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Alexia Williams, UIUC: Black Patroness of the Rockies

Thursday, February 22
2:00 PM
1060 HBLL

Black Patroness of the Rockies: The Life & Legacy of Julia Greeley, Black Catholic on the Path to Sainthood

This lecture explores the life and legacy of Servant of God, Julia Greeley, a candidate for sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church. As a formerly enslaved woman and Missouri native, Greeley joined thousands of freedmen who left the South to migrate westward in the aftermath of the Civil War. In the 1880s, she rose to prominence for her charitable work among Denver’s impoverished families and firefighters. Professor Williams contextualizes Greeley’s life story within the history of race and Catholicism in the Old West.

Dr. Alexia Williams

Alexia Williams is an Assistant Professor of Religion and African American Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research explores entanglements between race and religion in North America, with a focus on Afro-diasporic religions and the Roman Catholic Church. In her current book project, “Race to Sainthood: Roman Catholicism & the U.S. Racial Imagination,” Williams explores the racial discourses and aesthetic practices inspired by African American candidates for canonization in the Roman Catholic Church. Alexia’s work has been generously supported by the UNCF Mellon Mays Program, the Ford Foundation, the Louisville Institute, and the John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics.

Students in the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences gain Experience Points for attending this lecture. Learn more about Experience Points.