Freedom House 75th Artifact Project

To celebrate its 75th anniversary, a joint team from Freedom House and Reckonings has been working on The Freedom House 75th Artifact Project. This is an intergenerational collaboration that will authentically share the stories of folks who have made a significant impact on the Boston community – inspired by their work at Freedom House. Today, Freedom House is a non-profit organization supporting Black and Brown students to achieve academic success, to develop as leaders, and to give back to community by providing a safe space for learning and community-building.

By preparing questions, conducting and recording interviews, and selecting quotes, Freedom House junior coaches Alex Mella and Kevin Williams see first-hand the significant impact that Freedom House members have made on the community around them. For the entire team it has been moving to see how inspired the interview partners are by their exchanges with Alex and Kevin.

The project photographer, Nicola Webbe, as well as Alex and Kevin, actively co-create with the Reckonings team to figure out the logistics of the project – from building an in-depth timeline of the history of Freedom House with Reckonings doctoral assistant Halima Haruna; to refining the process of audio-recording with doctoral student Dipa Desai; to designing pages for online and print publication with Greg Lord, Dzidzor Azaglo, Halima Haruna, Jeta Perjuci, and Uta Poiger.

This hands-on work requires hours of research, patience, teamwork, and creativity. It is a great learning and intergenerational experience that explores the history and impact of Freedom House, the influence of the Snowden family, and the relationship within the Grove Hall, Roxbury, and Dorchester communities. Together with Freedom House scholars and staff, we imagine a living project that will engage community members during this year of celebration and well beyond to be a witness to the impact of Freedom House and the people who are shaping our communities.