Director’s Message

Harriet Tubman Director Michele Johnson

The Harriet Tubman Institute seeks to be the preeminent, interdisciplinary centre for research, both historical and contemporary, on Africa and its global diasporas. Its mandate encompasses histories of slavery, including preservation and digitization of endangered archives; contemporary forms of exploitation/enslavement; and documentation and outreach on the experiences of Africans in the diaspora, including in Canada. The Institute offers York University and the broader community an internationally recognized hub for studies and documentation on Africa and its diasporas.

Since it was established and launched by former Governor General, Michaëlle Jean, in 2007, the dozens of international scholars and students associated with the Harriet Tubman Institute have contributed to a variety of research and archival projects, conferences, seminars and educational projects which have focused on the histories and legacies of historical and contemporary slavery as well as the socio-economic, political and cultural experiences of persons of African descent. In conducting an engaged scholarship, and working in collaboration with the wider community, the members of the Tubman Institute have made significant impact in terms of scholarship, public policy and activity and a variety of contributions towards paths to greater social justice.