About the Project

In Pursuit of Freedom is a multifaceted public history initiative that explores the everyday heroes of Brooklyn’s anti-slavery movement.

This public history project is a partnership of Brooklyn Historical Society, Weeksville Heritage Center and Irondale Ensemble Project. The project includes exhibits, public programs, an extensive on-line curriculum, an original theater piece by Irondale Ensemble Project, a website (pursuitoffreedom.org), walking tours and a memorial to Brooklyn Abolitionists that will be part of the new Willoughby Square Park when it opens in 2016.

In Pursuit of Freedom Project Credits
Executive Directors

Brooklyn Historical Society, Deborah Schwartz
Irondale Ensemble Project, Terry Greiss
Weeksville Heritage Center, Pamela Green

In Pursuit of Freedom Project Staff

Prithi Kanakamedala, Ph.D., Historian and Curator
Kate Fermoile, Project Manager 
Carol Enseki,
 Former Project Manager
Barbara Steele, Former Project Manager
Samantha Gibson, Research Associate
Larry Weimer, Archivist
Michael Satalof, Photo Collection Assistant

Scholarly Advisory Board

Manisha Sinha, Lead Consultant, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Cynthia Copeland, New York University
Bret Eynon, La Guardia Community College, CUNY
Graham Hodges, Colgate University
James O. Horton, George Washington University
Lois E. Horton, George Mason University
Gunja Sen Gupta, Brooklyn College and Graduate Center, CUNY
Clarence Taylor, Baruch College, CUNY
Mike Wallace, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY
Judith Wellman, State University of New York at Oswego
Shane White, University of Sydney
Craig Steven Wilder, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Research Interns

Paula Austin, The Graduate Center CUNY
Christopher Babits, Clark University
Michael Chui, New York University
Christine Griffiths, Bard Graduate Center
Teresa Iacobelli, Rockefeller Archives
Sarah Moazeni, Wellesley College
Emy Pagano, Hunter College CUNY
Debbie-Ann Paige, College of Staten Island CUNY
Maggie Schreiner, New York University
Heather Wilson, New York University

Brooklyn Historical Society

Current Staff
Elizabeth Call, Head of Reference and User Services
Marcia Ely, Vice President of External Affairs and Programs
Julie Golia, Ph.D., Public Historian
Julie I. May, Head of Collection Management
Jacob Nadal, Director of Library and Archives
Jason Pietrangeli, Director of Finance and Operations
Emily Potter-Ndiaye, Director of Education

Former Staff
Andrea DelValle, Director of Education
Chela Scott Weber, Director of Library and Archives

Irondale Ensemble Project

Jim Niesen, Artistic Director
Maria Knapp, Managing Director
Amanda Hinkle, Director of Education
Ken Rothchild, Scenic Designer

Weeksville Heritage Center

Current Staff
Rylee Eterginoso, Public Programs Curator
LaShaya Howie, Education Programs Curator
Anita Romero, Director of Operations and Administration

Former Staff
Elissa Blount Moorehead, Vice Director/Director of Design
Kadrena Cunningham, Manger of Learning, Policy and Schools
Kaitlyn Greenidge, Research Assistant
Jennifer Scott, Vice Director/Director of Research

In Pursuit of Freedom Consultants

Ellen Leerburger, Evaluator


Pure+Applied, Website Design
PIXOD, Phase One design


Tracee Worley, Curriculum Developer
Jody Polleck, Copy Editor
PIXOD, Phase One Game Design

Curriculum Advisory Board:
Cathleen Marie Antoine, David Bally, Tracy Cook-Person, Allison Milewski

Color Between the Lines

Jim Niesen, Director
Terry Greiss, Producer
Irondale Ensemble, Performance

Created by the Irondale Ensemble Project
Nolan Kennedy and Michael-David Gordon,
Terry Greiss, Taifa Harris, Ben Mathews, Alex Miyashiro, Patrena Murray,
Scarlet Maressa Rivera, Damen Scranton, Victoria L. Ward

Based on a Narrative Written by Prithi Kanakamedala

Exhibition Design

Matter Architecture Practice
Sandra Wheeler, Co-Director
Alfred Zollinger Co-Director
Chelsea Crisafulli
Elizabeth Beecherl
Dànae Colomer Garcia
Ryan Kahen
Nikol Drewry

Graphic Design

Urshula Barbour
Paul Carlos
Carrie Kawamura
Juan Pablo Gomez
Kari Johanesen

Interactive Design

Potion Design
Phillip Tiongson, Principal
Allison Farber, Producer
Jonathan Bobrow, Developer
Bruce Drummond, Developer
Edyta Lewicka, Designer

Interpretive Planning

Lord Cultural Resources
Joy Bailey Bryant