It is once again time to elect new board members for the Association of African American Museums (AAAM).
Learn more about the candidates:
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Candidate for Vice President : Omar Eaton-Martinez
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 Chair.
Candidates for the AAAM Board
Director of Development, HumanitiesDC
Damika Baker-Wilson is the Director of Development at HumanitiesDC in Washington, DC, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Prior to joining HumanitiesDC, Damika was a member of the senior leadership team at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore as the Director of Engagement and Strategic Initiatives where she led the education and visitor services team in developing engaging experiences for museum audiences. As the Director of Development for the Academy Art Museum, Damika managed development operations and the museum’s $8.5M capital campaign. In 2018, Damika was selected as one of 36 museum professionals from around the world to participate in the Getty Leadership Institute’s NextGen executive education program, a blended-learning experience for the museum field’s emerging top talent.
Damika currently serves on the board of Adkins Arboretum and is a member of the Association of African American Museums, American Alliance of Museums, Association of Fundraising Professionals, African-American Development Officers, Women of Color in Philanthropy, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. She is also a former commissioner for the Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Damika holds an undergraduate degree in Afro-American Studies from the University of Maryland-College Park and is currently a graduate student in Johns Hopkins University’s Museum Studies program.
Dr. Doretha Williams
Robert F. Smith Fund Program Manager, National Museum of African American History and Culture
Dr. Williams is the Center Director, The Center for the Digitization and Curation of African American History (Smith Center) National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution
The Robert F. Smith Center for the Digitization and Curation of African American History (Smith Center) at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) serves as the burgeoning digital humanities and public history forum for the NMAAHC. The Smith Center’s mission is to make historical collections accessible through digitization, public programming and interaction, and to support educational development in the museum and archives fields. Through the Community Curation Project, Professional Curation Program, Interns and Fellowships opportunities and the Explore Your Family History Center, the Smith Center serves as a major public outreach component for NMAAHC.
Dr. Williams received her degrees from the University of Kansas and Fisk University.
Dr. Joy Kinard
Superintendent of Alabama’s Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site and Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail
Kinard’s 20-year NPS career reflects an abiding interest in the preservation and advancement of stories pertinent to African-American and American heritage. She has held multiple leadership roles, including her current 4-year tenure as the first superintendent of Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument; a term as National Capital Parks-East central district manager, where she managed the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site, National Archives for Black Women’s History, and Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site, among other units; and assignments as acting chief of interpretation, education, and cultural resource manager at the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site and Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. She also served as a park ranger at various sites in Virginia and Maryland, educating visitors on the stories of prominent figures in American history, including George Washington, Frederick Douglass and Robert E. Lee.
A scholar of African-American history and culture, Kinard contributed to the seminal African American National Biography Encyclopedia and published her first book, The Man, The Movement, The Museum: The Journey of John R. Kinard as the First African American Director of a Smithsonian Institution Museum in tribute to her father in 2017. She taught African American History, U.S. History to 1877 and other courses as an adjunct professor for seven years with the University of the District of Columbia’s Department of History and was lead curator on the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Celebrating a Century of Sisterhood, Scholarship & Service commemorative exhibition.
Dr. Kinard received her degrees from Livingstone College and Howard University.
Dr. Noelle Trent
Director of Interpretation, Collections & Education at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis
Dr. Noelle N. Trent earned a Masters in Public History, and a Ph.D. in United States History from Howard University in Washington, DC. Dr. Trent is an accomplished public historian and has worked with several noted organizations and projects including the National Park Service, the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, where she contributed to the exhibition Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom: The Era of Segregation 1876 – 1968.
She has been a contributor to the African American Intellectual History Society’s blog, and was featured in “Breaking Free: An Underground Special” for the WGN America drama Underground. Dr. Trent has traveled internationally, presenting lectures at the European Solidarity Center in Gdansk, Poland and in Sopot, Poland as part of the 2017 Memphis in Poland Festival.
She has recently curated an exhibition and planned the commemorative service as a part of the National Civil Rights Museum’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination, MLK50.
Dr. Trent has also served on several AAAM Conference Planning Committees and currently serves as the #AAAM2021 Conference Planning Co-Chair. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Special Assistant to the Provost, Office of the Provost Virginia Union University, Curator Museum of African Art Virginia Union University
Mr. Parker is an adjunct faculty member at Virginia Union University (VUU), where he supports the Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs. He also works directly on special projects and academic communications.
Mr. Parker teaches in the VUU Sydney Lewis School of Business, as well as the Richard Robertson School of Media and Culture at Virginia Commonwealth University. In addition, Ricky teaches courses in entertainment marketing, database marketing, copywriting, and public relations.
Mr. Parker serves as Executive Director of the VUU Ruth Coles Harris Leadership Institute. The Institute provides leadership development training to students, working professionals, and community members with a particular emphasis on entrepreneurship and capacity-building in African/African-American communities, which aligns perfectly with the mission and scope of the AAAM.
Mr. Ricky Parker is a graduate of the Sydney Lewis School of Business at VUU; where he earned a B.S. in Marketing. Ricky is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Assistant Director, College Park Aviation Museum, College Park, MD
Trenda Davidson is the Assistant Director of the Aviation Museum in College Park, Maryland. Prior to this role, she served as the Acting Director of the College Park Aviation Museum and successfully transitioned the museum from an in-person space to fully virtual. Mrs. Davidson conducted several virtual tours and implemented virtual programming for the museum which increased visibility for the site within the local/regional community and beyond. Prior to these roles, Trenda also worked at several other AAAM Institutional Museums to include the Tubman African American Museum in Macon, GA and the Banneker-Douglass Museum in Annapolis, MD.
She received her degrees from Morgan State University and Appalachian State University and is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.