Brian Carter

Forty years ago, the Association of African American Museums (AAAM) was created to support the people and institutions dedicated to the exploration of African American history, art, and culture. Over the past year, we have celebrated the leaders and builders who came before us— humbly and gratefully acknowledging the foundation of service, advocacy, and professionalism they laid for us to stand upon. I can think of no better way to honor their commitment than ensuring the sustainability of their legacy.

With support from members, individual donors, corporate sponsors, and an incredibly generous $400,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, AAAM has hired a full-time Executive Director, Vedet Coleman-Robinson. Vedet comes to AAAM from the National Park Service (NPS) where she served for eleven years as a Grants Management Specialist within the State, Tribal, Local, Plans & Grants Division (STLPG).  During her time at the NPS, Vedet was the Program Lead for the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Grant and the Underrepresented Community Grant programs for STLPG.  The hiring committee and AAAM Board were very impressed by Vedet’s wide-ranging experience in the cultural sector as well as her demonstrated passion and commitment to the Association.

This is truly a moment of excitement and growth for AAAM and its members. Over the past three years, with support provided by an IMLS National Leadership Grant, AAAM has completed a National Needs Assessment of the field, made significant improvements to its governance policies and operational practices; and completed a four-year strategic plan. With Vedet at the helm, along with part time Administrative Assistant Elon Evora, AAAM now has the capacity to more frequently and efficiently communicate with members, better deliver its core programs, and develop new initiatives and projects in alignment with the needs expressed by our members. This is a thrilling day to be part of AAAM!

Finally, I want to encourage everyone to attend the upcoming Annual Meeting in Jackson, Mississippi, August 7-10, 2019. The theme of this year’s conference is Roots of Revolution: Reaching Back / Pushing Forward and the Advanced Registration deadline is June 15, 2019.

I can’t wait to see everyone in Jackson this summer, where we will warmly welcome Vedet and Elon to the AAAM family.


Brian J. Carter | Board President | Association of African American Museums