It is once again time to elect new board members for the Association of African American Museums (AAAM).
Learn more about the candidates:
Candidate for Treasurer (Up for Re-Election)
Tsi Tsi (Tee) Jones
National Civil Rights Museum, Director of Finance
Tsitsi (Tee) Jones has served as Chief Financial Officer and member of the Sr. Management Team for the National Civil Rights since 2006. Located at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN, The National Civil Rights Museum chronicles key episodes of the American civil rights movement and the legacy of this movement to inspire participation in human and civil rights globally. Tee has been serving as Treasurer for the Association of African American Museums since 2014.
Tsitsi (Tee) Jones was born in Zimbabwe and spent the first 17 years of her life there. Tee holds an undergraduate degree in Accounting and Business Administration with a minor in Mathematics from Central Methodist University in Fayette, MO and a Master’s in Business Administration from Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, MO. Tee has been a CPA since 2004.
Candidates for Board Member Positions
Shirl Spicer, Countywide Museum Manager (Up for Re-Election | AAAM Governance Committee Co-Chair)
Cultural Resources Stewardship Section / Park Planning & Stewardship Division
M-NCPPC, Department of Parks, Montgomery County
Shirl Spicer is the countywide museum manager for the Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), Department of Parks, Montgomery County. With over 25 years’ experience working in museum education, she manages the interpretive programming staff for each of Montgomery Parks’ historic sites; among those are Oakley Cabin African American Museum & Park, Kingsley Schoolhouse, the Underground Railroad Experience Trail hikes and Woodlawn Museum at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park, and the new Josiah Henson Museum & Park coming online in late 2020.
A native of North Carolina, Ms. Spicer previously served as the curator for community history for the North Carolina Museum of History, and as education director and registrar of the Museum of the Albemarle (the Museum of History’s northeastern regional branch). Her career began in museum education at the Greensboro Historical Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina; then continued at The Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia; and, the former Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.
Ms. Spicer is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, with a Bachelor of Arts in History, and a graduate of Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia with a Master of Museum Studies.
Shirl is actively involved in the national arena of museum professional organizations; having served on the boards of the Association of African American Museums (Secretary for the Board of Directors; 2005 – 2010) and the American Association for State and Local History. Shirl currently serves AAAM as Co-Chair of the Governance Committee.
Assistant Division Chief of Historical Resources
Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission, Natural and Historical Resources Division, Prince George’s County Parks and Recreation
Omar leads the Prince George’s County Historical Resources which include historical house museums, an aviation museum, the Black History Program and archaeological parks. He also oversees the programming of those sites with an emphasis placed on preserving, sustaining and enhancing these resources as well as engaging and building communities through education, outreach and innovation. Most recently he managed the interns and fellows program at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (NMAH). He builds coalitions that support diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion. Omar has worked at the National Park Service, the Office of the National Museum of the American Latino Commission, NASA and he also was a K-12 teacher in NYC and DC.
He has held a leading role on the Steering Committee for Museums and Race: Transformation and Justice, a movement to challenge and re-imagine institutional policies and systems that perpetuate oppressions in museums since 2016. This includes leading the facilitation of an MOU we have with AAM to curate the Museums and Race Community Center & Transformational Lounge during the Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo for three years. Moreover, he contributed to the Museum as Site for Social Action project, which seeks to align museums with more equitable and inclusive practices.
In 2016, he was named the National Board Chair for Museum Hue, an arts and humanities organization committed to the advancement of people of color in the field. He also has been a board member for Words, Beats and Life, dedicated to Hip Hop Education and the Ambassador Horace G. Dawson Scholars, supports the cultural enrichment and college readiness for young men. His research interests are Afro Latinx identity in museum exhibitions, Diversity and Inclusion in museums and cultural institutions; and Hip Hop history, culture and education. Moreover, he has supported the work of Camino A Loíza and Corredor Afro, which are separate projects centering blackness in Puerto Rico.
In 2019, Omar was selected to be an American Alliance of Museums Diversity. Equity. Accessibility. Inclusion (DEAI) Senior Fellow, which is dedicated to diversify museum boards. Additionally, he was appointed to the Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission by Governor Larry Hogan, the first commission of its kind in the country. Omar Eaton-Martinez is member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., a husband, and father of four children.
Omar currently serves AAAM as 2020 Conference Planning Co-Chair.
Dina Bennett, Ph.D.
Curatorial Director at the National Museum of African American Music
Dr. Dina M. Bennett is the Curatorial Director at the National Museum of African American Music, and an ethnomusicologist who specializes in African American music and culture. Dr. Bennett has previously served as the Associate Director of the Mulvane Art Museum at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas; Director of Education at the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in Indianola, Mississippi; and as the Manager of Collections and Exhibitions at the American Jazz Museum (AJM) in Kansas City, Missouri. During her AJM tenure, she oversaw the museum’s temporary and permanent collection exhibitions, and also served as the co-curator and consulting ethnomusicologist for the museum’s John H. Baker Jazz Film Collection Exhibition (2009), the first addition to the jazz museum’s permanent exhibitionsince its opening in September 1997. Originally from Topeka, Kansas, Dr. Bennett earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from Washburn University, a master’sdegree in College Student Personnel from Kansas State University, and a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology with a minor in African American & African Diaspora Studies from Indiana University. Dr. Bennett has over 30 years’ experience in the music field and is an accomplished pianist. She currently serves on the advisory team of scholars for “A History of African American Music,” an interactive timeline produced as a resource for Carnegie Hall’s 2009 festival “Honor!A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacy. Dina Bennett is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Christopher J. Miller
Senior Director of Education & Community Engagement, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Christopher J. Miller is an accomplished museum professional with more than fifteen years of public history and museum experience. Miller is the Senior Director of Education & Community Engagement at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. His areas of expertise include historical research and interpretation, project management, and public program development. Miller takes a leadership role in directing initiatives that build public awareness of African American history and advancing initiatives related to social justice, community empowerment, implicit bias, human trafficking and cultural competency.
Regularly appearing on local media as a contributor, Miller aptly shares his breath of knowledge to address topics from race relations to historical milestones, cultural concerns about incidents of hate, and the integration of innovated approaches to academics. Beyond offering his perspective through media appearances, Miller is an adjunct professor in the history department at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Miller earned his M.A. in Public History and his B.A. in English from Northern Kentucky University. Before graduating Cum Laude from Northern Kentucky University, Miller earned a fellowship with the Institute for Freedom Studies where he served as a Research Assistant decoding antebellum runaway slave ads. He assisted in developing a comprehensive database from primary source documents highlighting the attempts of enslaved persons to free themselves from state-sanctioned enslavement. Miller has a passion of African American history and understands its value within American narrative. Christopher J. Miller is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., a husband and father of three daughters.
Charles Ezra Ferrell
Vice-President for Public Programs and Community Engagement
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit
Charles Ezra Ferrell, a native of Detroit, Michigan, attended Amherst College and the University of Michigan-Dearborn, where he majored in Political Science and Black Studies. After 20 years in the information technology field, where he excelled in business development, ownership, consulting, business intelligence and predictive analytics, Ferrell devoted the last eight years to community service as a consultant (2012-2015), Director for Public Programs (2015-2016), and Vice-President for Public Programs and Community Engagement (2016-Present) at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.
Ferrell established over 150 institutional and community partnerships and created over 900 public programs. These programs have been recognized for their excellence by leading national and international academics, community activists and organizations. In recognition of his resolute devotion to serving the community, Ferrell received the “Mary McCloud Bethune Award” from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) – Detroit Branch and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (2015) and the “Community Service Award” from the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (2015).
Ferrell produced a Michigan Humanities funded documentary in honor of Detroit artist Ibn Pori Pitts (2014). Ferrell is a member of the Concert of Colors Advisory Board (2020) and a board member of the General Baker Institute (GBI) (2014 – Present). He is also a member of the General Gordon Baker, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Committee at the University of Michigan – Semester in Detroit (2014 – Present). He is a Detroit Branch and national member of ASALH, and a Development Consultant for the ASALH- National (2019 – Present). Ferrell is also a member of the Historical Society of Michigan Planning Committee (2019 – Present).
Vote for Your Board Selections Below: