The Tracing Center’s year-end newsletter is now available, highlighting what my colleagues and I have accomplished in 2011:

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Dear Friend,

Now in its second year, the Tracing Center continues to engage people from all backgrounds in honest, productive dialogue about race, privilege, and the history of slavery, and to inspire action around these issues.  We hold a variety of ground-breaking programs and events that advance the mission growing out of our award-winning PBS documentary, Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North. Your generous supportensures that we can continue reaching out to thousands of people across the country and internationally, and having a long-lasting impact on educators, students, public history professionals, faith-based communities, corporations, and more.

The Tracing Center has reached many exciting milestones in 2011. Highlights include:

  • We generated over 90 presentations across the country, and impacted thousands of people with our message of racial justice
  • We offered international screenings in Nairobi, Zanzibar, and London, bringing the film and our programs to broader audiences.  We returned to the Dominican Republic to present at a conference organized by the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development in association with UNESCO
  • We partnered with the AmeriCorps Collaborative in Michigan to offer a program on Martin Luther King Day that was attended by over 500 people who donated 900 pounds of food for Feed America
  • We presented at United Nations headquarters, as part of the 4th Annual International Day of Remembrance of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
  • We designed and conducted innovative two-day teacher workshops for Massachusetts educators, at the Royall House and Slave Quarters and at Historic Deerfield
  • We engaged in in-depth programming in New England cities and towns, working to uncover their historic complicity in slavery and to engage residents in ongoing dialogues about slavery’s legacy
  • We expanded our Civil War programming, having an opinion essay, “Civil War’s dirty secret about slavery,” featured on CNN’s web site for the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of the war at Fort Sumter
  • We began offering online webinars this summer, training evangelical college students for summer projects in urban communities
  • We initiated a multi-year collaboration to disseminate best practices for interpreting slavery at historic sites and museums, conducting trainings for the National Park Service and partnering with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Association of African American Museums, Colonial Williamsburg, Monticello, and the American Association for State and Local History, among others
  • Katrina Browne has a forthcoming book chapter on the multi-generational psychological impact of slavery and its implications in the classroom
  • We offered programs at national conferences, including the Kellogg Foundation’s Healing America Conference, National Council for History Education, National Underground Railroad Conference, White Privilege Conference, and National Association for Multicultural Education

Throughout this year, your support has made it possible to advance our unique vision of racial justice and healing. Thank you for believing in our work and its possibilities. With your continued support, we are committed to reaching new and exciting goals in 2012. As we bring the hidden history of enslavement and its pervasive legacies to the forefront of public discussion, we will continue to inspire those working for a more just world.

Please consider making a donation today by visiting

Thank you.

The Tracing Center team

Want to reach someone at the Tracing Center?

James DeW. Perry, Executive Director
Katrina C. Browne, Director of Ideas and External Affairs
Kristin L. Gallas, Director of Education and Public History
Marga Varea, Director of Events and Development
Juanita Brown, Organizational and Programming Consultant

Office telephone: 617-924-3400

Thank you to our funders in 2011: Mass Humanities, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Lear Family Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, and many generous individuals.



“I learned more about the ins and outs of the slave trade throughout this film and discussion than I ever learned in elementary, middle, and high school combined.”
College student, Roger Williams University

“Last week’s workshop … ranks among one of the most meaningful I’ve ever attended and will have direct impact on the faculty I lead and the curriculum we teach. If I can ever serve as a voice of support for this initiative, please don’t hesitate to let me know.”

Attendee at  our 2011 teacher workshop

“Thank you for sharing your family’s story about the slave trade.  It was an inspirational experience.  You engaged us with the power and personal meaning of the account with the video and then made it human with your sensitive, intelligent, compassionate, and courageous dialogue with us.  You helped us see a familiar historical event from a new perspective and helped us see its impact on our lives today and what we might do to address the inequities it created.  Your presentation was one of the most moving I have ever attended.”

David Costello, Head of School, St. Peter’s School

You can share your feedback with us, too.

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