Sandra Arnold is the founder and director of the Periwinkle Initiative, a public humanities and education initiative dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage of enslaved Americans. She is currently an institutional partner with the UNESCO Remember Slavery Initiative and has co-produced public programs with the United Nations Remember Slavery Programme. Sandra earned her B.A. in History from Fordham University. She is the Graduate Fellow for the Study of the Public History of Slavery at the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University, as well as a MA Candidate in Public Humanities at Brown University. Her additional research and interests include racial reconciliation, photography, and filmmaking.
Nancy Bercaw is a Museum Curator at the NMAAHC where she is co-curating the inaugural exhibition on “Slavery and Freedom”. Before joining the NMAAHC, Bercaw co-curated “Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation 1863 and the March on Washington 1963” and was the author and editor of several volumes regarding race, gender, and American culture including. She continues to actively build the Museum's collections around the issue of slavery and to work with families and communities to preserve these histories. She is a graduate of Oberlin College and holds a PhD in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania.
Pascal Berthelot, architect graduated by the Government, is registered at the Architects Board of Guadeloupe. He works at the BERTHELOT-MOCKA CELESTINE Firm, since its creation in 1992. He obtained his DPLG, an internationally recognized Landscape Architecture Diploma in 1989, at The National School of Architecture Paris La Villette (ENSAPLV), and then worked in several architectural and urbanism practices in Paris, such as Arcane, Atelier 2AD, Agence Gemini Lakatos et partenaires, before moving back to Guadeloupe. He recently founded, with his associates, an architectural firm in Cayenne (French Guiana), where he works on various programmes with local states agencies and mixed economy companies.
Dr. Daniel Black is a native of Kansas City, Missouri, and spent the majority of his childhood years in Blackwell, Arkansas. He earned a full scholarship to Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia, where he majored in English. He later studied abroad at Oxford University in England. Upon graduation from Clark College, Dr. Carr received a full graduate fellowship to Temple University in pursuit of a Ph.D. in African-American Studies. As a tenured associate professor, he now aims to provide an example for young African Americans of the importance of self-knowledge and communal commitment. In addition to The Coming, Dr. Carr has written several other books, including; The Sacred Place (2008), Perfect Peace (2010) and Twelve Gates to the City (2011).
Vincent Brown, Charles Warren Professor of History and Professor of African and African American Studies, is a multi-media historian with a keen interest in the political implications of cultural practice. He directs the History Design Studio and teaches courses in Atlantic history, African diaspora studies, and the history of slavery. Brown is the author of The Reaper's Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery(Harvard University Press, 2008) and producer of an audiovisual documentary about the anthropologist Melville J. Herskovits broadcast on the PBS series Independent Lens. He is currently writing a book about African diasporic warfare in the Americas.
James T. Campbell is the Edgar E. Robinson Professor of History at Stanford University. His research explores American, African American, and African history and the dense web of connections between them. He is the author, co-author, or editor of numerous articles and books, including Songs of Zion: The African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States and South Africa; Race, Nation, and Empire in American History; and Middle Passages: African American Journeys to Africa, 1787-2005, which was a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in History. His current research, which focuses on Mississippi in the Civil Rights era, examines the problem of historical memory, the ongoing struggle over how Americans, white and black, remember and recount their racial past.
Marcia Chatelain is an Associate Professor of History and African American Studies at Georgetown University. She is the author of the book South Side Girls: Growing up in the Great Migration (Duke University Press, 2015). She received degrees in journalism and religious studies from the University of Missouri and holds an A.M. and Ph.D. in American Civilization from Brown University. Recently, she served on Georgetown’s Working Group on Slavery, Memory and Reconciliation. During the 2016-2017 academic year, she is a Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fellow at the New America Foundation. You can hear her chat with students each week on her podcast, “Office Hours: A Podcast.”
Dr. Sylviane A. Diouf, an award-winning historian of the African Diaspora, is the Director of the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. She is the author of Slavery’s Exiles: The Story of the American Maroons and Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas both by NYU Press. Her book Dreams of Africa in Alabama: The Slave Ship Clotilda and the Story of the Last Africans Brought to America (Oxford University Press) received prizes from the American Historical Association, the Alabama Historical Association and the Hurston Wright Legacy Award. She has curated several exhibitions, including The Abolition of the Slave Trade; The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean World; Africans in India: From Slaves to Generals and Rulers, Black New Yorkers; In Motion; and two exhibitions on the Black Power.
Mary Elliott is a Museum Specialist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. In her current position she has helped research, conceptualize and design the “Slavery and Freedom” inaugural exhibition. She has also contributed to the exhibition script, consulted with expert scholars, and identified and secured collection donations including the antebellum slave cabin that will be featured in the museum. A graduate of Howard University and the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law, Mary helped produce local history exhibits in the Washington, D.C. area and produced several public history programs. She served as a contractor and consultant to various organizations including the National Visionary Leadership Project, Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Reginald Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and the Humanities Council of Washington, D.C.
Dr. Rex M. Ellis is presently the Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) at the Smithsonian Institution. Prior to this position, Dr. Ellis was Vice President of the Historic Area for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, where he oversaw all programs and operations. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Masters in Fine Arts from Wayne State University, a Masters of Divinity from Virginia Union University, and an Ed.D from the College of William and Mary. He is the author of two books, Beneath the Blazing Sun: Stories from the African American Journey and With a Banjo on My Knee which chronicles the history of black banjo players from the time of slavery to the present.
Michael Hutchinson Frazier is the Historian for African Burial Ground National Monument, Manhattan Sites, and Stonewall National Monument. He came to the National Park Service from UNESCO located in Paris, France. Michael managed Non-formal Education, Basic Education and Literacy programs situated globally. Michael’s undergraduate degree is from Brigham
Young University. He holds a Master of International Relations and Diplomacy from Schiller International University, France, and a Master of Development Studies: Women and Development from the Institute of Social Studies, The Netherlands.
Paul Gardullo is a Museum Curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, where he helped conceive, collect for, and curate the new museum’s inaugural exhibitions, including the "Power of Place." Paul is also the co-director of the Slave Wrecks Project (SWP), an international network of researchers and institutions hosted by the NMAAHC that investigates the history and enduring legacies of the global slave trade through the lens of maritime archaeology. Paul earned his PhD in American Studies from the George Washington University and was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition before joining the Smithsonian.
The Rev. Canon Linda L. Grenz is the Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of Rhode Island and provides oversight to the Center for Reconciliation project. Grenz has served on the national staff of the Episcopal Church and is the founder and CEO of LeaderResources, a publishing and consulting organization where she has helped congregations and dioceses envision, plan and implement major initiatives.
Keila Grinberg is Associate Professor of History at the Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO) and a researcher at The National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq, Brazil). She has been a visiting professor at Northwestern University (2009) and the University of Michigan (2011-2012), and a Tinker Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago (2015-2016). She runs, with Hebe Mattos and Martha Abreu, the project Presents Pasts: Memory of Slavery in Brazil.
Martin Hall, currently Emeritus Professor at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business, was previously Vice-Chancellor (President) of the University of Salford (Manchester) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town. A historical archaeologist, he has written about colonial settlement in South Africa, about the archaeology of slavery, and about the politics of representing the past in the present. Publications include “Objects, Images and Texts: Archaeology and Violence”. Journal of Social Archaeology 16 (1): 79-93. 2016; “Nothing is different but everything’s changed”. In The Next Twenty Five Years? Affirmative Action and Higher Education in the United States and South Africa. Edited by Martin Hall, Marvin Krislov and David L. Featherman. Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 2009; Archaeology and the Modern World: Colonial Transcripts in South Africa and the Chesapeake. London and New York, Routledge, 2000.
Meredith Hardy is an archaeologist and the Coordinator for Interpretation and Education at the National Park Service's Southeast Archeological Center, and is the acting Cultural Resource Program Manager for Christiansted National Historic Site, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Currently she is the field director for the the Slave Wrecks Project's community archaeology program on St. Croix, and is developing a student volunteer for credit program with the University of the Virgin Islands. Her research encompasses prehistoric and historic island and coastal communities, trade, foodways, and the emergence of creole societies. She has a Ph.D. from Florida State University, an MS from the University of New Orleans, and BA from Indiana University.
Emily MN Kugler is an Assistant Professor of English at Howard University. Her current work includes a book project dealing with women, empire, and race, as well as digital and public humanities projects focused on British Atlantic histories of enslavement and abolition. She is also an Advisory Board Member of the Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project. The Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project (MPCPMP) is a non-profit tax-exempt organization established in 2011 to honor the captive Africans who perished during the transatlantic crossing known as the Middle Passage and those who survived to build the Americas. For more information, please see the website: http://www.middlepassageproject.org.
Rodney Leon, founder and principal of Rodney Leon Architects PLLC has an architectural background as a designer on a diversity of building types in the U.S. and abroad. Recent projects include a Master Plan for the Museum of Contemporary African and Diaspora Arts (MOCADA) in Brooklyn, NY, the 10,000 square foot renovation of the French Evangelical Presbyterian Church of New York and a 50,000 square foot mixed use senior housing development near Brooklyn College. Mr. Leon is most well known as being the designer of the African Burial Ground Memorial in New York City which is the first National Monument in the United States dedicated to the contributions of people of African descent.
Hebe Mattos is Professor of History at University Federal Fluminense (UFF) in Brazil. She is the author or co-author of numerous books on Brazilian slavery and post-emancipation society, including Memórias do Cativeiro/Memories of Captivity (2005) and Das Cores do Silêncio/Colors of Silence (1995, 1998, 2013), for which she received the Brazil National Archive Research Award (1993). She is the coordinator of The Oral History and Image Lab of UFF, where she co-directed the collection of documentary films Present Pasts (2012) and co-organized the Inventory of Sites of Memory of the Atlantic Slave Trade and the History of Enslaved Africans in Brazil (2014). She also co-directed (with Martha Abreu and Keila Grinberg) the Public History Project Present Pasts: Slave Memory in Brazil, which included three communitarian memorials, a digital database, and the bilingual app, Passados Presentes.
Jacques Martial is an artist, actor, and theater director who militates for the equal oppotunies for the people from the visible minorities in the French cultural world. He is currently Président of the Mémorial ACTe, the Caribbean center of expressions and memory of slave trade and slavery, in Guadeloupe. From 2006 to 2015 he was President of the Parc de la Villette, one of the largest public cultural venues in Paris. Jacques Martial is also well-known to the general public in French-speaking countries for his role in the popular TV series Navarro. He still performes this production all around the world.
Tiya Miles is the Mary Henrietta Graham Distinguished University Professor at the University of Michigan, where she teaches in the departments of Afroamerican & African Studies, American Culture, History, Native American Studies and Women's Studies. She is the author of two prize-winning works of history, Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom (2005) and The House on Diamond Hill: A Cherokee Plantation Story (2010). She has published historical fiction, The Cherokee Rose (2015), a travel narrative about historic sites of slavery, Tales from the Haunted South (2015), and various articles on women’s history and black and indigenous interrelated experience. She is co-editor, with Sharon P. Holland, of Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds: The African Diaspora in Indian Country (2006).
Richard Rabinowitz, president of American History Workshop in Brooklyn, New York, is the author of Curating America: Journeys through Storyscapes of the American Past (UNC Press, 2016). He has led creative teams of scholars, curators, educators, artists, and designers for 49 years in fashioning over 500 innovative public history programs at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum; the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute; the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati; and other sites in 34 states and the District of Columbia. He is currently a research scholar at the Gilder Lehrman Center for Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University, and directs its annual institute on public history.
Bill Rankin is a historian of science at Yale. He is the author of After the Map: Cartography, Navigation, and the Transformation of Territory in the Twentieth Century (2016). In addition to his historical research, Bill is also an active cartographer, and his maps have been published and exhibited around the world. Most of his mapping work is on his website, www.radicalcartography.net.
Kirk Savage is a professor in the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh. He has published extensively on public monuments dealing with slavery, war, and other traumatic histories, including two books: Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War, and Monument in Nineteenth-Century America (Princeton, 1997) and Monument Wars: Washington, D.C., the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape (Berkeley, 2009). Most recently he has spearheaded public history & education initiatives in a consortium of Pittsburgh museums, with projects such as raceingthemuseum.com.
Ruth J. Simmons was President of Brown University from 2001-2012. After completing her Ph.D. in Romance Languages and literatures at Harvard, she served in various faculty and administrative roles at the University of Southern California, Princeton University, and Spelman College before becoming president of Smith College, the largest women’s college in the United States. Simmons is the recipient of many honors, including a Fulbright Fellowship to France, the 2001 President’s Award from the United Negro College Fund, the 2002 Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, the 2004 Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal, and the Centennial Medal from Harvard University.
Ibrahima Thiaw is a Professor of archaeology at Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire (IFAN), a research institute based at the University Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar where he is the Director of the Laboratory of Anthropology and Cultural Engineering. He has directed several research programs on sites associated with Atlantic slavery and European colonization, collecting comparative data on patterns of enslavement and their impact on local communities. He received a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Rice University (Houston, Texas, USA) in 1999, an M.A. in Prehistory from the University of Paris X (Nanterre, France) and, an M.A. in History from the University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar, Senegal.
Paul Tichmann is Curator of the Iziko Slave Lodge museum in Cape Town, South Africa, and head of the Iziko Social History Collections. He has a MA Degree in Economic History and his is areas of research include, in addition to slavery, labour history, South African resistance history and human rights.
Jennifer Tosch is a cultural heritage historian and entrepreneur with Surinamese, Native and African American roots. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and currently resides in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, working on a dual Masters in Heritage and Memory Studies at the University of Amsterdam. In 2013, she founded Black Heritage Tours in Amsterdam, and recently launched the tour in New York State ((formerly, the Dutch colony New Netherland) to create a 'ransnational cultural heritage experience that expands her original narrative to incorporate the interconnections between Native American – African – Dutch heritage in New York State. Jennifer is also a member of the Mapping Slavery Project (MSP), based in the Netherlands, which connects and maps the Dutch colonial empire.
Joe Yannielli is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Council of the Humanities and the Center for Digital Humanities at Princeton University. He studies the history of slavery and abolition, with a special focus on America, West Africa, and the wider world during the nineteenth century. He is currently completing a book about the Mendi Mission and the role of Africa in the American abolition of slavery. Previously, he served as manager and lead developer on a number of digital humanities projects, including Digital Histories @ Yale, the Slavery and Abolition Portal, RunawayCT, and most recently, the Princeton & Slavery Project.
Sara Zewde is a designer at Gustafson Guthrie Nichol. She holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, a Master of City Planning from MIT, and a BA in Sociology and Statistics from Boston University. Sara was named the 2014 National Olmsted Scholar by the Landscape Architecture Foundation and a 2016 artist-in-residence at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Concurrent to working at Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, Sara continues independent design work in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Houston, TX; and New Orleans, LA. Sara's independent work includes spearheading the design of the Circuit of African Heritage in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in partnership with the municipal government.
This list of confirmed speakers will be updated as needed.