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About Us

Renee Ater

Dr. Renée Ater is the founder of Contemporary Monuments to the Slave Past and Associate Professor Emerita of American Art at the University of Maryland. An award-winning art historian, her research and writing have focused on the intersection of race, monument building, and national identity. Ater is the author of numerous articles and two monographs: Keith Morrison and Remaking Race and History: The Sculpture of Meta Warrick Fuller. Her publication Remaking Race and History reclaims Fuller as an important early modern sculptor within the context of the Progressive Era and its heated debates about race, national identity, and culture. In 2017 the art historian Huey Copeland heralded Ater’s article on Meta Warrick Fuller’s Ethiopia (American Art, Autumn 2003) as a foundational contribution to the making of black feminist art histories. Ater holds a B.A. in Art History from Oberlin College, and M.A. and Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Maryland.

Grace Yasumura

Dr. Grace Yasumura is the project manager for Contemporary Monuments to the Slave Past. She earned her Ph.D. in Art History and Archaeology from the University of Maryland in 2019. Prior to graduate school, Yasumura worked at a legal services non-profit, an experience that gave her a deeper understanding of the systemic racial bias embedded in the U. S. legal system. This understanding shaped the nature of her dissertation — a project that examined the different ways racialized identities were created, contested, and consolidated in New Deal post office murals. Yasumura also holds a B.A. in Peace and Justice Studies from Wellesley College and an M.A. in Art History from New York University.