Recorded Session: Black Museums Matter: Agents of Change through Storytelling as Places of Healing

Recorded On: 09/25/2020

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Session Description

Black Museums Matter: Agents of Change through Storytelling as Places of Healing is a recorded session of the 2020 AASLH Online Annual Meeting.

The conference theme What Kind of Ancestor Will You Be? challenges the role of historic sites and museums.  We will discuss a unique sector of African American museums and historic sites that address the unheard, unseen, and underrepresented nestled in powerful historically African American communities serving as agents of change.


RECORDED DATE: September 25, 2020

COST: $5 AASLH Members / $10 Nonmembers / Free for Full Access Annual Meeting attendees w/ Promo Code (email

ACCESS: You will be provided with instructions on how to access the recording upon registration.


Chair: Brian Carter 4Culture, Seattle, WA
Brian Carter has served as Heritage Lead at 4Culture for the past two years, overseeing funding programs and providing technical support to King County’s heritage community. During his tenure, he has advocated for 4Culture to be a catalyst for change and creativity within the cultural sector and implemented an assessment process to understand and respond to the needs of regional heritage organizations. Before his arrival at 4Culture, he held prominent positions in the arts and heritage field, including Deputy Director/Head Curator of the Northwest African American Museum, Museum Director of the Oregon Historical Society, and Director of Interpretation at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. He also served as Board President of the Association of African American Museums.

Melanie Adams, Ph.D. Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, Washington, DC
Melanie Adams joined the Anacostia Community Museum in 2018 as its new director. Before arriving at the museum, she worked for 15 years years in Missouri and Minnesota developing relevant community based programs that addressed the needs of diverse audiences. She has written articles in museum related publications and taught graduate level museum courses focusing on community engagement work at museums.

Felicia Bell, Ph.D. Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, Washington, DC
Felicia Bell, PH.D., is the Senior Advisor to Dr. Anthea M. Hartig, the Elizabeth MacMillan Director at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. She also served as the Director of Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum. Previously, she was a professor at Savannah State University as well as served as Director of Education and Programs at the U.S. Capitol Historical Society and the Coastal Heritage Society. Over her 20-year career, Dr. Bell has received numerous grant awards, curated traveling exhibitions, and consulted for other museums and institutions.

Ashley Jordan, Ph.D. Evansville African American Museum, Evansville, IN
Dr. Ashley Jordan is the Executive Director for the Evansville African American Museum in Evansville, Indiana. Prior to serving in this role, she served as the curator for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce, Ohio. In addition to her professional experiences in public history, she has also served as an adjunct professor for North Central State College in Mansfield, Ohio. In May of 2017, Dr. Jordan completed her doctoral degree in United States History from Howard University. In addition to her doctorate, Dr. Jordan earned her master’s in Public History from Howard University. Furthermore, she completed her undergraduate degree at Kent State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in History with a minor in Political Science. Dr. Jordan is also the proud recipient of numerous professional, academic and civic awards including the Pace Setter Award from the Association of African American Museums, a multiple doctoral fellowship recipient for the Filson and the Kentucky Historical Societies and the Black Excellence Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, (NAACP). And lastly, she is an active member of the Association of African American Museums, the American Association for State and Local History, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and the American Alliance of Museums. Ashley is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Joy Kinard, Ph.D. National Park Service, Washington, DC
A native of Washington, D.C., Dr. Joy G. Kinard served as the Central District Manager of National CapitalParks- East where she managed six units of the National Park System before moving to Xenia, Ohio. Thoseunits were: the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House NHS and the National Archives for Black Women’sHistory, the Carter G. Woodson Home NHS, Langston Golf Course, The Capitol Hill Parks, James CreekMarina, and Buzzard Point Marina. For the past 20 years, Kinard has worked in the National Park Service at numerous parks. Kinard is a graduate of Livingstone College where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work &Sociology. She is also a graduate of Howard University where she earned a Master of Arts Degree in Historyand a Ph.D. in U.S. History with a minor in Public History and Caribbean Studies. Her experience connectingwith local communities in the Wilberforce, Ohio and Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Areas with NationalPartners through groups like; Wilberforce University, Central State University, Payne Theological Seminary,the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Young family, the National Council of Negro Women, Inc., theAssociation for the Study of African American Life and History, Shiloh Baptist Church, the Woodson Family,the Bethune Family, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Omega PsiPhi Fraternity, Inc., Howard University, George Mason University, and the University of the District ofColumbia has ignited their passion for national parks. Her experiences with these groups have added depth tothe great work that is happening at the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument.

Recording Transcript

A transcript is provided with the recording.

Components visible upon registration.

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