Press Release


The Illinois Humanities Council presents a program in its statewide 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 genetic 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 discuss what we learn about family history through genealogy and genetic testing.

“Where Did You Come From? Genetics and Genealogy” will take place on Thursday, September 13 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Rockford Public Library, Main Branch (215 North Wyman Street, Rockford, IL).

This event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. To make reservations or for more information, contact the Rockford Public Library at 815.965.7606 (option 5) or register online at

The panelists for “Where Did You Come From?” are: Ronne Hartfield, poet, arts administrator, and author of Another Way Home: The Tangled Roots of Race in One Chicago Family; Sloan Williams, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Anthropology Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago; and Creola A. Colón, author, public speaker, and member of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society and the Advisory Committee of the Rockford Register Star (moderator).

“Where Did You Come From? Genetics and Genealogy” is presented in partnership with the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society-Northern Illinois Southern Wisconsin Chapter (AAHGS-NISW) and the Rockford Public Library.

“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, Rockford, 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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