Congratulations to the 2022 NESRI Awardees - John Jay and the Legacy of Slavery, Abolition and Resistance in New York
As part of the college’s commitment to the Seven Principles for a Culturally Responsive, Inclusive and Anti-Racist Curriculum, we are proud to announce the inaugural NESRI Research and Curriculum Awards. In Summer 2021, The Committee on Studying Slavery, Abolition & Resistance in New York (SSARNY) issued a call for proposals for research, creative, and curriculum development projects designed to engage directly with the data compiled in the Northeast Slavery Records Index (NESRI), which is a free and open online searchable compilation of records of enslaved persons and enslavers, including our namesake John Jay, in New York and other northeast states from 1525 through the U.S. Civil War. The goal is to increase John Jay academic and community education about the history of slavery and resistance in the Northeast along with reflections on the relationship to contemporary anti-Black racism. NESRI was developed by John Jay professors Ned Benton and Judy-Lynne Peters in partnership with Atlantic Black Box, Monmouth University, and the Witness Stones Project. The three awards below are sponsored by the John Jay Office of Undergraduate Studies in conjunction with the Office for the Advancement of Research. 
Studying Slavery, Abolition & Resistance in New York (SSARNY)
SSARNY is an ad hoc committee of John Jay faculty, students, and administrators whose purpose is to make the most, educationally and civically, of the John Jay-housed Northeast Slavery Records Index as well as to facilitate the college's participation in the Universities Studying Slavery consortium. Keeping at the forefront John Jay College's commitment to (1) education, (2) advancing justice, public awareness, and civic engagement, and (3) embodying diversity, equity and inclusion, SSARNY develops one-time and recurring opportunities for the John Jay College community to engage in the study of slavery, abolition, and resistance in New York, as well as opportunities to redress wrongs and enact justice.  

2022 NESRI Award Winners
Victoria Bond - English
Educating on Enslavement

Professor Bond will develop a new course tentatively titled Educating on Enslavement: Absences Made Present For the Next Generation. In this course, she will instruct and train John Jay students in researching, designing, and developing multi-modal materials on the topic of American enslavement in the Northeast for the intent of educating primary school students. Professor Bond will assess current social studies curricula for upper elementary and middle school students, conduct a close study of the Northeast Slavery Records Index, and design a syllabus and lesson plans that not only teaches composition as a means of relaying history, but aims, at its core, to help dismantle curricular modes of anti-blackness by teaching John Jay students what those curricular modes are and how they can counter those modes in products they generate for the class specifically designed for primary school students about slavery in the Northeast. This project addresses the historical context for the production of history for young people, education scholarship on social studies curricula, research methodologies and use of sources for the production of history for young people, and narrative writing. 
Roberto Visani - Art and Music
Do It Yourself: An Introduction to the Cardboard Slave Kits

Professor Visani will work with a group of 6-12 students to create a new cardboard slave kit incorporating data and imagery from the Northeast Slavery Records Index (NESRI). An extension of Visani’s current art project, the cardboard slave kit is a social sculpture which engages participants through its creation and a comparative art historical analysis of its source material. The ‘kit’ is a do-it-yourself package of laser cut, flat pack cardboard sheets with instructions. By following the instructions, participants recreate a digitized cardboard replica of an enslaved individual(s) based on an iconic historical work of art. Students would be tasked with identifying an artwork depicting an enslaved person, by using the Northeast Slavery Records Index (NESRI) and other sources. The title of the artwork, artist, dimensions, material, provenance, and date will all be recorded. Research will be conducted into the person(s) depicted within, the circumstances under which the artwork was created, and historic and contemporary readings of the artwork. The group will also digitize the artwork through 3D modeling and fabrication. 
History Department - Michael Pfeifer, Chair
“Doing” History with the Northeast Slavery Records Index (NESRI)

Students in a range of Global History courses will work with the Northeast Slavery Records Index (NESRI) to learn about the history of enslavement and the roots of racism in New York and the Northeastern United States. In their assignments excavating the history of Northeastern enslavement, including the resistance of enslaved African Americans, History faculty will mentor students to actively “do” history rather than merely passively consume it. Students’ assignments will culminate in a collective presentation at research week and in a web exhibit of their findings. Participating History Faculty include Fritz Umbach, Stephen Russell, Gwen Alexis, Allison Kavey, Edward Paulino, James Delorenzi, Matt Perry, Sara McDougall, Andrea Balis, and Michael Pfeifer.
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