2017 Black New England Conference

BNEC 2017 Poster

The Science and Engineering of Race: Living Through the Archives

October 20-21, 2017

and Awards Dinner
Huddleston Hall, University of New Hampshire

Modern medical and social sciences have made some extraordinary advances through the exploitation of Black bodies while simultaneously allowing myths of racial inferiority to continue as justification for centuries of enslavement and political disenfranchisement.

From the Tuskegee syphilis experiment to the unethical use of Henrietta Lacks’ cells to engineer a polio vaccine, to the ongoing forced sterilization of Black women in clinics and prisons, the story of American scientific advancement carries with it a shadow story of ethical corruption, pain, and silencing. The insidious parallel fictions of the innate athleticism, super strength and natural rhythm of African people are rooted in pseudo-scientific research and writings.

In unpacking this theme, conference presenters will examine the historical and current impact of “race science” and pseudoscientific movements to present “race as destiny” on fields of inquiry ranging on areas of modern medicine and health care, reproductive rights, public policy, criminal law, civil rights, athletics, educational access, and effects on the arts and entertainment industries.

Panelists and speakers will demonstrate ways that African-American intellectuals, activists, artists, and social scientists have grappled with the complexities of “race science” and its contemporary iterations in popular culture. Additionally, through specific examples, such as the reclaiming of Portsmouth’s colonial-era African Burying Ground, presenters will examine how the unprecedented popularity of genetic testing is affecting race relations in America today.

Through discussion of these medical and forensic abuses, the conference will uncover past and present applications of scientific fictions that have codified racial hierarchies and sustained pervasive beliefs with public policies that continue to shape all areas of American life.

Conference Panels Include:

  • Hidden Figures: Reintroducing Regional Black Scientists & Innovators
  • In the Name of Science: A Film Discussion
  • Out of The Shadows: A Conversation with Shelly Walcott & Katherine Sanders
  • Tracing Genetic Ancestry & Reclaiming Black Spaces
  • Inventing Race: Science, Medicine & Big Business
  • Skeletons in Our Closet: Anthropology’s Role in Constructing and Deconstructing the Science of Race
  • Afrofuturism: The Way Forward

The Black New England Conference, now in its 11th year, is a regularly occurring 2-day gathering to share insights and scholarly work on Black experiences, past and present, in New England. Recent keynote speakers at the conferences have included comedian and activist Dick Gregory, columnist Derrick Jackson, actor and activist Sheryl Lee Ralph, director John W. Franklin, playwright Lydia Diamond, author Lorene Carey, and Professors James Campbell and James O. Horton, with topical presentations by professional and independent scholars, community researchers, writers, artists, and activists. The Conference is both an academic conference and a celebration of Black life and history.

2017 Citizen of the Year Award Recipient

Thomas L. Hooker

The 2017 Black New England Conference is Sponsored by:
Endowment for Health; Eastern Bank; TD Bank; Delta Dental; Exeter Hospital; Center for New England Culture; Office of the Provost; Office of Community, Equity and Diversity; Carsey School of Public Policy; College of Engineering and Physical Sciences; Center for the Humanities; Department of English; Engagement and Academic Outreach; UNH Graduates School; Dean's Office College of Liberal Arts; The President's Commissions; Office of Multicultural Student Affairs; Women's Studies

For more information, contact JerriAnne Boggis @ jaeboggis@blackheritagetrailnh.org or call 617-539-6886


Friday, October 20, 2017

Portsmouth's Early Black Communities
Portsmouth, NH
10:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Black Heritage Trail Tour
Portsmouth’s Early Black Communities 
Featuring Sankofa Scholar, Angela Matthews

From recipes for daily bread to the science of tanning hides to the technology of building construction, Portsmouth's earliest African colonists brought knowledge across the Middle Passage that benefited the owning class, and, ultimately on gaining their freedom, themselves.  Come meet the characters who lived and worked in New Hampshire in its first centuries and hear how they made themselves invaluable for their skills, intelligence, and determination.


Huddleston Hall, UNH, Durham
1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Check-In and Registration

Picture of Lewis Latime

Honoring, Lewis Latime (1848 – 1918)
Invented Long-life

2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Panel 1

Hidden Figures: Reintroducing Regional Black Scientists & Innovators


African Americans contributions to scientific advancement have long been marginalized in American history. Panelists will introduce attendees to some lesser known regional figures--like Lewis Howard Latimer and Harriet Wilson--whose proper recognition for their significant accomplishments has been denied.

Moderator:  Dr. Julie Williams, UNH Senior Vice Provost Engagement and Academic Outreach


  • Dr. Kirby Randolph, Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences
  • L'Merchie Frazier, Museum of African American History
  • Reginald Pitts, Independent Scholar


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Hidden Figures
3:45 -5:00 p.m.
Panel 2
Hidden Figures and the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: Science and the Representation of Black Women


This panel will discuss the complex ways black women are represented in these two recent biographical dramas that document their varied relations to science. Our panel dialogue will explore this recent shift in the representation of black women, looking at its relation to traditional and mainstream representations of African American women and culture.


  • Prof. Delia Konzett, University of New Hampshire
  • Dr. Aria Halliday, University of New Hampshire
  • Dr Kabria Baumartner, University of New Hampshire

Kimberly Bryant
6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Awards Dinner and Keynote Address
Time to Come Out of the Box 
Featuring Kimberly Bryant, Founder of Black Girls Code


Kimberly Bryant the founder of social movement Black Girls CODE will share her journey as what she calls an “accidental social entrepreneur” and the lessons learned along the way in shaping a new paradigm for women and girls of color in the technology industry. She will explore how recognizing our innate power to become change agents in our own lives and the lives of others by pushing through traditional boundaries and perceived limitations can help us drive change in our world.


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Huddleston Hall Ballroom, UNH

Katherine Johnson

Honoring, Katherine Johnson
August 26, 1918
NASA Mathematician

8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
Check-In and Registration
9:00 - 9:30 a.m.
Panel 1
A Conversation with Anchor Shelly Walcott & Katherine Sanders, Granddaughter of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson


In this conversation, Katherine Sanders will share the stories of her grandmother’s journey to finally being recognized half a century after six manned moon landings, a best-selling book and an Oscar-nominated movie. Katherine Johnson (now 98) is the NASA mathematician who calculated, among many other computations, the trajectory for the space flight of Alan Shepard, the first American in space; John Glenn, the first American to orbit earth, and Apollo 11, the first human mission to the moon

Otis Boykin

Honoring, Otis Boykin (1920 - 1982)
Invented control unit for pacemakers

9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
Panel 2
Tracing Genetic Ancestry & Reclaiming Black Spaces


White society's disregard for Black life has often been reflected in the mistreatment and neglect of physcial spaces Black communities inhabit, in life and death. Panelists will discuss local, storied sites--Magala Island and the Portsmouth African Burying Ground--as examples of race science's local impact on space, community, and preservation. They will also reflect on efforts to unearth and honor the historic meanings of these Black spaces and stories.

Moderator: Dr. Dottie Morris, Associate vice President for Institutional Diversity & Equity, Keene State College


  • Dr. Jada Benn Torres, Vanderbilt
  • Rebecca Nisetich, University of Southern Maine
  • Kathleen Wheeler, Independent Archaeological Consulting

Charles Drew

Honoring, Charles Drew (1904 - 1905)
Inventor of the blood bank

11:00 - 12:00 p.m.
Panel 3
Inventing Race: Science, Medicine, & Big Business 


Attempts to prove the existence of the biological differences 'between the races' drove key advances in biology and medicine. The myth of Black racial inferiority has also proven extremely profitable. Panelists will explore case studies that illustrate how science shapes and justifies racism, as well as how racism shapes industries like medicine and pharmacology.

Moderator: Nathan Harris, Vice-President of Sales & Marketing, Zoll Medical


  • Prof. Lundi Braun, Brown University
  • Prof. Anthony Ryan Hatch, Wesleyan University


Dr. Yvonne Goldsberry
12:30 - 1:00 p.m.


1:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Lunch Time Keynote Address
Featuring Dr. Yvonne Goldsberry



Zora Neale Hurston

Honoring, Zora Neale Hurston 
(1891 - 1960) Novelist & Anthropologist

1:45 - 3:15 p.m.
Panel 4
Skeletons in Our Closet: Anthropology's Role in Constructing and Deconstructing the Science of Race


The field of anthropology hisorically played a significant and ugly role in the development of false sciences of racial difference and Black inferiority. Panelists will unpack some of this troubled history and share ways current experts are attempting to decolonize the field.

Moderator: Julia Rodriguez, Associate Professor, UNH Department of History


  • Dr. Rachel Watkins, American University in Washington D.C.
  • Prof. David Livingstone Smith, University of New England
  • Meghan C.L. Howey, Chair & Associate Professor, UNH Department of Anthropology

Benjamin Banneker

Honoring, Benjamin Banneker 
(1731 - 1806) Astronomer, constructed first functional clock

3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Panel 5
Afrofuturism: The Way Forward


By deconstructing the past, panelists will explore the ways present day Black students and professionals in the sciences are innovating their fields while continuing to navigate and confront legacies of racial determinism.

Moderator: Prof. Joseph Onosko, University of New Hampshire


  • Dr. Yvonne Goldsberry, President Endowment for Health
  • Robert Munroe, Middlesex School
  • Kaira Wells, University of New Hampshire Law School
  • Dr. Peter Frank, Philips Andover, UNH Alumni
5:00 p.m. 
Closing Remarks

Humans aren't as good as we should be in our capacity to empathize with feelings and thoughts of others, be they humans or other animals on Earth. So maybe part of our formal education should be training in empathy. Imagine how different the world would be if, in fact, that were 'reading, writing, arithmetic, empathy.”

-Neil deGrasse Tyson

Angela Matthews

Angela Matthews has been involved with the Black Heritage Trail of NH since its earliest incarnation in 1993 as a Diversity Dialog Group of the Greater Piscataqua Community Foundation.  In 2014 Angela retired from a 40-plus year career in non-profit fundraising and management.  She now consults on fundraising and organizational leadership development.   Angela currently serves on the Board of BHTNH and is a Sankofa Tour Guide.  "I give these tours because I want to understand the faith and hope maintained by a culture for 400 years.  I want to deepen my own understanding of this long-neglected history and awareness of my own blindness to white entitlement and even white supremacy. I hope that when people take the tour with me they open to the ways in which we are all complicit in perpetuating myths.  We all have the power to change simply through exploring truth with an open heart and an open mind.  And the stories are fun to share and beautiful portraits of men and women who did extraordinary things in very challenging circumstances."

Julia E. Williams
Julie E. Williams, Ph.D.

Julie E. Williams, Ph.D. is the Senior Vice Provost for Engagement and Academic Outreach at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). Her office provides collaborative leadership working across the University to support engagement with external partners and to support innovative approaches to faculty development across the life cycle of faculty, from new faculty orientation, to academic leadership for chairs.

Dr. Williams also works in Washington to enhance the UNH presence at key agencies and sponsors individual and team visits to federal agencies for faculty.  She catalyzed the University’s first long term partnership with an historically black university that has been awarded more than $8 million in extramural funding and garnered national recognition from federal agency partners. 

A native Virginian, Dr. Williams received a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Tennessee, was a pre-doctoral fellow at Yale University, and completed her undergraduate education at the College of William and Mary. She was awarded an American Council on Education (ACE) fellowship served at William and Mary and led the first ACE Fellows convening to three South African universities. Prior to joining UNH, she held faculty and administrative appointments at Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Tennessee, the University of Tennessee Medical Center, and Knoxville College.

Kirby Ann Randolph
Kirby Ann Randolph, Ph.D.

Kirby Ann Randolph, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Bioethics in the College of Medicine at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. She is also Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and Adjunct faculty in the History and Philosophy of Medicine at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. She has served on the diversity councils or committees at each of these universities. Dr. Randolph earned her Ph.D. in US History from the University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation “Central Lunatic Asylum for the Colored Insane, 1830 – 1920” examined the history of the diagnosis and treatment of African Americans with serious and persistent mental illness. Dr. Randolph completed two postdoctoral fellowships in mental health policy and services research where she focused on disability studies and racial disparities in mental health outcomes. She served on the Board of Directors of the West Philadelphia Mental Health Consortium and of Mental Health America of the Heartland. She is a founding member of the Cultural Competency Advisory Council to the Jackson County Community Mental Health Fund in Kansas City, MO.

L'Merchie Frazier
L'Merchie Frazier

L’Merchie Frazier is a fiber artist, holographer and poet, as well as the  Director of Education and Interpretation for the Museum of African American History, Boston/Nantucket for fifteen years, highlighting the Museum’s collection/exhibits, providing place-based education and interdisciplinary history programs, projects and lectures, most recently promoting STEM / STEAM education pedagogy. She is adjunct faculty for Pine Manor College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts and African American history advisor to Bunker Hill Community College Faculty, Charlestown, Massachusetts.

She has served the artistic community for over twenty years as an award winning national and international visual and performance artist and poet, with residencies in Brazil, Taiwan, France, Costa Rica and Cuba. As a lecturer and workshop presenter her audiences include youth and adults. L’Merchie is a member of Women of Color Quilter’s Network. She is resident artist at Southend Technology Center, an MIT FabLab in Boston. She was recently chosen as a City of Boson AIR artist. Her fiber works serve to document history and memory, and often include innovative technology. These artworks are featured in a series entitled The Quilted Chronicles and Pearls for Peace.

Reginald Pitts

Reginald Pitts is currently the Assistant Editor of the Clarence Mitchell, Jr. Papers for the Research Foundation of the State University of New York. While working as Project Historian for John Milner Associates/JMA Services, Inc.,, Pitts worked on the Foley Square Project, including the African Burial Ground and the Five Point archeological sites, as well as a cultural resources study of the Philadelphia Naval Complex and a similar survey of Governors Island in New York Harbor.  After his tenure with JMA Services, he formed Blanket Genealogical and Historical Research Services, an organization designed to provide clients with research on various topics both historical and legal. In addition to his research

In addition to his research skills Pitts has served as author for many published research reports.  He edited the definitive edition of Harriet E. Wilson’s groundbreaking novel Our Nig with P. Gabriel Foreman and co-edited Speaking Lives Authoring Texts, with DoVeanna Fulton-Minor.

Pitts received his M.A. in American History in 1979 and his Juris Doctorate in 1982.  

Delia Konzett
Delia Konzett, Ph.D.

Delia Konzett, Ph.D. is professor of English and cinema/American/women's studies at the University of New Hampshire. She is the author of "Ethnic Modernisms” and "Hollywood's Hawaii” (Rutgers UP, 2017), the first full-length study of the film industry's intense engagement with the Pacific region from 1898 to the present. Her new book highlights films that mirror the cultural and political climate of the country over more than a century — from the era of U.S. imperialism on through Jim Crow racial segregation, the attack on Pearl Harbor and WWII, the civil rights movement, the contemporary articulation of consumer and leisure culture, as well as the buildup of the modern military industrial complex. Focusing on important cultural questions pertaining to race, nationhood and war, the book offers a unique view of Hollywood film history produced about the national periphery for mainland U.S. audiences. "Hollywood's Hawaii" presents a history of cinema that examines Hawaii and the Pacific and its representations in film in the context of colonialism, war, Orientalism, occupation, military buildup and entertainment.

Aria S. Halliday
Aria S. Halliday

Aria S. Halliday is assistant professor of Africana feminisms in women's studies at the University of New Hampshire. Dr. Halliday joined the UNH faculty in 2017. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in American studies with a graduate certificate in women's, gender and sexuality studies from Purdue University. Dr. Halliday's research spans the interdisciplinary fields of American studies; African American studies; women's, gender, and sexuality studies; and cultural studies, focusing on Black American and Caribbean women's visual and material cultural production. Black feminist theory informs her current research, in which she examines the representation of Black women's and girls' sexual expression in popular culture and the ways in which those expressions shape radicalism, consumerism and new media cultures.  She is the founder of Ruthless — a blog on Black women, feminism and Christianity — and the Digital Black Girls, a digital humanities project that documents representations of Black girls in popular culture. She is also a regular contributor to The Ebony Tower, a blog dedicated to the experience of graduate students of color. She was raised in Durham, North Carolina and is a proud alumna of Davidson College.

Kabria Baumgartner
Kabria Baumgartner

Kabria Baumgartner is an assistant professor of American studies, a core faculty member in the Women’s Studies Program and a faculty affiliate in the History Department. She earned her Ph.D. in African American studies and a graduate certificate in feminist studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She joined the UNH faculty in 2017 where she teaches undergraduate and graduate-level courses on topics such as slave narratives, American protest literature, early African American culture and history, and black feminism. Her research focuses on the social and political realities of African American women’s activism in the United States, from the late eighteenth century to the present. She has earned numerous awards to support her research, including fellowships from the Library Company of Philadelphia, the American Antiquarian Society, the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation and the Massachusetts Historical Society. Her book, "Right To Learn: African American Women and Educational Activism in Antebellum America" (under contract with NYU Press) tells the story of African American women writers, students and teachers who fostered black educational opportunity in the Northeast between 1820 and 1860. It argues that a group of women activists launched a series of local educational campaigns, from establishing literary societies to desegregating female seminaries, in order to create a self-perpetuating system of black intellectual achievement. Baumgartner’s publications include recent scholarly articles in the New England Quarterly and the Journal of the Early Republic as well as a book chapter on the female seminary movement in Margaret Nash’s edited volume, "Women’s Higher Education in the United States: New Historical Perspectives" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).

Her research focuses on the social and political realities of African American women’s activism in the United States, from the late eighteenth century to the present. She has earned numerous awards to support her research, including fellowships from the Library Company of Philadelphia, the American Antiquarian Society, the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation and the Massachusetts Historical Society. Her book, "Right To Learn: African American Women and Educational Activism in Antebellum America" (under contract with NYU Press) tells the story of African American women writers, students and teachers who fostered black educational opportunity in the Northeast between 1820 and 1860. It argues that a group of women activists launched a series of local educational campaigns, from establishing literary societies to desegregating female seminaries, in order to create a self-perpetuating system of black intellectual achievement. Baumgartner’s publications include recent scholarly articles in the New England Quarterly and the Journal of the Early Republic as well as a book chapter on the female seminary movement in Margaret Nash’s edited volume, "Women’s Higher Education in the United States: New Historical Perspectives" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).

Kimberly Bryant
Kimberly Bryant

Kimberly Bryant is the Founder and Executive Director of Black Girls CODE, a non-profit organization dedicated to “changing the face of technology” by introducing girls of color (ages 7-17) to the field of technology and computer science with a concentration on entrepreneurial concepts.

Kimberly has enjoyed a successful 25+ year professional career in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries as an Engineering Manager in a series of technical leadership roles for various Fortune 100 companies such as Genentech, Merck, and Pfizer. Since 2011 Kimberly has helped Black Girls CODE grow from a local organization serving only the Bay Area, to an international organization with seven chapters across the U.S. and in Johannesburg, South Africa. Black Girls CODE has currently reached over 3000 students and continues to grow and thrive.

Kimberly serves on the National Champions Board for the National Girls Collaborative Project, and the National Board of the NCWIT K-12 Alliance. Kimberly and Black Girls CODE have been nationally recognized as a social innovator and for her work to increase opportunities for women and girls in the tech industry. In August 2012 Kimberly was given the prestigious Jefferson Award for Community Service for her work to support communities in the Bay Area. In 2013 Kimberly was highlighted by Business Insider on its list of “The 25 Most Influential African- Americans in Technology” and was named to The Root 100 and the Ebony Power 100 lists. A highlight of 2013 for Kimberly was being invited to the White House as a Champion of Change for her work in tech inclusion and for her focus on bridging the digital divide for girls of color.  In 2014 Kimberly received an American Ingenuity Award in Social Progress from the Smithsonian along with being given the Inaugural Women Who Rule Award in Technology via Politico.  She has been identified as a thought leader in the area of tech inclusion and has spoken on the topic at events such as Personal Democracy Forum, TedX Kansas City, Platform Summit, Big Ideas Festival, SXSW, and many others.

Shelly Walcott
Shelly Walcott

Shelley Walcott joined WMUR-TV in January 2013. She is an award-winning journalist and co-anchor of both News 9 Tonight at 11 p.m. on WMUR, and News 9 at 10 p.m. on MeTV New Hampshire.

Walcott came from WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee, where she worked as an anchor/reporter, covering major stories including the 2012 Obama campaign, the aftermath of a mass shooting at a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and the Blizzard of 2010. In addition, Shelley traveled to Washington, D.C., to cover the birth and eventual separation of conjoined twin boys from Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

A native of Montreal, Quebec, Shelley’s work has earned her several awards. The Foundation of American Women in Radio and Television presented Shelley with a Gracie Award, in the category of Children’s/Adolescent TV, for a three-part medical series she produced for the CNN on “The Teenage Brain.” The Milwaukee Press Club honored Shelley in the category of “Best Live Reporting.” Also, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association recognized Shelley with a Merit Award for "Best Feature Story."

Shelley, who speaks French, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Political Science from Concordia University in Montreal. She also holds a Diplôme Études Collégial in Social Sciences from Montreal's Vanier College.  Shelley is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.S

Katherine Michele Sanders
Katherine Michele Sanders

Katherine Michele Sanders is the very proud granddaughter of Dr. Katherine G. Johnson, Physicist an Mathematician (NASA).

Katherine is originally from Hampton, Virginia where she lived miles from her grandmother. Katherine and her grandmother have always been very close. Family traditions and knowing their culture are still very important in their family. “My grandmother was a wealth of knowledge and so much fun to be with, we never had a dull moment.”

Sanders loves teaching science with a STEM curriculum at St. Peter Claver Catholic School in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has a B.S. in Biology from Southern University at New Orleans. Katherine is a frequent speaker at events that honor her grandmother and or inspired youth to pursue STEM education and careers. For the past year Katherine has been invited to speak publically at the US Dept. of Energy, NASA Stennis Space Center, Sothern University at New Orleans, Louisiana State University (LSU), television and radio interviews and numerous schools, church organizations and sororities.

Dottie Morris
Dr. Dottie Morris

As the Associate Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Equity, Dr. Dottie Morris is a member of the Keene State College President’s Cabinet. Her main foci are providing support and direction to the Executive, Academic, Student Affairs, Advancement and Finance and Planning divisions of the college as the institution works to fulfill its commitment to diversity and multiculturalism.

For years, Dottie has worked with undergraduate and graduate students in the capacity of counselor, teacher, academic advisor, and advisor of student groups. She has demonstrated a consistent and persistent dedication and devotion to diversity, inclusion, multiculturalism and social justice over the past two decades. Prior to her position as Associate Vice President of Institutional Diversity and Equity at KSC, she served as the Associate Dean for Student Learning at World Learning School for International Training Institute (SIT) in Brattleboro, VT, the Director of Student Affairs for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Antioch University New England in Keene and staff counselor at the Colorado State University Counseling Center and the Coordinator of the Employee Assistance Program.

Jada Benn Torres
Dr. Jada Benn Torres

Dr. Jada Benn Torres is a genetic anthropologist at Vanderbilt University whose primary research area is the Anglophone Caribbean. She considers genetic data to enrich explorations of African diasporic and indigenous peoples experiences in the Caribbean. With a specific focus on genetic ancestry, population genetics, and population history of African and Indigenous Caribbean peoples, Dr. Benn Torres examines how contemporary genetic diversity reflects both distant and more recent past events in human history.

Her work has been published in a variety of journals including the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, New Genetics and Society, PLoS One, and Human Biology. In her second area of research, Dr. Benn Torres combines the tools and theories of biological and cultural anthropology, sociology, and genetic epidemiology to investigate the dynamic relationship between identity, genetic ancestry, race, and women’s reproductive health. This work focuses primarily on understanding the factors that shape the high prevalence of uterine fibroids among African American women.

Dr. Benn Torres completed her undergraduate studies with a BA in Pre-professional Studies/Anthropology and Computer Applications from the University of Notre Dame. She received her MS degree and her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. In 2008, she joined the faculty in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Benn Torres remained at Notre Dame for eight years prior to joining the Anthropology faculty at Vanderbilt University in 2016.

Rebecca Nisetich
Rebecca Nisetich

Rebecca Nisetich, earned her Ph.D. in English at the University of Connecticut, where she organized and co-led the Community Service Learning Community. While at UConn, she also also served as Lead Graduate Assistant for the university's Learning Communities Initiative, Lead Coordinator of Writing Assessment in Learning Communities, and interim Coordinator of the Writing Center.

At USM, Rebecca leads the Honors Thesis Writing Workshop, and teaches Honors interdisciplinary seminars with social justice and service learning themes, including "Race: Reflection and Reality" and "Multi-ethnic Graphic Novels." Her dissertation is entitled "Contested Identities: Racial Indeterminacy and Law in the American Novel, 1900-1942."

Rebecca's engagement with Honors reaches back to her school days: she wrote an undergraduate Honors Thesis at Colby College and a Masters Honors Thesis at the University of Massachusetts.

Katherine Wheeler
Dr. Katherine Wheeler

Dr. Katherine  Wheeler is an independent archaeological consultant. Her first archaeological experience was in Israel, when she spent a semester abroad in Jerusalem in 1980. This was followed by a B. A. in Anthropology from the University of New Hampshire; and a Master’s Degree and doctorate in Anthropology from the University of Arizona in 1992.

Ms. Wheeler has accumulated more than 25 years of experience working in New England, specializing in post-Contact-period archaeology. Kathy meets and exceeds Secretary of Interior 36-DFR-61 Standards for Archaeologists, and has completed all levels of archaeological investigation in New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts. She is Phase-2 certified for Euro-American (historic) archaeology in Maine.

Nathan Harris
Nathan Harris

Nathan Harris, Senior Vice- President of Sales and marketing at ZOLL Medical, has 30 years of operations, marketing, sales and executive management experience in the medical device & military avionics industry. He is currently the Senior Vice-President of Sales and Marketing at ZOLL Medical. ZOLL purchased Advanced Circulatory Systems, Inc. in 2015, where Nathan served as Senior VP of Sales and Marketing.

Prior to Advanced Circulatory and ZOLL, Nathan has held multiple VP of Sales and Marketing positions with various medical device companies, including LightLab Imaging, (acquired by St. Jude Medical), CAS Medical, Salient Surgical (acquired by Medtronic), Inc. – He spent 12 years with Medtronic Inc. At Medtronic, Mr. Harris held positions as a National Sales Director, European Business Director, District Manager, Marketing Product Planner and Device Sales Representative.  Before Medtronic, he worked for Guidant Inc. and Honeywell Avionics Division in various leadership and operation capacities.

He earned an Engineering degree from the College of New Jersey, attended the Executive Program at the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, and earned a Masters of Business Administration from St. Thomas University. He has served on multiple boards - Variety Club Heart Hospital, Advanced Circulatory and currently Enova Inc. He is passionate about continuous learning and education in general and looks forward to becoming more involved in the community

Lundy Braun
Lundy Braun, Ph.D.

Lundy Braun, Ph.D., is a Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Africana Studies at Brown University and a member of the STS Program. Her research takes an interdisciplinary approach to analyze the epistemological dimensions of structural racism, health inequality, colonization, and naturalization of human difference. Projects include 1) the transnational circulation of knowledge about racial difference, lung capacity measurements, and respiratory disease, especially between the US and South Africa in the 19th and 20th centuries; 2) the socio-political and scientific production of invisibility about work-related diseases due to asbestos and silica exposure in the mines of South Africa; and 3) the contemporary debate over race, genomics, and health inequality, especially as it impacts explanatory frameworks and medical pedagogy. She has participated in national and international workshops on race, imperialism, genetics, and health. She has been a recipient of a Professional Development Award from the NSF; a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Public Health at the University of Cape Town, South Africa; and a Scholar Award from the NSF

Anthony Ryan Hatch
Anthony Ryan Hatch

Prof. Anthony Ryan Hatch is a sociologist and professor at Wesleyan whose teaching and scholarship examine questions about science, technology, and inequality. His specific areas of specialization are science and technology studies, medical humanities, and political sociology. His new book, Blood Sugar: Racial Pharmacology and Food Justice in Black America (University of Minnesota Press, 2016), examines how a new biomedical concept called “metabolic syndrome” constitutes a new way for scientists to study and treat metabolic health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, a way of reproducing biological and genetic concepts of race and ethnicity, and a political strategy that obscures how institutionalized racisms shape human metabolism.

Professor Hatch earned his AB in Philosophy at Dartmouth College and his MA and PhD in Sociology at the University of Maryland at College Park. He spent years working in community-based public health research at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta.

Dr. Yvonne Goldsberry
Dr. Yvonne Goldsberry

Dr. Yvonne Goldsberry is the foundation’s President of the Endowment for Health.  Before joining the Endowment, Dr. Goldsberry served as Vice President of Population Health and Clinical Integration for Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth Hitchcock Keene.  She is well known as the architect of the nationally recognized Healthy Monadnock initiative, where she engaged numerous community coalitions and over 2,000 community leaders, stakeholders and residents in a bold vision for community health.

Prior to that, Dr. Goldsberry served at the NH Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Community and Public Health.  There, she successfully managed statewide planning, funding and allocations; developed the NH Public Health Network; and contracted for an $11-million federal emergency preparedness initiative.

Earlier in her career, Dr. Goldsberry held leadership positions at Home Healthcare Hospice and Community Services based in Keene, and at the Washington Business Group on Health and George Washington University Center for Health Policy Research, both based in Washington, DC.

Dr. Goldsberry holds a PhD in Public Policy from George Washington University, a Master of Public Health and a Master of Science in Urban Planning from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Brown University.

Julia Rodriguez
Julia Rodriguez

Julia Rodriguez has taught at UNH since 1999. A native of New York City, she studied at the New School (sociology and historical studies) and Columbia University (history). At Columbia, she specialized in Latin American history and the history of science and medicine and took a minor field in feminist studies. At UNH, Rodriguez teaches courses on Latin American history, cultural history, and digital history.

Rodriguez is the author of "Civilizing Argentina: Science, Medicine, and the Modern State" (UNC Press, 2006), and has published articles in the American Historical Review, Isis, Science in Context, and the Hispanic American Historical Review. She is also editor of the open-source teaching website HOSLAC: History of Science in Latin America and the Caribbean (www.hoslac.org).

Rodriguez has been an ACLS Fellow, a fellow at the UNH Center for the Humanities, and a National Science Foundation CAREER awardee; her work has received awards from New England Council for Latin American Studies and the American Association for the History of Medicine. She was the Peggy Rockefeller Visiting Scholar at Harvard University in 2011-12. Rodriguez's current research focuses on the history of social sciences in Latin America, Europe, and the Americas, with a focus on the origins of transnational Americanist anthropology.

Rodriguez's current research focuses on the history of social sciences in Latin America, Europe, and the Americas, with a focus on the origins of transnational Americanist anthropology.

Meghan Howey
Dr. Meghan C.L. Howey

Meghan C.L. Howey, Chair & Associate Professor, UNH Department of Anthropology is an anthropological archaeologist specializing in Native North America. She received her B.A. (2000) from the University of Delaware and her M.A. (2002) and Ph.D. (2006) from the University of Michigan. She has conducted research across North America, including the Southwest, Southeast, and Great Lakes. Her major research project has been on Native American regional organization  in the Upper Great Lakes in the  period preceding European Contact, exploring how tribal communities constructed and used ceremonial monument centers to facilitate  economic, social, and ideological interaction in this period. She has used Geographic Information Systems (GIS), ethnohistoric materials, and collaboration with local tribal communities to enhance her research.

Her theoretical and methodological interests include non-hierarchical societies, ritual practices, landscape theory, and spatial analysis with Geographic   Information  Systems.  Dr Howey has published many articles in peer-reviewed journals and published her book titled Mound Builders  and Monument Makers of the Northern Great Lakes,  1200–1600 in 2012. Dr Howey is James H. Hayes and Claire Short Hayes Professor of the Humanities from fall 2016 through spring 2021.  During this time she will focus on her project “A Deep Time, Multi-Archive Narrative of the Anthropocene in the Great Bay”.

Rachel Watkins
Dr. Rachel Watkins

Dr. Rachel Watkins is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at American University in Washington, D.C. Her work focuses on the lives of Black people living in urban areas during the 19th and 20th centuries. She currently does ongoing research on the W. Montague Cobb skeletal collection, which is made up of D.C. residents who died in the city between 1930 and 1969.

Dr. Watkins is a graduate of Howard University. She is committed to using her research and expertise to engage in interdisciplinary and public discussions about race, health disparities and science as a social practice. This includes speaking to elementary, middle and high school students, as well as other public speaking engagements. These efforts include co-chairing the American Anthropological Association's Anthropologists Go Back to School (AGBTS) initiative with Dr. Kamela Heyward Rotimi, and participating The Public Classroom @ Penn Museum: Science and Race: History, Use and Abuse

David Livingstone Smith
David Livingstone Smith

David Livingstone Smith is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine.

He is author of seven books, as well as numerous papers on dehumanization, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of race, self-deception, philosophy of the social sciences, mass violence, ideology, propaganda, and other topics. His book Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave and Exterminate Others (2011) was awarded the 2012 Anisfield-Wolf award for nonfiction, and he is currently working on a book entitled Making Monsters: The Uncanny Power of Dehumanization, to be published by Harvard University Press.

David is a strong advocate of philosophy having a role in public discourse and often writes to bring philosophical thought to a general audience.  He is a regular blogger for Philosophy Talk, is a frequent contributor to Aeon magazine, has appeared in three prime-time documentaries, has been interviewed and cited on numerous occasions in the national and international media (most recently, national public radio’s Truth, Politics, and Power) and was a guest at the 2012 G20 economic summit, where he spoke about dehumanization, racism, and mass violence.

Joseph Onosko
Joseph Onosko

Prof. Joseph Onosko, Associate Professor of Education, University of New Hampshire

Joe Onosko is an Associate Professor of Education at the University of New Hampshire. His field of research is middle and secondary social studies education, curriculum theory and design, and approaches to school reform.

Throughout his career, Joseph Onosko has strived to positively impact social studies education and schooling more generally. His research has focused on authentic learning: creating school environments that challenge and engage students intellectually, and help them find meaningful connections between classroom ideas and the world today.

Onosko is active in state level educational policy and social studies curricula. He chaired the writing of the United States history and world history sections of the newly–adopted New Hampshire Social Studies Framework. He and a history department colleague, Judith Moyer, have secured $2.6 million in federal funding over seven years to support "History in Perspective," a project designed to improve the teaching of U.S. history in our nation's public schools.

Robert Munroe
Dr. Robert Munroe

Dr. Robert Munroe is the Director of Global Studies in the Social Sciences Division at the Middlesex School. After completing his Ph.D. at Michigan State in 2012, Robert joined the Middlesex History Department. Along with his role as director of MxGlobal, he teaches courses in the history department, such as Ancient World History and West African History, and he has also taught upper-level seminars in African Philosophy, The Harlem Renaissance, and Global Studies. Robert developed and coordinates one of Middlesex’s signature academic programs: Dialogues Across Differences. This required, freshman course teaches students that positive learning and understanding come from having difficult conversations. Using contemporary academic and popular writings, students are introduced to important current events from around the world and the skills necessary to think through and discuss them.

Kaira Wells
Kaira Wells

Kaira Wells is currently completing her final year at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. Before entering law school, she received her undergraduate degree in Biology at Goucher College.  Her original thoughts after undergrad was to either pursue a degree in medicine or endocrinology. However, she decided to go to law school. Wells is now able to combine her fascination with law and her love of science.  Through community engagement with New Leaders Council, she is dedicated to leading the conversation involving race, law, and science to further open the door for women who dream. 

Peter Frank
Peter Frank

Dr. Peter Frank, a Chemistry instructor at Phillips Academy in Andover. A UNH Alumni, Frank grew up in Jamaica. He completed his International Baccalaureate at the Armand Hammer United World College in 2005; after which Peter pursued a BA in Chemistry and Physics, with minors in mathematics, business administration and Pre-engineering at Westminster College, graduating in 2009. During his undergraduate tenure, he became an Academic Careers in Engineering & Science (ACES) fellow at Case Western Reserve University where he developed a novel single-chambered microbial fuel cell while working with Dr. Xiong (Bill) Yu.

In November 2010, Peter became one of the first Ph.D. students of Dr. Erik Berda at the University of New Hampshire. There, he developed anthracene driven single-chain nanoparticles, as a facile route to manufacturing architecturally well-defined and functionalizable polymeric nanostructures. Peter has won several awards during his tenure including the 2015-2016 John and Elizabeth Dissertation year fellow at Phillips Exeter Academy, The College of Engineering and Physical Sciences Outstanding Teaching Assistant of the year 2012-2013, The Chemistry Department's Excellence in Graduate Research ward in 2013 as well as 2014 German Exchange Program hosted by the Northeastern Section of the ACS, Northeastern Section of the Younger Chemist Committee and Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker in Germany.

2017 Black New England Conference Hosts


JerriAnne Boggis
JerriAnne Boggis

JerriAnne Boggis is the Executive Director of the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire an organization that preserves, celebrates and honors African-American history in the state. She is a writer, educator, and community activist whose work corrects the historical record on the racial complexity and richness of New Hampshire's diverse past. Through the development of community programs, exhibits and tours Boggis has raised the awareness of New Hampshire's people of color and increased the visibility of Black history in the state. She believes that sharing a truer more integrated history can change the way our country understands human dignity when it is free of historical stereotypes.

Born in Jamaica, Ms. Boggis moved to the United States in 1977 and has been a long-term resident of Milford, New Hampshire. She received her B.S. degree in Business Management at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester and her M.A. in Writing and Communications at Rivier College in Nashua. Her publications include Refugee Resettlement in New Hampshire (Center for the Humanities, UNH); "Reflections and Memories; Footsteps" (Cobblestone Press, 2005); "Harriet Wilson's New England: Race, Writing and Region" (Co-Editor, UPNE, 2007), a collection of essays, the first devoted entirely to Wilson and her novel.

Boggis has received many awards for her work including being named in 2015 by the New Hampshire Humanities Council as one of the 40 most influential New Hampshirites who have vastly enriched human understanding and whose original works and passion for excellence have put New Hampshire on the cultural map..

Dennis Britton
Dennis Britton

Dennis Britton, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in English Department at UNH, and a 2011 graduate from the Research and Engagement Academy. He spent the 2012-2013 academic year researching at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, after being awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Folger Magazine featured Dr. Britton and his research in the Spring 2013 edition of the publication. He also was awarded an Excellence in Teaching Award in 2013. The focus of his research is early modern English literature, especially Shakespeare and Spenser, reformation theology, race theory, and an examination of how theological constructions of race shape interactions between Christians, Muslims and Jews. Dr. Britton received his B.A. from the University of Southern California and his Masters and Ph.D. degrees from University of Wisconsin at Madison.


David Watters
David Watters

Raised in West Hartford, Connecticut and educated at Dartmouth College and Brown University, Professor David Watters teaches courses on New Hampshire and New England literature, history, and culture. He coedited The Encyclopedia of New England and has written books and essays on literature and about New England's old gravestones. He has served on the executive committee of the UNH faculty union. David is frequently heard on New Hampshire Public Radio as consultant for Granite State Stories and the Immigration Project. Deeply concerned about preserving our history, culture, arts, and environment, David served eight years as a trustee of the New Hampshire Historical Society, and on the board of directors for the New Hampshire Humanities, the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail, Pontine Movement Theatre, Strawbery Banke Museum's Center for the Study of Community, and the Robert Frost Farm. He has visited hundreds of local libraries and historical societies to give talks.

Sean Moore
Sean Moore

Sean Moore's research and teaching is focused on postcolonial, economic, and
book history approaches to Restoration
and eighteenth-century literature, with a particular focus on the cultures of Ireland and the Anglophone Atlantic. His monograph, "Swift, the Book, and the Irish Financial Revolution: Satire and Sovereignty in Colonial Ireland" (Johns Hopkins UP, 2010), won the 2010 Donald Murphy Prize for Distinguished First Book from the American Conference for Irish Studies. It argues that Jonathan Swift helped to mobilize the Irish print media for the promo on of Ireland's cultural, political, and economic sovereignty. His new book project, entitled Slavery and the Making of the Early American Library, studies how the transatlantic book trade — the purchase of London printed books by Americans eager for British cultural capital and identity — was enabled by the philanthropy of colonial slave traders and by the consumer habits of slave owners.