UT historian receives MacArthur Fellowship for work on racial violence at southern border

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Monica Muñoz Martinez, historian, professor and author. (Photo: University of Texas at Austin)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A University of Texas Austin professor and historian is the latest recipient of a $625,000 grant for her work highlighting racial violence along the U.S. southern border.

Monica Muñoz Martinez is one of nine UT faculty members to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, also known as a “Genius Grant,” for her archival research and memorabilia collection belonging to descendants of victims who have experienced this violence.

“People have a right to learn truthful accounts of history in schools, museums, the news and popular culture, even when those histories are troubling,” said Martinez. “This is especially important when lessons of the past can help inspire a more inclusive and equitable future.”

Martinez is an associate professor in UT’s department of history, an author and the co-founder of history nonprofit “Refusing to Forget.”

The nonprofit focuses on raising awareness about events with exhibits and placing things like historical markers in places where racial violence happened.

She is also working on establishing the first national record of racist violence to recount acts of violence that aren’t as widely known.

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