Director of Library Services and Operations
University of Pennsylvania
Immersive Technologies Librarian
University of Rochester
This presentation will discuss how power sharing worked in practice for the Penn and Slavery Project Augmented Reality (AR) app at the University of Pennsylvania, a student-led project built through joint funding and active collaboration between staff, faculty, and students in the Libraries, the Provost’s Office, and departments in the College of Arts and Sciences. In six stops, each focusing on one story, the AR app reveals the University of Pennsylvania’s historical complicity in and financial gain from slavery while also centering the resilience and contributions of Black people. In the presentation, we will describe how this project empowered students to ask questions about institutional identity and structures—and how they employed institutional resources to produce a public intervention in Penn’s history. Considering our successes and trials, we will examine shared labor, participatory design, extended reality (XR), and the role of trust in a high-stakes university project.