The Self-Evident Platform will be a digital humanities resource for educators of American history that will encourage educators and students to think critically about the role of race and institutional racism throughout United States history. 

About Us

Examining History to Create a Just Future

The Self-Evident Platform is a digital humanities resource for educators of secondary American history; Michael Lawrence-Riddell, a public school educator with twenty years of classroom experience, has created this platform in response to the urgent need for our society to honestly and rigorously engage in work to understand the histories and legacies of race and institutional racism.

Brief Overview: The Self-Evident Platform will be a digital platform (website, newsletter, App, social media, etc.) consisting of narrative based multimedia resources that will encourage educators and students to think critically about the role of race and institutional racism throughout United States history. With a better understanding of history, we are more informed and better citizens. If we do not know and understand the history of race in the United States, we cannot fully understand American history and who we are as a country, because American society and history are so intimately tied to the concept of race. At the core of the work we do is the idea that there is power in storytelling; we will use that power to connect people to important and often ignored stories of our history that are needed.

Curriculum users will:

  • Examine the ways that race has functioned in the United States. 
  • Examine the creation and weaponization of race, which is critical to understanding United States history and its impact on our present, and how to build a just future. 
  • Examine the cost of lost potential and opportunity that has resulted from historical and contemporary inequity.

Please check back frequently as we will be updating the site soon!

The Self-Evident Advisory Board

Bayeté Ross Smith


Bayeté Ross Smith is a photographer, interdisciplinary artist, filmmaker, and educator from Harlem New York. He is represented by beta pictoris gallery/Maus Contemporary. Bayeté is a Presidential Leadership Scholar, a member of TED Residency class three and an inaugural POV NY Times embedded mediamaker, a collaboration between both institutions

Bayeté’s work is in the collections of The Smithsonian Institution, the Oakland Museum of California, the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and The Brooklyn Museum. He has exhibited internationally with the Goethe Institute (Ghana), Foto Museum (Belgium), Zacheta National Gallery of Art (Poland), the Lianzhou Foto Festival (China), and America House in (Ukraine), among others. His collaborative projects "Along The Way" and "Question Bridge: Black Males" have shown at the 2008 and 2012 Sundance Film Festival, respectively. His work has also been featured at the Sheffield Doc Fest in Sheffield, England and the L.A. Film Festival.

Nicole Rodriguez Leach


Nicole Rodriguez Leach is the director of Aprendes Foundation, a philanthropic organization that amplifies the power, potential and partnerships of Latinx peoples and communities, as well as broader communities of color. Building on a decade of grantmaking and community building, Aprendes advances local, community-driven actions and activities by fostering dynamic, creative and strategic opportunities for learning, leadership and legacy.

Previously she served as head of education and special advisor at Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, where she oversaw grant programs focused on education equity in New York City and across the US and Latin America. 

Eric Soto-Shed


Eric H. Soto-Shed is lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to coming to HGSE, Shed was the director of secondary history/social studies education at Brown University. He received his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Teacher Education from Stanford University, and has also served as a methods instructor at New York University, and with the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP). His work as a teacher educator has been greatly informed by eight years of experience as a high school social studies teacher in three distinct types of urban schools: a small alternative high school, a large comprehensive high school, and an early college magnet school. From the Bronx to Harvard University, Shed's passion for helping struggling students become critical thinkers has been the driving force in his fifteen-year career as teacher and teacher educator.

Ousmane Power-Greene


A specialist in African American social and political movements, Professor Power-Greene teaches courses for undergraduates and graduate students on American history with a focus on African American internationalism and comparative social and political movements at Clark University in Worcester, MA. His book, Against Wind and Tide: The African American Struggle against the Colonization Movement (NYU Press 2014), examines black Americans efforts to agitate for equal rights in the North and Midwest in the face the American Colonization Society’s colonization movement, which hoped to compel free blacks to leave the United States for Liberia.

Eric Brown


Eric is a doctoral candidate in the Program in Human Development and Social Policy at Northwestern University. Eric's dissertation research studies how belonging relates to perceptions of the racial climate for students attending a racially-diverse middle school. Eric worked as a Research Analyst at the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research (CCSR) prior to beginning his doctoral studies.

Jared Bridgeman, aka Akrobatik


As a direct link to hip-hop's original mantra of peace, love, unity and having fun, Akrobatik is a vital member of the culture and community. Akro has been a teaching artist at Boston's Zumix, where he instructed students in songwriting and live performance skills, as well as volunteering at Cambridge's The Hip-Hop Transformation. Since 2014 Akrobatik has served as a visiting lecturer for the University of Massachusetts Boston Honors College. He co-designed and co-taught a course titled, "Hip Hop: History and Practice" with Department Chair and Professor of American Studies Rachel Rubin.


Check out this video for a preview of what we are building. (NOTE: the event referenced at the end has been cancelled.)


No upcoming events.


Partner with Us

Do you want to play a part in inspiring a better, just future through a deeper understanding of the past? Please join us as a partner in making this hard and important work a reality; you can give a one time contribution or a recurring monthly contribution to support our work. 

The Self-Evident Platform is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of The Self-Evident Platform must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. If you wish to pay by check, please write “The Self-Evident Platform” on the “For:” line of the check and send the check to “The Self-Evident Platform, 156 Overlook Drive, Florence, MA 01062”. If you wish to give more than $5,000, first of all, Thank You! Also, please fill out this major gifts letter.

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Contact Us

The Self-Evident Platform

Florence, MA 01062

(617) 869-9070

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