Who We Are

Mission

The Center for Restorative History (CRH) redresses exclusions in our national story using the principles of restorative justice. The CRH uses these principles to center the knowledge and expertise of communities, working in partnership with them to address and document historical harms, current needs, and obligations in an effort to make history more accurate and inclusive.

Staff

Our team is guided by honesty, generosity, radical care, reflective work, and imagination—these values are at the forefront of our work to promote community-based knowledge and redressive practice. We come together from different museum departments, areas of expertise, and personal backgrounds, and we bring these diverse perspectives to CRH projects. Reach us at restorativehistorycmte@si.edu.

 

Tsione Wolde-Michael

Tsione Wolde-Michael (she/her/hers) | CRH Director

Tsione Wolde-Michael is a curator of African American Social Justice History at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, where she also serves as director for the Center for Restorative History. Her work focuses on redress and restorative justice in museums through innovative approaches to community engagement, collections management, cultural heritage, and exhibitions. Her international work in Ethiopia, Mozambique, South Africa, and the United Kingdom has focused on collaborating with local art and public history institutions to reinterpret colonial collections. She holds a bachelor's degree in Women and Gender Studies from Macalester College and her MA in History from Harvard University.

Nancy Bercaw

Nancy Bercaw (she/her/hers) | CRH Deputy Director

Nancy Bercaw is a curator of Political History at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, where she also serves as deputy director for the Center for Restorative History. Her work focuses on creating space for histories excluded from our national narrative. At the NMAH, she co-curated the exhibitions Girlhood (It’s complicated) and Reckoning with Remembrance: History, Injustice, and the Murder of Emmett Till; founded the Undocumented Organizing Collecting Initiative; and co-produced Tell Me What Democracy Looks Like. She received her BA in history from Oberlin College and her MA and PhD in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania.

Patty Arteaga

Patty Arteaga (she/her/hers) | CRH Project Coordinator

As the Center for Restorative History project coordinator, Patty Arteaga leads efforts in centering and building relationships with historically harmed communities. Her previous role as the project lead for the Undocumented Organizing Collecting Initiative focused on co-creating the national collection on the undocumented movement. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she graduated from UCLA and received her master's at George Washington University. She has had several positions in the Smithsonian Institution, most notably as a Latino Project coordinator at the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and school educator at the National Portrait Gallery (NPG).

José Centeno-Meléndez

José Centeno-Meléndez (he/him/his/él)

José Centeno-Meléndez is an oral historian co-constructing a project that centers on the voices of undocumented organizers who have been reshaping political movements throughout the past twenty years. He has over five years of experience documenting diverse Latinx-based community histories in Washington, D.C., and is writing a dissertation on Salvadoran community formation in D.C. through a food, labor, identity, and space lens. His personal, educational, and professional trajectories have taught him about the important roles oral history plays in honoring often silenced histories and human experiences in museum spaces. He is a native of Prince George’s County, Maryland, by way of Long Island, New York, and eastern El Salvador.

Caroline Fiertz

Caroline Fiertz (she/her/hers)

As the museum’s Interns & Fellows Program manager, Caroline Fiertz is driven by her dedication to ensuring equitable learning experiences, and she strives to create inclusive professional spaces and educational opportunities for folks from a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives. She has also developed and facilitated trainings regarding LGBTQ+ inclusion of both staff and visitors and served as part of the Chicagoland Alliance for Museums with Pride (CAMP) from 2017-2018 and identifies as bisexual, pansexual, and queer. She grew up in southern Louisiana and, after moving between Chicago and the Washington, D.C., area, has now finally decided that she (sometimes) likes the snow.

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson (he/him/his)

As the museum’s assistant director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, Mike Johnson develops strategic partnerships with institutional prospects that support the museum’s financial, promotional, collecting, and research goals. He is a graduate of the Smithsonian’s Palmer Leadership Development Program, a year-long intensive leadership development, training, and mentoring program for competitively selected, high-achieving leaders. He began his museum career as a development intern after graduating with a BA in History from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Daniela Jiménez

Daniela Jiménez (she/her/hers)

Daniela Jiménez is an archivist at NMAH, where she collaborates and consults with curators who collect material related to U.S. Latina/o/x and Asian American history and culture. Outside of the museum, she consults on projects that intersect with archives, digital scholarship, public history, and communities of color. She recently completed her PhD in Chicana/o and Central American Studies at UCLA, where she also earned a Master of Library and Information Science degree. She holds an MA in American Studies from Purdue University and a BA in Anthropology and Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley.

Modupe Labode

Modupe Labode (she/her/hers)

Modupe Labode is a curator of African American Social Justice History. She earned her doctorate in history at Oxford University, and has held positions in public history and museum studies at Iowa State University (her alma mater), Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and History Colorado. At the CRH, she supports the Movement for Black Lives Collecting Initiative, Programming, and the Research & Action team.

Magdalena Mieri

Magdalena Mieri (she/her/hers/ella)

Magdalena Mieri is the director of the Latino Program at NMAH. She works to interpret and present the history of U.S.-based Latinx communities through programs and collaborations across the museum, and at the local and national levels. Previously, she was assistant curator at the Museo de Arte Hispanoamericano in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She holds a senior fellow position in the Department of Anthropology at University of Maryland, College Park, and has taught graduate-level courses in the Master’s of Museum Education program at The George Washington University and the Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain. She received her BA in Museum Studies from the Argentine Institute of Museology and her MA in Anthropological Sciences from the University of Buenos Aires.

Orlando R. Serrano, Jr.

Orlando R. Serrano, Jr. (he/him/his/él)

Orlando Serrano manages the museum’s educational programs for young people and educators. He supports and develops informal educational and leadership experiences for students, professional development workshops for educators, and curriculum content. He is an experienced educator with expertise in teacher professional development, assessment, and instruction. He earned his PhD in American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. His research and writing focus on race, space, power, and the built environment in the Américas. At the CRH, he co-chairs the Decolonization Working Group and supports the Development, Programming, and Research & Action teams.

Sam Vong

Sam Vong (he/him/his)

As curator of Asian Pacific American History, Sam Vong’s work focuses on amplifying and bringing greater visibility to the histories of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. He earned his PhD in History at Yale University, and his current research projects examine the intersectional histories of displacement, migration, and sanctuary. In addition to his museum work, he teaches graduate courses in the Public History MA Program at American University and is currently serving as a co-editor for the Public History Reviews section of the Journal of American History.