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About Us

Renee Ater

Dr. Renée Ater is the founder of Contemporary Monuments to the Slave Past. For academic year 2020-2021, she is the Provost Visiting Associate Professor in Africana Studies at Brown University. She taught in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at the University of Maryland for seventeen years, retiring in 2017. 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. 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. In November 2019, Yasumura was awarded the three-year Inaugural Luce Foundation Curatorial Fellow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. 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.