Join us at the (Re)Telling Conference

On Friday, June 7, 2024, the Roger Williams University Public Humanities and Arts Collaborative (The Co-Lab) will host (Re)Telling: Crafting New Stories of Race and Place in Southern New England at the Providence Public Library in Providence, R.I.

(Re)Telling: Crafting New Stories of Race and Place in Southern New England

RWU Public Humanities and Arts Collaborative (The Co-Lab)
June 7, 2024, 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Providence Public Library, Providence, RI 

Register for (Re)Telling

Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, this regional public humanities gathering will bring together organizations, groups, and institutions engaged in the public humanities work of researching, crafting, and sharing stories about race and place in our region. 

The conversations at (Re)Telling will consider methods for fostering and amplifying new and known narratives, engaging in public dialogs that foster collective understanding, and using stories to further justice-oriented action in the present. We also hope to explore increased connections between organizations engaged in this work in the region and consider ways to stimulate new research and programming collaborations through a public humanities consortium.

9:00 Welcome and Overview 

Margaret Everett, Provost, RWU

Elizabeth Francis, Executive Director, RI Humanities

Jeffrey Meriwether, Dean, RWU SHAE

Elaine Stiles, Faculty Director, RWU Co-Lab

9:30 Fostering and Amplifying New Narratives

Facilitator: Jeffrey Meriwether, RWU

10:45 Break 

11:00 Engaging Community in Dialog/Fostering Collective Understanding

Facilitator: Brian Hendrickson, RWU

12:15 Lunch 

1:15 Keynote Program

2:15 Break

2:30 From Narrative to Action: Using Stories to Foster Change

Facilitator: Anne Proctor, RWU

3:45 Break 

4:00 Closing Reflection, Discussion of Future Work 

Elon Cook Lee

National Trust for Historic Preservation

Elon Cook LeeElon Cook Lee is a public historian, educator, curator, and interpreter. She is the Director of Interpretation and Education at the National Trust for Historic Preservation where she leads a variety of initiatives that focus on interpreting historic spaces through frameworks of repair, and equitable collaboration with descendants of slavery, exclusion, and colonization. That work includes creating and leading a new vision for the interpretation of sites with histories of slavery and organizing learning communities focused on interpreting slavery at historic sites in the United States and throughout the Atlantic world. Elon also manages multiple grant programs and provides professional development opportunities for interpretation and education staff at the Trust’s 27 historic sites. 

Kristin Gallas

Muse Consulting

Kristin has worked in museums for over 25 years.  She facilitates workshops for museums and historic sites on developing comprehensive and conscientious interpretation of slavery, and speaks regularly at public history and museum conferences. She is the author of Interpreting Slavery with Children and Teens at Museums and Historic Sites (Rowman and Littlefield, October 2021) and co-editor, with James DeWolf Perry, of Interpreting Slavery at Museums and Historic Sites (Rowman & Littlefield, January 2015), among other publications on best practices in the interpretation of slavery. She developed the Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery‘s public history efforts and oversaw the design of workshops for teachers and other professionals in education. 

Maisa Tisdale

Mary & Eliza Freeman Center for History and Community

Maisa TisdaleMaisa Tisdale has advocated for the preservation of the Mary and Eliza Freeman Houses since 1994, and founded the Mary & Eliza Freeman Center for History and Community in 2009 after coordinating a successful movement to save the homes from demolition. Ms. Tisdale led the Freeman Center as a volunteer until 2019 when she became the Center's first professional staff member. Maisa Tisdale not only focused on the restoration of the Freeman houses, but has worked to create a safer and healthier "built" environment in Bridgeport's South End - stressing the importance of historic preservation, community development, environmental justice, and climate change.

Akeia de Barros Gomes

Mystic Seaport Museum

Akeia de Barros GomesAkeia de Barros Gomes is Senior Curator of Maritime Social Histories at Mystic Seaport Museum. As senior curator of social maritime history, Akeia is responsible for working on curatorial projects of race, Indigenous histories, ethnicity, and diversity in New England’s maritime activities as it relates to the site and collections of Mystic Seaport Museum. She recently opened Entwined: Freedom, Sovereignty, and the Sea, a new major exhibition centering maritime histories in Indigenous, African, and African-dended worldviews and experiences. Unraveling the threads of existing maritime narratives for the history of the Dawnland (New England), Indigenous dispossession, and racialized slavery, this exhibition is rooted in voices and histories that have been silent or silenced. 

Marta V. Martínez

Nuestras Raíces: The Latino Oral History Project of RI

Marta V. MartínezMarta is the founder and executive director of Rhode Island Latino Arts (RILA), the state’s only nonprofit organization that focuses on the cultural arts, history, and heritage of Rhode Island Latinos. She is also the director and founder of Nuestras Raíces: The Latino Oral History Project of Rhode Island. Marta has written and published a book titled Latino History of Rhode Island: Nuestras Raíces, based on her work with the Latino history project and is currently writing a children’s book on the same topic. In Fall 2024, her oral history transcripts were adapted into Trinity Rep’s play La Broa’ (Broad Street).

Christopher West

John Hay Library, Brown University

Dr. Christopher West as the inaugural Curator for the Black Diaspora at the John Hay Library. He curates special collections, provides instruction and outreach, contributes to programming, and strengthens relationships with key partners like the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice and the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America. He the libraries’ subject liaison for Africana Studies. West recently curated the exhibits “Mumia Abu-Jamal: A Portrait of Mass Incarceration” at Brown University Libraries engaging with the activist’s papers collection and the impact of incarceration on Americans’ lives and “The Gilded Age in Color” in collaboration with the Preservation Society of Newport County and RI Black Heritage Society on Newport, RI’s African heritage business entrepreneurs and leaders in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Jeannie Salomon

Cultural Society for Entrepreneurship, Bilingualism, Resources and Inspirations/AAPI History Museum

Jeannie SalomonJeannie Salomon is the Founder and Director of the Cultural Society. In her role, Ms. Salomon directs planning and management and leads the organization’s advocacy and social justice efforts, as well as the arts and cultural programs. Under her leadership, the Cultural Society was recognized with a Citizen Citation by the City of Providence for its outstanding work in gathering those in the AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) community to create public art with the theme of “Uniting AAPI Community for Change” from Mayor Brett Smiley in May 2023. Furthermore, she led her organization in carrying out the research and development of a first-of-its-kind mobile AAPI History Museum with unique exhibits showcasing AAPI history and culture. Ms. Salomon also worked successfully with her community partners to implement the state’s first three-weekend celebration of the AAPI Heritage Month celebration in May 2023. 

Micah Salkind

Providence Commemoration Lab, City of Providence Department of Art, Culture and Tourism

Micah SalkindDr. Micah Salkind is the Deputy Director for The City of Providence Department of Art, Culture and Tourism. He manages large grants and strategic artist initiatives for the City, collaborating with the Creative Capital’s largest non-profit cultural institutions as well as its emerging artists, designers, and creative entrepreneurs. Micah also codirects the Providence Commemoration Lab is a program co-administered by The Department of Art, Culture and Tourism (ACT) and the Rhode Island Historical Society (RIHS). The Lab will site and stage new, temporary projects on public property that invite unexpected ways of understanding commemoration as a communal process of historical redress and spatial reclamation.

endawnis Spears

Upstander Academy and Akomawt Educational Initiative

endawnis Spearsendawnis Spears (Diné/ Ojibwe/ Chickasaw/ Choctaw) is impassioned about the diverse and complex intersections of Native American narratives and museums.She is Co-Director of Upstander Academy, a six-day professional development program for educators with the goal to create more inclusive curricula and schools, public conversations and spaces and to help educators, institutions and students counter bias. She is also the Director of Outreach and Programming and a founding member of the Akomawt Educational Initiative, an Indigenous education and interpretive consultancy that collaborates with museums, K-12 schools, universities, and public history institutions. 

Jocelyn Foye

The Womxn Project

Jocelyn FoyeJocelyn is an MFA-trained sculptor and spectacle-based artist. Political events in 2016 led her to co-found The Womxn Project (TWP) to use artivism to focus and magnify the need for the legislature to secure reproductive rights in RI State law. That success in 2019 led Jocelyn to a more full-time commitment of leading TWP and reproductive freedom work in RI and regionally.

Brian Hendrickson

Roger Williams University

Brian HendricksonDr. Brian Hendrickson is Associate Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition at Roger Williams University. Dr. Hendrickson’s scholarship and teaching focus on interrogating and transforming racist institutional structures; constructing culturally responsive, student-centered, interdisciplinary writing and learning pathways across and beyond the curriculum; and designing innovative, engaging, community-driven digital humanities projects. Most recently, Dr. Hendrickson led a grant from the City of Providence’s African American Ambassador Group, through which he and his students collaborated with the Providence Cultural Equity Initiative, Providence Public Library, and a range of community stakeholders to develop a framework for the reconciliation phase of the City’s truth-telling, reconciliation, and reparations process, as well as an interactive, educational, digital presentation of the findings of the truth-telling report.

Raymond Two Hawks Watson

Providence Cultural Equity Initiative

aymond Two Hawks WatsonRaymond Two Hawks Watson is an Artivist, Community Activist, Educator, Cultural Practitioner and Convener as well as an experienced nonprofit leader and attorney. He is the founder of the Providence Cultural Equity Initiative and Policy Director at the Center for Indigenous Peoples Rights, to which he brings an extensive background in promoting and supporting cultural equity & development initiatives and programming in Rhode Island. Watson led a grant from the City of Providence’s African American Ambassador Group, through which he collaborated with faculty and students at Roger Williams University, the Providence Public Library, and a range of community stakeholders to develop a framework for the reconciliation phase of the City’s truth-telling, reconciliation, and reparations process. Watson is the recipient of the Rhode Island Foundation’s 2016 Innovation Fellowship.

About the Co-Lab

Founded in 2021, the Co-Lab at RWU is a mission-driven public humanities center dedicated to sharing and fostering inclusive narratives, representations, and histories that make historically marginalized or erased populations audible and visible. Our work seeks to cultivate knowledge rooted in authentic, reciprocal, and ethical collaboration between scholars, communities, and practitioners in the arts and humanities. Since its founding, and with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Co-Lab has sponsored curriculum development and established a minor in Public Humanites at RWU, run the popular Hidden Truths: Stories of Race and Place lecture series, offered public humanities and arts pedagogy and practice workshops for faculty, and initiated an anti-racist community engagement campus training series.  

Event Directions and Parking

Directions to the Providence Public Library and information on parking options are available on the Providence Public Library website. The nearest parking facility to the Providence Public Library is the Civic Center Garage at 165 Washington Street.  

This event is made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.