Teaching Slavery and Race: The Role of Race, Identity, and Historical Trauma in Teaching Slavery

January 19, 2022 ~ 7:30pm ET

Talking about race and the history of slavery is challenging, especially when you are talking with young people. Our first instinct is often to ignore the subject altogether. But by disregarding it, we perpetuate a cycle in which young people learn to hide their feelings on the subject. Having the discussion stirs up emotions in everyone. Our identities—specifically our race—play a role in how we tell the story of slavery and how we receive it. The history of slavery and racism are inextricably linked. We cannot talk about one without the other. This webinar examines the ways race and identity impact our teaching, students’ reception of the story, and the trauma the stories can inflict on both teachers and students.

Kristin Gallas has worked in museums for over 20 years. She facilitates workshops for museums and historic sites on developing comprehensive and conscientious interpretation of slavery and speaks regularly at public history and museum conferences. She is the author of Interpreting Slavery with Children and Teens at Museums and Historic Sites (Rowman & Littlefield, September 2021), and co-editor, with James DeWolf Perry, of Interpreting Slavery at Museums and Historic Sites (Rowman & Littlefield, January 2015), among other publications on best practices in the interpretation of slavery. She developed the Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery‘s public history efforts and oversaw the design of workshops for educators. Kristin holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary history education from the University of Vermont and a master of arts in museum education from George Washington University. She has led the education and/or interpretation departments at the Montana Historical Society, the USS Constitution Museum, and currently at the Tsongas Industrial History Center. Kristin has also developed programs for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Shelburne Museum and consulted with Mount Vernon and Martha’s Vineyard Museum on exhibit development.