Sharon Batiste Gillins

2021 Keynote Speaker

Sharon Gillins.jpg

Gillins' research & teaching emphasize underutilized record sources that can be used to discover details of Southern life & ancestry during the 19th century, including that of planter slave owners, enslaved people & free people. 


Instructor, Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research, and the Alabama State Univ. Genealogy Colloquium


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube