Press Release


The Illinois Humanities Council presents the tenth program in its series: “Future Perfect: Conversations on the Meaning of the Genetics Revolution.”

CHICAGO – Genetic tests that may shed light on ethnic ancestry are becoming increasingly popular. What can genetics teach us about our ancestors? Can genealogy help us recognize common ancestors and create connections between racial and ethnic groups? How do we pass down membership in a group—through genes or culture? Panelists will discuss these questions and share the results of their genetic and genealogical research into their African-American history.

“Where Did You Come From? Genetics and Genealogy” will take place on Thursday, June 28 from 6:00 – 7:30 P.M. at the Newberry Library, (60 W. Walton St., Chicago).

This event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. To make reservations or for more information, contact the IHC at 312.422.5580, send an email to, or visit

The panelists for “Where Did You Come From?” are: Dr. Rick Kittles, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Chicago, Department of Medicine; Ronne Hartfield, poet, arts administrator, and author of Another Way Home: The Tangled Roots of Race in One Chicago Family; and Christopher Rabb, social commentator, consultant, and Genealogist.

Tony Burroughs, Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association (FUGA), Genealogist, and author of Black Roots: A Beginners Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree,will moderate the discussion.

“Where Did You Come From? Genetics and Genealogy” is presented in partnership with the Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society, the American Medical Association, the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture at the University of Chicago, the DuSable Museum of African American History, The HistoryMakers, The Newberry Library, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.

“Where Did You Come From?” is part of the Illinois Humanities Council’s year-long series, “Future Perfect: Conversations on the Meaning of the Genetics Revolution.” Programs are taking place around the state — in Carbondale, Chicago, Decatur, Lewistown, Peoria, and Springfield — to increase public knowledge of genetics by engaging Illinoisans in conversations about the genetics revolution and its impact on the individual and on society. Programs feature scholars, scientists, ethicists, artists, medical professionals, and philosophers as guest speakers. For the most recent calendar of events or for more information, please visit

“Future Perfect” is funded in part by generous grants from the Motorola Foundation and The Boeing Company. Chicago Public Radio (WBEZ 91.5) and Illinois Channel are media sponsors for “Future Perfect.

The Illinois Humanities Council is an educational organization dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. Through its programs and grants, the IHC promotes greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. Organized as a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1973, the IHC is now a private nonprofit (501 [c] 3) organization that is funded by contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations; by the Illinois General Assembly; and by the NEH.


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