Several American universities are participating in an event asking whether Americans should “reconsider” the Thanksgiving holiday.

The alumni associations of the University of Maryland, Florida Gulf Coast University, Washington State University, University of Central Arkansas, Hiram College, in Ohio, and California State University, Long Beach.

According to the event description, the recent national shift from Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day “reflects a changing national mood,” and asks if Americans should do the same with Thanksgiving.

“Starting in 1970, many Americans, led by Indigenous protesters, believed that Thanksgiving should be rededicated as a National Day of Mourning to reflect the centuries-long displacement and persecution of Native Americans. The recent shift from Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day reflects a changing national mood,” the event description states. “Should Americans reconsider Thanksgiving when wrestling with our country’s complicated past?”

“The myth of Thanksgiving is powerful and ubiquitous. In the autumn of 1621, so American legend has it, English Pilgrims seeking religious freedom shared a feast with Wampanoags, the residents of the territory the Pilgrims labeled Plymouth,” the description also states. “The good feelings of that meal soon faded when Native peoples and English colonists, including the Pilgrims, began to compete for resources, initiating conflicts that raged for generations. Yet despite the often-violent relations between the nation and Indigenous communities, the myth of coexistence remained.”

The event’s speaker, Peter C. Mancall, a professor at the University of Southern California, told Fox News that his goal for the event is to “explain the context for events and offer insights about how to interpret the existing evidence.”

A spokesperson for the University of Maryland said that the alumni association has a contract with the Alumni Learning Consortium, which hosts the event. Another spokesperson for California State University, Long Beach also said the university pays to participate in the Alumni Learning Consortium.

A spokesperson for Florida Gulf Coast University said that the university’s alumni association pays $2,500 to Professional Book Club Guru, which also provides access to the event. Another spokesperson for Hiram College in Ohio said they also pay for events through the Professional Book Club Guru. 

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