Liz Sevcenko is founding director of the Humanities Action Lab. She started HAL at The New School in New York City and now leads it from Rutgers University-Newark. HAL grew out of the Guantánamo Public Memory Project, an international collaboration of universities and organizations that Sevcenko is launched from Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, to build a global conversation about the past, present, and future of the US naval base at Guantánamo Bay. Sevcenko is was founding director of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, a network of historic sites that foster public dialogue on pressing contemporary issues. Prior to starting the Coalition, Sevcenko is served as Vice President for Programs at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, developing exhibits and educational activities that connect the stories of the neighborhood’s immigrants past and present. In 2017 she was awarded a Rome Prize in historic preservation from the American Academy in Rome to complete her forthcoming book, Public History for the Post-Truth Era. She received her M.A. in history from New York University.
Annie Anderson (she/her) is an American Studies PhD student at Rutgers-Newark. As a graduate assistant for the Humanities Action Lab, Annie has supported the Rikers Public Memory Project, managing social media, producing podcasts, and supporting its oral history efforts. Before starting her PhD program, Annie worked at Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site in Philadelphia for 9 years doing research on the prison's history and contemporary justice issues, developing exhibits, audio stops, public programs, and social media projects. Annie has collaborated with academics, genealogists, front line interpreters, and museum visitors. Her research interests include race, gender, sexuality, cities, vice, crime, and morality. She loves telling the stories of those whom history has largely forgotten. Annie is the co-author of the exhibit Prisons Today: Questions in the Age of Mass Incarceration. She has also written for the Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia, The Public Historian, The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, and Monument Lab.
Administrative and Program Manager
Regina Campbell has been providing the overall project management for the Rikers Public Memory Project at HAL’s partner organization, Create Forward, where she organized the collection of over 100 oral histories of people who were incarcerated at the Rikers Island Jails, ensuring that the stories of those who have suffered because of Rikers are preserved. She continues that work with HAL, as well as supporting our coalition's administrative needs, including managing payments and contracts, supporting logistics for those hosting Climates of Inequality or our other exhibits, and supporting any events we may organize in the future. Regina brings an incredible wealth of private, non-profit, and government experience in organizational development and planning, implementing, and monitoring programs. She dedicated four years to service leadership in Belize, developing educational systems for youth and creating economic opportunities for women. Upon her return to the U.S., Regina worked to break the cycle of illiteracy, poverty, and low expectations by helping families in low-income communities address the barriers to lasting success. She also works extensively with students with a variety of learning abilities. Regina has an MBA in Organizational Management from Georgia State University Robinson College of Business, Atlanta.
Learning and Coalition Facilitator
Leora Fuller (she/her) is a trans artist, organizer, and facilitator currently teaching at Rutgers University-Newark (RU-N) and working as the Learning and Coalition Facilitator for the Humanities Action Lab. Her passion is supporting students and working people telling their own stories in ways that evoke the past and present to imagine radical utopian futures. Leora has organized classes on decolonizing the NY-NJ region, environmental justice, subaltern history, and trans mutual aid, often incorporating new technologies such as AR/VR and digital mapping. As a member of HAL she helped organize and facilitated the 2019 Climates of Inequality Gathering, the 2020 Summer Sessions, and the upcoming Translocal Learning Studio. She has taught at New York University, led storytelling and learning workshops at the New School and the CUNY Grad Center, and curated several exhibits as co-founder of the Below the Grid Lab including “Haunted Files: The Eugenics Record Office,” “Lost Streets: Seward Park’s Fight for Housing Justice” and “In the Shadow of the Highway: Robert Moses and the Battle for Downtown.”
Exhibitions and Program Manager
Wilmarie Medina-Cortes (she/they) is the Exhibitions and Program Manager for the Humanities Action Lab. In this role, she oversees Climates of Inequality and the COVID Crisis: Building Leadership at Minority Serving Institutions, a Mellon-funded national initiative to build infrastructure for minority-serving colleges and universities (MSIs) to foster public humanities climate leaders in a world changed by COVID-19. She also supports the local staging of Climates of Inequality and States of Incarceration, working with HAL’s university and community partners. Wilmarie received her M.A. in Museum and Exhibition Studies from the University of Illinois in Chicago. Her capstone project Community Archives of Resistance: Diasporic Experiences of Puerto Ricans in Chicago as represented in El Archivo explores a community archive at the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, connecting photographs to the history of diasporic Puerto Ricans in Chicago from 1920 to 1990.