Phillip Seitz is a curator with a particular interest in using history to address legacies of slavery in the United States, and to attempt to begin processes of healing for African-Americans living with those legacies. As curator of history at Cliveden, in Germantown, Seitz discovered a story of slavery buried in the Chew Family Papers. He then served as project director for a pioneering, Center-funded program that presented this difficult history to Cliveden's surrounding neighborhood, which is 85 percent African-American.
History and Reconstruction will pair formerly incarcerated African-American individuals and at-risk youth with public historian Phillip Seitz and a team of professional historians and psychologists. All parties will attend workshops that address the history and legacy of race and racism in American culture, in an effort to enhance participants' capacity for self-determination, and to build their self-confidence through learning. The participants will be trained in storytelling techniques and will share their personal experiences at public events in schools, youth detention centers, churches, and other venues, thereby demonstrating how, in the project team's words, "history is a current event."
*Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.*