A special Constitution Day event will be held at OU-Chillicothe’s Bennett Hall Auditorium on Friday, September 17th. The free event runs between 10:30am to noon and can be attended in-person or by Virtual Live Streaming on Microsoft Teams: https://bit.ly/3hilIOc
Dr. John O’Keefe will lead the session, along with special guest speakers.
The guest speakers will be Patricia Vegas (Pro Bono Coordinator) and Joshua Goodwin (Managing Attorney) from Southeastern Ohio Legal Services. Their lecture will be “Access to Justice in your Community”.
O’Keefe is an associate professor of history at Ohio University-Chillicothe and received his Ph.D. from George Washington University. He is the author of Stranger Citizens: Migrant Influence and National Power in the Early American Republic (Cornell University Press, 2021.)
His work focuses on the role of migrants in the United States and shaping of the rights of citizenship, and their intersections with racial and national identity. He has written articles on U.S. Diplomatic History for the web site of the Office of the Historian at the U.S. Department of State. He has also worked on an exhibition, HIV and AIDS 30 Years Ago at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, which was on exhibition in 2011..
(Chillicothe) — Ohio University Chillicothe is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year with an Open House Celebration, Saturday, October 2nd from 10am to 2pm. This will be a free event and open to the public. Planned festivities include the “Back to the Future” DeLorean car, the Mighty Children’s Museum demonstration, Petland pets, the Chillicothe High School Marching Band, a gallery exhibit, a food truck, cake cutting and hayrides.
Bennett Hall, dedicated in 1966, will provide the backdrop for this special event. With its massive brick façade and grand white columns, Bennett reminds many of the courthouse depicted in the fictional town of Hill Valley in the “Back to the Future” trilogy. The DeLorean will be on display as a photo prop from 10:30am to 11:30am.
“We like to think of ourselves as an institution that is closely tied to the needs of the surrounding community,” said Dr. Milliken. “In serving these, we contribute to well-being and vibrancy of the Chillicothe and the region.”
OHIO Chillicothe’s 75th Anniversary Open House Celebration is a time of reflection and a way to thank the community for their continued support. Area businesses and public involvement helped to create and sustain a vibrant campus community. This spirit of cooperation is the cornerstone behind the campus situated atop Carlisle Hill.
“The rich history of partnership Ohio University Chillicothe has enjoyed over the years with the surrounding community is a testament to the wonderful people who live and work in Ross County,” said Dr. Roberta Milliken, dean of campus and community relations of OHIO Chillicothe. “We are truly fortunate to live in an area that clearly understands and values the opportunities that education can provide.”
Mike Throne, CEO of The Ross County Chamber of Commerce, echoes this sentiment. “Ohio University Chillicothe’s impact on Ross County comes in the campus’ amazing ability to maintain partnerships. OUC not only builds, but sustains, partnerships with community organizations to help Chillicothe become a thriving community, but also works hard to find educational partners that will create future leaders in our community! From offering its faculty and staff with expertise in specific areas to students who give their time and ideas, OUC has helped us find some of the best solutions to our opportunities.”
In addition to education and training, OHIO Chillicothe’s faculty and staff are committed to mentoring future leaders and public servants in a quest to give back to cities surrounding Appalachia.
“Ohio University Chillicothe’s mission is inextricably tied to the region that we serve. It has been our privilege to collaborate with our community partners to provide much needed high-quality, affordable educational opportunities to residents,” said Dean Milliken. “We look forward to continuing the partnerships with the community we have enjoyed for many years–and forming new ones. These collaborations are mutually beneficial to ensuring our region’s general health, vitality, and endurance.”
For up-to-date information on all events at OHIO Chillicothe, visit ohio.edu/chillicothe and follow the campus on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Ohio Congressman Brad Wenstrup visited the Ross County Health District COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at the Ohio University Chillicothe Shoemaker Center on Tuesday..
The 2nd district congressman, who is also a U.S. Army Reserve officer and Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, thanked nurses and members of the Ross County Health District who are working the clinics.
“At a local level, we’re getting it done and should all be pleased with the results we’re seeing in the number of people coming out to get the vaccine and volunteers helping their community with it,” Wenstrup said. “We adapt and overcome, and it’s been great to see so many people in our district step up and get this done. I think it’s good for every American to get vaccinated if they can, if they’re medically able, it’ll benefit the whole country and community as far as our health.”
“As I’ve visited vaccine clinics, what I’ve noticed is that every location has its own unique quality that fits its community,” Wenstrup added. “I’ve visited clinics like this located in partnering facilities, to vaccine clinics in fairgrounds, each of them representing their community in its own way.”
Approximately 6,000 people have been vaccinated at the Shoemaker Center site since February 1st. Ross County has administered 19,182 total vaccines as of March 29th, which is 25% of the county receiving at least one dose of the vaccine. Of those vaccines, 11,377 have been completed with both doses administered.
Ross County Health District officials have told Litter Media that most individuals at the Ou-Chillicothe clinic site are getting in and out with their shot within 20 minutes, including the 15-minute observation period after the shot.
The Shoemaker Center has served as a vaccine site since the beginning of February.
His focus is on how immigrants who came to the United States in its early days as a country gave shape to citizenship in the decades after American independence.
The book also challenges academic and popular assumptions about immigration and citizenship and the changes that occurred during this time. O’Keefe points out, for example, that immigrants were a strong voice advocating for their rights from the early days of the republic.
“I began research for this book after noticing how debates over immigration in the first decades of the 2000s revolved around definitions of belonging in the nation,” O’Keefe said. “As I began to research, I saw that these debates had origins in the formation of policies during the early years after U.S. independence, and that immigrants back then were also active in participating in those debates.”
“Stranger Citizens” explains how during this formative time in American history, lawmakers attempted to shape citizenship and the place of immigrants in the new nation, while granting the national government new powers such as deportation. O’Keefe argues that despite the challenges of public and official hostility that they faced in the late 1700s and early 1800s, migrant groups worked through lobbying, engagement with government officials, and public protest to create forms of citizenship that worked for them.
An example O’Keefe uses in his book is how definitions of family affected immigrants during that time. He explains that children were apprenticed into households headed by someone other than their biological parents – if a child of British immigrants served many years as an apprentice in a household headed by a native-born American, were they citizens once they completed their apprenticeship? Some apprentices said yes, but officials did not always agree.
“From 1783 to 1830, immigrants came from well-known places such as Ireland and Germany, but tens of thousands of people also came to the U.S. during the Haitian Revolution, and from Latin America, the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region,” O’Keefe said. “Each of these immigrant groups encountered different receptions and challenges when they arrived and pushed for different visions and understandings of citizenship. This was a period of significant racism and xenophobia, and immigrants banded together to push both collectively and individually against popular and official hostility to their rights and their presence in the U.S.”
O’Keefe presents examples of racism in his book, even opening with how a Haitian immigrant was accused of voter fraud in 1807 in a Philadelphia election and his testimony demonstrating his qualifications under Pennsylvania voting law, which then required voters to be taxpayers in Pennsylvania.
“There is a long history of racist exclusion of immigrants from political participation, and delegitimizing of immigrant voting and advocacy, especially accusing immigrants of color of participating in fraud,” O’Keefe explained. “The events of the 2020 election came home to me as I was finalizing the manuscript of the book and when Black Philadelphians were accused of voting illegitimately in the 2020 election, I realized that white hostility to voters of color exerting power at the ballot box, and its perception as a threat has very early origins.”
To write “Stranger Citizens,” O’Keefe went through extensive archival research, finding specific collections that provided information about particular immigrant groups. He also used large collections of federal records and supplemented them with newspaper accounts, petitions by immigrants, missionary accounts and secondary work to provide context and make the immigrants’ situations and choices come to life through the documents.
“Stranger Citizens” is published by Cornell University Press. An online version is currently available with a print edition being published this summer.