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National Geographic Archeologist Alicia Odewale to speak at LMC Mendel Center

National Geographic Live, National Geographic’s touring speaker series that brings to life the awe-inspiring and remarkable stories of National Geographic Explorers, and the Lake Michigan College Mendel Center in Benton Harbor present “Greenwood: A Century of Resilience” with archaeologist Dr. Alicia Odewale. The event is scheduled for 7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 10.  

A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, archaeologist Odewale is uncovering stories of resilience in the 100 years since the attack on Black Wall Street in the city’s historic Greenwood district. Considered one of the worst episodes of racial violence committed against Black people in American history, the Tulsa Race Massacre left a devastating toll on generations of survivors and their descendants and impacted the very footprint of the district itself. 

In support of her new research project, “Mapping Historical Trauma in Tulsa from 1921-2021,” Odewale has been re-examining historical and archaeological evidence of the period – focusing not on the attack itself but instead on the community’s trauma and triumph in its aftermath.  

From documenting the personal stories of Greenwood’s residents to mapping the evidence of their resilience, Odewale’s work illuminates a new perspective on the impact of racism and racial violence in America through the lens of a community that continues to survive against all odds. Join her to discover how archaeology can be used to recover lost stories, reclaim a narrative, and pursue restorative justice. 

Odewale’s engaging, one-of-a-kind presentation is part of National Geographic Live’s amazing collection of events happening throughout the United States and abroad. National Geographic’s broad roster of talent, including renowned photographers, scientists, authors, filmmakers, and adventurers, share their behind-the-scenes stories from the front lines of exploration alongside stunning imagery and gripping footage. 

Reserved seating tickets starting at $30 for National Geographic Live: Alicia Odewale “Greenwood: A Century of Resilience” are on sale now at, by calling 269-927-8700, option 1, or by visiting The Mendel Center Box Office in person. The box office, located in the Grand Upton Hall Lobby, is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and one hour before events. The box office is accessible via parking lot 3 off Yore Ave. 

For more information on National Geographic Live and other National Geographic events, visit  

This event is part of the Mendel Center’s Discovery Series. It is locally funded in part by the Gast Young People’s Performance Endowment and supported by the Michigan Arts & Culture Council. 

National Geographic Archeologist Alicia Odewale

Alicia Odewale

Media Contact

Jeremy D. Bonfiglio
Marketing & Communications Specialist
Lake Michigan College
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