Emerging Professional Hired to Conduct International Underground Railroad Research

We announced in August of 2022 that World Heritage USA (then US/ICOMOS) was awarded a $5,000 Network to Freedom grant. We’re pleased to share now that we have engaged Emilia Sánchez González to conduct archival and community-based research for two months in Mexico and remotely. This work will build upon previous research and expand our focus on stories and sites connected to the Underground Railroad’s routes into Mexico.

Emilia Sánchez González, an emerging professional from Mexico, will begin her work this month. Emilia has an interdisciplinary academic background in tourism, management, and World Heritage studies. Her previous experience includes work with intangible, built, and movable heritage, as well as with communities, digital humanities, research, and education. She recently completed a one-year traineeship at the J. Paul Getty Museum in the Public Affairs Department where she conducted research to enhance the stories of the Getty collection.

For her research with World Heritage USA, Emilia will identify and visit at least two descendant communities in Mexico where she will collect and record oral histories and photographs. These will then be made available on the International Underground Railroad Story Map as audio clips, photographs, and geolocated written transcripts. This research will contribute to critical themes in domestic and international heritage discourse: self-liberation narratives, decolonizing historical narrative, and the universal desire for freedom.

This is the first grant the Emerging Professionals Network has received to build capacity for emerging professionals, connect them with international researchers, and foster intergenerational interaction and collaboration. We encourage all emerging professional in heritage fields to learn more and join our network.

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