Projects and Workshops
Below are some of the workshops I have designed and presented in the past few years. Each is complete with activities and handouts. I love new challenges. If you have a project idea and need someone to implement it, just let me know and I'll get to work. I enjoy traveling and I can be available to present a workshop in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, the New York Metropolitan area, Maryland or Washington, DC.
- This is a genealogy workshop for high school students, that engages participants in the study of world history, human migration, artifact preservation and genetics, while fostering new research, oral history and critical thinking skills. The workshop also includes skill reinforcing homework activities that encourage participants to investigate family photos, interview relatives, and create family trees. This workshop can be condensed into ninety minutes to focus on the building of specific skills, or expanded into the full five week course. Exploring Our History is great for ethnically diverse audiences and recent immigrants due to the focus on oral history and family interviews. I also created a variety of family tree charts for participants to chose from. This allows them to work on a basic family chart, create their own free formed tree or one with same sex partners.
I frequently use the first section of the Exploring Our History Series as a stand alone workshop. It covers basic research methods, why genealogical research is important, basic oral history skills and key terms. The high school version of this workshop also discusses how genealogy skills can be used to prepare you for college and introduce you to a variety of careers. The high school and the adult versions have a stronger social justice component as I advocate for intergenerational and interracial sharing of resources and discussions of our shared past.
Intergenerational Storytelling Workshop - Designed originally for family reunions, this workshop also works well during Grandparents Day programs or for church youth groups. Children aged 8-18, first discover the basics of oral history and why their family stories are important. Next, they learn how to generate questions, set up and record an interview and how to share what they learn in a final project. Then participants practice their new skills with their peers before being paired up with an elder to interview.
African American Genealogy - This workshop guides participants through the challenging process of researching African descendants in America. It includes a brief discussion of America's early history of slavery and the trans-Atlantic trade, along with post-Emancipation immigration of African descendants from Africa and the diaspora to America. Important historical events in the African American experience along with genealogical research methods and resources are explored.
Discussing Slavery at Historic Houses - One of my most challenging, yet, rewarding workshops was for the Rhode Island Historical Society. It was titled, “Slavery. Power, Erasure and Guilt: Telling the Whole Story.” At the request of the society's docents, I was brought in to run a training on how to become more comfortable discussing slavery and race with visitors. The lecture provided docents with a clearer background in the modern historiography of the slave trade. That was followed by an active discussion of the most difficult questions docents had received from visitors and how best to respond in the future. The training session provided everyone involved with the opportunity to challenge how they saw their visitors. It also encouraged them to critically examine what they had been taught in the past about the slave trade and African and African American history and culture.
Creating exhibitions is my passion and I had the wonderful opportunity to work on three during my time at Brown. I assisted with the research, writing, curation, design and installation of two exhibitions on the international slave trade and one on race and racism at Brown. The exhibitions on slavery were created while I was a fellow at Brown's Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice. To see the exhibition catalog for Ships of Bondage and the Fight for Freedom click the following link http://goo.gl/V6Lqxs