The Public History Project emerged from the NYC Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers convened Fall 2017 with the support of co-chair Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation. He asked Dr. Jack Tchen and co-directors Dr. Audra Simpson and Dr. Mabel O. Wilson to organize a project that would address the question we were raising about the absent story of dispossession and enslavement not told by the monuments, markers, public art, landmarks, parks, and historical tidbits as recounted by the Government of NYC.
The foundational capacity building and research for the initial period have been the labors of cartographer and eco-historian Kerry Hardy, Munsee Lunaape elder George Stonefish, and organizer Leora Fuller, each donating enormously and receiving modest monetary compensation. Artist Beatrice Glow, creative technologist Alexandre Girardeau, and ecologists Eric Sanderson and Kim Fisher of the Wildlife Conservation Society have been early and regular supporters. Janice Monger, President and CEO of the Staten Island Museum, Audrey Malachowsky, Registrar/Collections Manager of the Staten Island Museum, Gabriella Leone, History and Archives Manager of the Staten Island Museum, and John Kilcullen, director of Conference House Park, immediately signed up when first approached. Chief Vincent Mann (Ramapough Lunaape), Clan Mother Michaeline Picaro Mann (Ramapough Lunaape), Brent Stonefish (Moraviantown), Chief Denise Stonefish (Moraviantown), and Gordon Peters (Moraviantown) along with the entire Eelünaapéewi Lahkéewiit (Delaware Nation at Moraviantown, Ontario, Canada) delegation have been our teachers and collaborators.