Community Partners

Working with our partners at Vision Maker Media and the Institute for Politics Policy and History (IPPH) at the University of the District of Columbia, we plan to collaborate on a series of conversations with constituent communities that expand and enrich the historical record through storytelling. Through calls for proposals with our partners, we will invite multi-media producers to hold interviews and make submissions related to specific historical events or published cases and cases that are documented only in the unpublished, archival court records featured in our Open Educational Resource. 

In addition, Community Partners will hold community conversations with descendants focused on the meaning of this history today and how we can reconcile divergent, difficult, "hard" histories. We will include these collaborative methods in our curricular training and also provide venues for scholars of all backgrounds to engage with constituents of, and contributors to, these stories of subjective experience. 

Further, our team is collaborating with Vision Maker Media and IPPH on two live-action animated documentaries drawn from their storytelling projects. Co-Director Thomas and his colleagues at UNL (Kwakiutl Dreher and Michael Burton) have pioneered a series of films for their Animating History project. Their 2018 short film, Anna (11 min.), won Best Animation at the New Media Film Festival in Los Angeles, and their 2022 feature film, The Bell Affair, was recently selected for the Prince George’s County Film Festival. Each of these films highlight an unpublished and understudied freedom case and tells the dramatic story of its significance in compelling, highly personal terms. These films are intended to provide stories for reconciling and reckoning with the history of U.S. Law and Race.