Research & Action

Restorative History is driven by collaborative research and a commitment to action. We work with communities around the country to research historical harms and address exclusions from national history. Beyond examining what happened, we ask: how do past harms continue to impact communities in the present?

Knowledge about these histories helps us to imagine alternative futures.

José Centeno-Meléndez, wearing headphones and holding an audio recording device, sitting on a brown-grey couch with an oral history participant, who is holding a green pillow.
Oral historian José Centeno-Meléndez conducting an interview as a part of the Undocumented Organizing Collecting Initiative.

Collaborations with historically harmed communities guide our research and actions every step of the way:

Graphic describing the Research and Action team's three step process of forging partnerships, researching root causes, and working with community experts to generate knowledge, exhibitions, programs, and other projects in service of redressing past harms.

The Research & Action team provides a roadmap for the Center for Restorative History that explains how and why we do Restorative History. This roadmap draws from an interdisciplinary community of thinkers, practitioners, artists, and activists. We learn from those who put the needs of communities at the center of their work and who seek to minimize inflicting new harm in the process.

The Team

  • Dr. Nancy Bercaw | Curator, Political History; Deputy Director, Center for Restorative History
  • José Centeno-Meléndez | Oral Historian, Undocumented Organizing Collecting Initiative 
  • Dr. Modupe Labode | Curator, African American Social Justice History
  • Dr. Orlando R. Serrano, Jr. | Manager of Youth and Teacher Programs 
  • Dr. Sam Vong | Curator, Asian American Pacific Islander History