Assistant Professor of Museum Studies, critical race theorist, and cultural heritage cross-pollinator. Writer, speaker, curator, thinker. Co-creator of the Visitors of Color project.
Leading Museums and Libraries into 21st Century Inclusive Praxis
I am currently the head of the Department of Museum Studies at the University of Florida, in the School of Art + Art History. I am collaborating with museums in and around Gainesville, FL, while teaching courses such as Museums and Race, National Parks and Historic Sites, and Design Thinking. Additionally, I am an affiliate faculty member for the new Center for Arts, Migration, and Entrepreneurship.
I am the co-curator of Shadow to Substance, an exhibition at the Harn Museum of Art examining Jim Crow Florida, the Great Migration, the Civil Rights Movement, and Black Lives Matter. The exhibition uses historical and contemporary photos to explore ideas surrounding healing, myth, intimacy, joy, resistance, and rebirth.
Additionally, I am a consulting curator for the exhibition Between Heaven & Earth: The Paintings of Alyne Harris at the Historic Thomas Center. This exhibition explores the work of celebrated Gainesville folk artist Alyne Harris.
Vision & Priorities
I am a critical race theorist examining the intersections of race, digital technologies, and cultural heritage institutions. I explore the ways in which activist scholarship and critical new frameworks can bring about transformation in the cultural sectors to ensure equity, access, and inclusion.
I am what the Digital Library Federation calls a “cross-pollinator.” Cross-pollinators recognize the inherent benefits of fusing the trainings of each profession (libraries and museums) to maximize opportunities for strengthening the cultural heritage sector.
I received my Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in the School of Library and Information Science and the McKissick Museum Management program. While completing my doctoral work, I was a HASTAC Scholar, joining a cohort concerned with the intersection of technology and the arts.
I was awarded the inaugural Institute of Museum and Libraries Services Laura Bush 21st Century Cultural Heritage Informatics Leadership Librarian (CHIL) fellowship. The purpose of this one-of-a-kind fellowship is to train a new kind of cultural heritage professional: one who identifies critical issues in the field and works to solve them through innovative approaches. As a CHIL fellow, I explored converging issues between libraries, archives, and museums.
As a previous faculty member of the Johns Hopkins University Museum Studies Advanced Academic Masters degree program, I taught courses in Museum Studies and developed a course for Johns Hopkins called Museums, Race, and Inclusion.
At the Columbia Museum of Art, I was the first-ever Inclusion Catalyst. I worked with library and museum clients across the nation who are invested in transformation and change relating to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA) work. These included the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art, the Telfair Museums, the South Carolina Library Association, the Phillips Collection, the North Carolina Museum of Art, and the Orlando Science Center.
I participated in MuseumCamp 2015 at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, where we explored what it means to make space, for ourselves and for others.
I am an international keynote speaker, strategist, facilitator, educator, and activist-scholar working in and with institutions that want to achieve deep inclusion. I believe in social justice, racial equity, and access. As a recognized thought-leader in the field, I have enthusiastically been a part of many national projects, including The Visitors of Color Project, The Incluseum, and MASS Action. My vision is to be a catalyst for shifting paradigms in the field.
I have enjoyed my role in service to several boards, including the South Carolina Federation of Museums, the Museum Education Roundtable, Friends of African American Art and Culture at the Columbia Museum of Art, the Women and Gender Studies Council at the University of South Carolina, the South Carolina Federation of Museums, the Computer Museum Network Planning Committee, and the Editorial Board for AASLH.
I have also been asked to give keynotes for almost a dozen institutions, such as the Ontario Museums Association, the Smithsonian Museum of American History, and the Association of American Art Museum Directors. I regularly present or am asked to participate at conferences such as Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE), National Council on Public History (NCPH), American Alliance of Museums (AAM), Museum Computer Network (MCN), Museums and the Web, Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC), Association for Information Science and Technology professionals (ASIS&T) and more.
I am an avid reader of, and have publications in, Curator, Exhibitionist, and FWD: Museums. I also have chapter publications in edited volumes on museums published by Rowman and Littlefield and the University of Leicester.