New Views on Immigration and Diversity for History Organizations
December 12, 2013
MARCH / Camden County Historical Society
When the U.S. Census Bureau announced in 2012 that Cumberland County, New Jersey had reached majority minority status, it showed that even in predominantly rural areas racial and ethnic diversity had become the new normal. While the rest of South Jersey did not change quite as rapidly, population growth is occurring because of new immigration, not in addition to it, as Asians, Hispanics, and Latinos, among others, flock to the region. For historic sites, museums, and historical societies with few resources and small staffs, these changes are an opportunity—and a challenge. How does a museum connect with a changing population? Who is moving to South Jersey and why? How can an institution find new stories to tell that are relevant for current residents? Can old stories be told in new ways? Public historians at large organizations like the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York City and the Smithsonian Institution have been grappling with this problem, but what can small museums or historic sites with limited staff and resources do?
Thanks to a grant from the 1772 Foundation, MARCH will offer a helping hand in the form of a half-day Public History Boot Camp on New Views on Immigration and Diversity for History Organizations that will take place on December 12, 2013 at the Camden County Historical Society. Featuring three expert speakers, Dr. Domenic Vitiello (University of Pennsylvania), Dr. Andrew Urban (Rutgers University), and Dr. James Turk, the boot camp will help history organizations understand immigration trends to the region, learn historical methods to find stories to tell that will resonate with new residents, and put it all together using a case study of an innovative public history project. Attendees will receive a stipend, a free resource book, and the opportunity for a one-on-one consultation with a historian at their site, as well as camaraderie, inspiration and, of course, lunch. Spaces are limited. To apply, please visit: http://publichistorybootcamp.eventbrite.com.