Meadow Dibble

Founder & Executive Director

Meadow Dibble, Ph.D. is a researcher and antiracist historical recovery advocate organizing to surface New England’s suppressed narratives. In 2018 she founded Atlantic Black Box, a grassroots public history project that empowers communities throughout the Northeast to take up the critical work of researching and reckoning with the region’s complicity in the slave trade and the global economy of enslavement. Meadow serves as Project Lead on the Place Justice project for the Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous, and Tribal Populations.

Kate McMahon

Scholarly Advisor

Kate McMahon, Ph.D. is a Historian at the National Museum of African American History & Culture and leads research efforts at the Center for the Study of Global Slavery. She received her B.A. in Art History and M.A. in American and New England Studies from the University of Southern Maine. She completed her Ph.D. in History at Howard University in 2017. Her dissertation was entitled The Transnational Dimensions of Africans and African Americans in Northern New England, 1776-1865. Her current research explores New England’s connections to and complicity in the illegal slave trade and colonialism, 1809-1900. She is committed to exploring the living legacies of slavery and the slave trade in the present day and interpreting this history for a broad public through frequent public speaking engagements and scholarly production.

Erika Arthur

Program Associate

Erika Arthur is Program Associate at Atlantic Black Box, where she co-leads the Place Justice initiative. Erika served for many years as a Policy Analyst at the Catherine Cutler Institute at the University of Southern Maine, working in the Justice Policy and Child Welfare program areas. She holds an MA in U.S. History and a Graduate Certificate in Advanced Feminist Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Her graduate research was located at the intersection of race, gender, rural political economy, and mass incarceration and utilized oral history, archival, and secondary sources. For more than two decades, Erika has engaged in community organizing and education on social and racial justice issues. Her current focus is embodied practice as a capacity-building tool for anti-racism and decolonization. 

Dustin Ward

Board President

Dustin Ward, M.Div. hails from Presque Isle, Maine, after being adopted as a 2-month-old from Melbourne, Florida. He graduated P.I. High School in ‘06 with his sights set on becoming a lawyer, landing him at the University of Southern Maine, where he achieved a B.S. in Political Science and a minor in Economics. This was where his desire and love for law, politics, and ethnic & racial studies grew. Upon graduating from USM in 2010, Dustin felt called to ministry work as a Pastor, seeking additional education at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, completing his Master of Divinity in the spring of 2019.  Although Dustin has experienced many levels and aspects of racism from school, church, and other surroundings, the death of George Floyd, at the hands of police, sparked Dustin’s decision to step away from ministry and pursue racial equity and reconciliation work, which led him to found It Is Time….LLC.  His focus is on being an advocate for his black and brown brothers and sisters in an effort to end systemic racism, and racism in all forms, within communities of Maine and New England.

Daniel Minter

Board Member

Daniel Minter is an American artist known for his work in the mediums of painting and assemblage. His overall body of work, often deals with themes of displacement and diaspora, ordinary/extraordinary blackness; spirituality in the Afro-Atlantic world; and the (re)creation of meanings of home. Minter works in varied media – canvas, wood, metal, paper. twine, rocks, nails, paint. This cross-fertilization strongly informs his creations and his sensibility. His carvings become assemblages. His paintings are often sculptural. Minter’s work has been featured in numerous institutions and galleries including the Portland Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Bates College, University of Southern Maine, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, The David C. Driskell Center and the Northwest African American Art Museum. For the past 15 years Minter has raised awareness of the forced removal in 1912 of an interracial community on Maine’s Malaga Island. His formative work on the subject of Malaga emerges from Minter’s engagement with the island, its descendants, archeologists, anthropologists and scholars. As founding director of Maine Freedom Trails, he has helped highlight the history of the Underground Railroad and the abolitionist movement in New England. This dedication to righting history was pivotal in having the island designated a public preserve. In 2019, Minter co-founded Indigo Arts Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to cultivating the artistic development of people of African descent. In this same year, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts by The Maine College of Art.

William D. Adams

Board Vice President

William D. Adams, Ph.D. was the 10th Chair of the National Endowment of the Humanities from 2014-2017. In that capacity, he initiated several new grantmaking programs under the banner of The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square. On leaving NEH, Adams was named a Senior Fellow at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, where he continued his national advocacy on behalf of the humanities. Before NEH, Adams served as President of Colby College from 2000-2014, President of Bucknell University from 1995-2000, and Vice President and Secretary of Wesleyan University from 1988-1995. He taught political philosophy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and at Santa Clara University, and coordinated the Great Works in Western Culture Program at Stanford University. Adams received his Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his B.A. in philosophy from the Colorado College. He is currently working on a book about the French phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty and the painter Paul Cézanne.

Christy Clark-Pujara

Scholarly Advisor

Christy Clark-Pujara, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of History in the Department Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on the experiences of Black people in French and British North America in the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries. She is particularly interested in retrieving the hidden and unexplored histories of African Americans in areas that historians have not sufficiently examined—small towns and cities in the North and Midwest. Dr. Clark-Pujara contends that the full dimensions of the African American and American experience cannot be appreciated without reference to how black people managed their lives in places where they were few. Her first book Dark Work: The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island examines how the business of slavery shaped the experience of slavery, the process of emancipation, and the realities of black freedom in Rhode Island from the colonial period through the American Civil War. Her current book project, From Slavery to Suffrage: Black on the Wisconsin Frontier, 1740 to 1866, will examine how the practice of race-based slavery, black settlement, and debates over abolition and black rights shaped white-black race relations in the Midwest.

Seth Goldstein

Education Coordinator

Seth Goldstein, M.A. grew up on Cape Cod where he developed his passion for maritime history. He received his B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz and his master’s in World History from Northeastern University. His research interests include the historic North Atlantic fishery, global piracy, New England shipwrecks and lighthouses, the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the Vietnam War era counter culture. Seth has worked with Greater Portland Landmarks and The Portland Harbor Museum. He taught at the University of New England and at Southern Maine Community College before landing his current position at The Maine College of Art. He also provides guided historic walking tours of Portland’s Old Port neighborhood through his tour business Maine Street Tours. Seth sits on the board of the South Portland Historical Society and lives in South Portland with his wife and two daughters.

Nicole Maskiell

Scholarly Advisor

Nicole Maskiell is Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina, where she specializes in early American history with a focus on overlapping networks of slavery in the Dutch and British Atlantic worlds. Her book Bound by Bondage: Slavery and the Creation of a Northern Gentry (Cornell University Press, 2022) compares the ways that slavery shaped the development of elite Northern culture by examining the social and kinship networks that intertwined enslavers with those they enslaved. Professor Maskiell is a recipient the John Carter Brown, Gilder Lehrman, and Huntington Mayers research fellowships, and her dissertation was nominated for the 2014 Allan Nevins Prize.