July 2021 Newsletter

Join us on Friday, July 23, from 12 to 1:30 p.m. for the first webinar in the New Jersey’s Indigenous Voices series, a program of free virtual educational events that seek to facilitate a deeper and more accurate public understanding of Indigenous history and life in the region now known as New Jersey. Sharing the Continuing Story of Indigenous Peoples in New Jersey will address the history and continuity of tribal communities in the region and beyond.

Register Today

NJHC Approves $230,000 in Supplemental COVID-19 Grant Assistance

In our ongoing commitment to address the essential financial needs brought about by COVID-19, the NJHC has approved $230,000 in supplemental fiscal year 2021 funding for history organizations across the state. The grants, in the amount of $5,000, were received by 46 grantees and will be used to maintain staffing and other critical services, ensuring the safety of staff and visitors as well as the expansion of virtual programming. Read more about the grants and organizations funded.

Recapping New Jersey, The Last Northern State to End Slavery, Juneteenth 2021 Commemoration

Image collage: Peter Lee who may have been illegally enslaved as a young man by the Stevens Family in Hoboken, NJ and Lockey White’s 1860 census entry indicating that she was a “slave for life.”

This June 2021, the NJHC marked the state’s newest state holiday, Juneteenth, by exploring the people, laws, and economic leaders that kept African Americans enslaved in New Jersey until 1865.

Noelle Lorraine Williams, Director, African American History Program at the NJHC, penned an essay entitled, New Jersey, The Last Northern State to End Slavery, that discussed the origins of Juneteenth and New Jersey’s singular relationship with the holiday.

On June 16, Noelle moderated a panel of that same name featuring Dr. James Amemasor, Will Likely Endeavor to Pass for Free’: Runaway Slave Advertisements in New Jersey Newspapers, 1777-1808, and Dr. James J. Gigantino, The Ragged Road to Abolition: Slavery and Freedom in New Jersey, 1775-1865. Check out a recording of the event. This Juneteenth program was a kickoff of the NJHC’s new virtual series Black Is: African American History and Sites in New Jersey.

The NJHC marked the day of Juneteenth with a virtual conversation between Noelle and New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way about the holiday and its legacy in the state. Don’t miss the full conversation to learn more.

What Does the 4th of July Mean to You? Conversations with the Declaration of Independence 

Don’t miss it! Noelle Lorraine Williams, Director, African American History Program at the NJHC, hosted a three-part series on social media last week exploring the meaning of the 4th of July. Each episode examined three examples of how Americans have had “conversations with the Declaration of Independence” in their art, activism, and community leadership. Episodes covered the “Winds of Change” mural by artist Illia Barger, the Declaration of Sentiments and the Women’s Rights Convention of 1848, and the Liberian Declaration of Independence of 1847. View the full series today.

New Staff Spotlight: Marc Lorenc 

We are thrilled to officially introduce NJHC Program Coordinator, Marc Lorenc. Marc started with the NJHC in February of this year and is serving as the staff project manager for Revolution NJ.

Marc is a public anthropologist interested in uncovering and understanding the various ways in which culture and history is articulated by people, places, and things. Receiving his PhD in Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, he uses a mixed method approach to understand how and why people do what they do and how they make sense of the world around them. Prior to joining the NJHC, Marc was the founder and director of the Dr. James Still Community Archaeology Project where he explored the intersection of materiality, memory, and meritocracy at the Dr. James Still Historic Office and Homestead in Medford, NJ. Read Marc’s full bio to learn more.

NJ Women Vote Series
Nominated for an Emmy

The NJHC’s short video series NJ Women Vote was nominated for an Emmy in the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The series, which was created to commemorate the centennial of the 19th Amendment in 2020, features short videos about women’s suffrage and voting rights history in New Jersey. The project was sponsored by the Alice Paul Institute and Middlesex County, NJ and produced by Susan Wallner at PCK Media. The awards ceremony is slated to take place in late September of this year.

Revolution NJ

Reminder: Strategic and Interpretative Frameworks Now Available

Strategic and Interpretative Frameworks for Revolution NJ are available online for those planning for the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States in 2026. You can also view a recording of a virtual session discussing the frameworks and their application for cultural organizations. The Revolution NJ team is currently working on new materials and professional development programs to supplement the frameworks.


Save the Date! Next Quarterly Update Meeting 

Join us at our next Quarterly Meeting for the latest on Revolution NJ planning, plus insights on communications and branding from Tom Sullivan of Princeton Partners.

Revolution NJ Quarterly Update Meeting
Tuesday, August 3, from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM (EDT) 

To join the meeting use the following link – https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/698260677 

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (312) 757-3121
Access Code: 698-260-677

New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts: https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/698260677

Please RSVP your planned attendance to Sue Kaufmann at

Making History at 250: The Field Guide for the Semiquincentennial

On July 1, the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) released Making History at 250: The Field Guide for the Semiquincentennial, a new resource featuring guiding themes and ideas to help inspire planning for the 250th. The NJHC’s Executive Director Sara Cureton played a pivotal role, as chair of AASLH’s 250th coordinating committee, in the development of this guide. Download the guide today.

Around the Field

NJ Council for the Humanities
COVID-19 Relief Grants

The New Jersey Council for the Humanities (NJCH) is now accepting applications for COVID-19 relief grants to support NJ humanities organizations and programs. Grant funds are available to support operational and programmatic efforts in preparation for, response to, and recovery from the pandemic. For eligibility information and guidelines, visit the NJCH website.

NJ National History Day 2021 National Winners

Every year, New Jersey National History Day students present projects, including papers, exhibitions, websites, performances, and documentaries, that creatively explore history. We want to congratulate the many New Jersey students who both qualified and placed at the National History Day competition this year! Check out a full list of qualifying students and their projects. The NJHC is a proud supporter of New Jersey National History Day.

Recording Available: Indigenous Theatre Makers in Conversation

On June 28, the New Jersey Theatre Alliance (NJTA) hosted Indigenous Theatre Makers in Conversation, a virtual panel event featuring a candid and collegial conversation among Indigenous theatre makers based in the local area of Lenapehoking (colonially known as New Jersey and New York) and beyond. Tune in for the event recording today! The NJHC was pleased to sponsor this panel in partnership with the NJTA.