Tracing Center speakers

The following are several of the speakers regularly offered by the Tracing Center for film screenings, dialogues, and other programs on the history and legacy of slavery, race, and privilege, including workshops for educators and public history professionals, conferences, keynote addresses, and any other occasion where a speaker on these topics is appropriate.

The Tracing Center offers speakers and facilitators other than those featured here, including other DeWolf descendants appearing in our Emmy-nominated documentary Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North (PBS/POV). To discuss speakers who would be most appropriate for your audience or occasion, or for other information, please contact us at

Juanita C. Brown

Juanita appears in our Emmy-nominated PBS documentary, Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North, and as the film’s co-producer, was instrumental in designing the film’s racial dialogues. After the film’s debut, she co-founded the Tracing Center and served on its founding board of directors. Today, Juanita is a speaker and facilitator for Tracing Center programs on racial healing and equity, and plays a key role in the design of our school programs, educator workshops, and general public programs. Juanita has seventeen years of experience as a consultant specializing in racial equity and healing, strategic community engagement, organizational development, breakthrough conversations, and cultivating restorative systems relationships and personal narratives. She received her undergraduate degree from Stanford and her master’s in public policy from UC Berkley.

“It was a true pleasure to have Ms. Juanita Brown participating as a facilitator in our educator professional development session on slavery and its legacies.  We wanted to have someone who would be able to listen to teachers and understand their unique situation.  Ms. Brown and her Traces colleagues were the perfect choice.  She deftly engaged the participants in moving from one emotional stance through compassion into, in many instances, a deeper more thoughtful stance for understanding the impact of slavery and the importance of teaching about slavery as a central part of American history.  Ms. Brown’s sincere and honest style struck the perfect balance with our participants and gave them “permission” which to respond with a similar sincerity.”

— Candra Flanagan, Student and Teacher Programs Coordinator, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Katrina Browne

Katrina produced and directed Traces of the Trade, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and aired nationwide on PBS. The film’s awards include an Emmy nomination and the Henry Hampton Award. After the film premiered, Katrina co-founded the Tracing Center and served as its first executive director. Today, Katrina works at the Tracing Center in the areas of strategic vision and program design, and she travels extensively as a public speaker and facilitator for Tracing Center programs on racial healing and equity. Previously, Katrina co-founded Public Allies, an AmeriCorps program now operating in twenty-one cities. She has a master’s in theology from the Pacific School of Religion.

“Thank you for sharing your family’s story about the slave trade.  It was an inspirational experience.  You engaged us with the power and personal meaning of the account with the video and then made it human with your sensitive, intelligent, compassionate, and courageous dialogue with us.  You helped us see a familiar historical event from a new perspective and helped us see its impact on our lives today and what we might do to address the inequities it created.  Your presentation was one of the most moving I have ever attended.”

— David Costello, Head of School, St. Peter’s School

Kristin Gallas

Kristin has led the Tracing Center’s public history work since its founding, and also oversaw the design of our workshops for teachers and other professionals in education. Today, Kristin facilitates many of our workshops for public history professionals, and speaks regularly at public history conferences, museums, and historic sites. She is the co-editor of Interpreting Slavery at Museums and Historic Sites (Rowman & Littlefield, January 2015), among other publications on best practices in the interpretation of slavery. 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 or interpretation departments at the Montana Historical Society, the USS Constitution Museum; and the Tsongas Industrial History Center. Kristin has also developed programs for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Shelburne Museum; created interpretative training for Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site and the Maine State Museum; and consulted with Martha’s Vineyard Museum on exhibit development.

“[Kristin’s workshop] was very helpful in terms of preparation for interaction with visitors. It provided research-based strategies, lots of examples and opportunities for practice. Also helped me set a broad context for our exhibit and the many ‘connections’ that visitors may make, some positive, some not so much.”

— Participant, Maine State Museum Professional Development Workshop

James DeWolf PerryJames DeWolf Perry

James was nominated for an Emmy Award for his role as the principal historical consultant for our PBS documentary, Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North, in which he also appears as a descendant of James DeWolf, the leading slave-trader in U.S. history. After the release of the film, James co-founded the Tracing Center and served as its founding board chair, before becoming executive director. James now leads many of our public programs on racial healing and equity, as well as professional workshops for educators and public history professionals. He has spoken across the country, and abroad, about his family’s, and our nation’s, historic role in slavery and about the legacy of this history today. James is the co-editor of Interpreting Slavery at Museums and Historic Sites (Rowman & Littlefield, January 2015), among other published writing aimed at improving the interpretation of slavery and race in our nation’s history. He also serves on the board of directors of the Center for Reconciliation in Providence, R.I. James attended Columbia Law School and his graduate work at Harvard University has included research into the transatlantic slave trade and its abolition.

“James did an amazing job, somehow managing to interpret American history in a different, very credible light, which was something none of us had thought about or understood before. The congregation gave him the most enthusiastic applause I can ever remember. We all learned a lot more than we ever imagined.”

— From a participant at a Pennsylvania Quaker meeting

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