NOMINATIONS — CLASS OF 2025 ASALH EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
The Nominating Committee of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) presents the roster of candidates for the Executive Council, class of 2025. The Executive Council and the Executive Officers set the policy direction for ASALH and are responsible for carrying out the mission of the organization and ensuring its fiscal soundness. Executive Council members serve three-year terms.
All ballots must be cast by August 19, 2022
From this group, you may select one (1) candidate.
DENISE ROLARK BARNES
Current Employer: The Washington Informer, Washington, DC
Professional Background: Denise Rolark Barnes is the publisher and second-generation owner of The Washington Informer, succeeding her father, the late Dr. Calvin W. Rolark, who founded the newspaper in 1964. The Washington Informer is a multi-media organization serving the African American community in the Washington metropolitan area. Denise is also president of Washington Informer Charities, a non-profit organization that promotes 21st-century literacy and sponsors writing competitions, internships, scholarships, and other events promoting African American history, culture, and literature.
Major Accomplishments: Rolark Barnes is past chair National Newspaper Publishers Association – the Black Press of America. She serves on the boards of several local non-profit, community, and municipal organizations, including the Washington Convention and Sports Authority (Events DC), the DC Martin Luther King Holiday Commission, National Newspaper Publishers Association Fund, the Maryland, Delaware, DC Press Association, and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and the Pan African Collective. She is also a member of Leadership Greater Washington, as well as an inductee in the D.C. Hall of Fame.
Previous Service to ASALH: Extensive committee work and current Executive Council member.
What I Hope to Accomplish as an Executive Council Member of ASALH: As a life member and current Executive Council member it is my hope to help amplify the significance and work of ASALH, help build membership, secure and increase funding, and enhance its organizational structure.
From this group, you may select one (1) candidate.
Current Employer: The University of North Texas
Professional Background: Currently a doctoral student, my professional training includes experience working with diverse communities in various arenas. During my earliest years I was trained as a secretary for a non-profit organization. I went on to enjoy many years of experience mentoring and tutoring. My most notable experience occurred during my tenure at Howard University in the Upward Bound program. I also have legal and research experience obtained as a result of my time in law school. I have several years of direct teaching experience and established a writing lab program during my tenure at a private school. My most recent research and editorial experience involves supporting the academic journal at my university and ensuring that perspectives of African Americans are heard. My training in law school, at The University of Tulsa College of Law, taught me the art of advocacy. I also studied at Howard University, The University of North Texas, and The University of North Texas at Dallas. I am a current Ph.D. student in Educational Psychology. My career as an educator taught me to equip and empower others.
Major Accomplishments: I am an educator, advocate, and founder of an organization that supports marginalized families of neurodiverse individuals. With my diverse training and experience in cities ranging from Washington, D.C. to Dallas, TX, I am committed to uplifting communities and amplifying the voices of the vulnerable. This passion has led me to speak with state and federal representatives to advocate for more awareness and support for African American advocacy. While in law school I was nominated to be amongst the first group of ambassadors to represent The University of Tulsa College of Law. Recently I was awarded the “Hero Award” by the Central Texas African American Family Support Conference. I was also awarded the prestigious “Justice Award” by The University of North Texas for my service to underserved communities. I am most thankful for my marriage to my husband of 17 years and our four children.
What I Hope to Accomplish as an Executive Council Member of ASALH: I would be honored to serve as a student executive council member of ASALH. If granted the opportunity to serve in this capacity I hope to glean from the wisdom of the executive council, specifically regarding the running of an organization. As a researcher and future college professor I hope to grasp a firm understanding of conducting critical research that centers the perspectives of African American communities from the diverse experiences of the executive council. I also hope to participate in more opportunities of service to underserved communities through my executive council membership.
From this group, you may select up to five (5) candidates. Six names are listed.
Nominee for General Member Nominee #1
LYMAN A. BRODIE
Current Employer: University of Central Florida
Professional Background: Mr. Brodie is Executive Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, Professor of Music, and Director of the Zora Neale Hurston Institute for Documentary Studies at the University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida. He has served as Chairperson of the Music Department, President of the University Wide Counsel of Chairs and Chairman of the Campus Review for the Strategic Planning Initiative. He continues to serve on numerous other university and college wide committees at the University of Central Florida. Mr. Brodie has served as a national grant review panelist for both the National Endowment for the Arts Music Program, Washington DC, and as an elected board member of Chamber Music America. He is Past President of the Board of Directors and a founding member of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Orlando, Florida.
Major Accomplishments: A recent accomplishment was his nomination by the collective Branch members of the Florida Coalition of ASALH to seek membership on the Executive Council. As an accomplished professional musician, his cultural contributions, collaborations, and connections are noteworthy.
Previous Service to ASALH: Extensive branch work and leadership. Current Dorothy Turner Johnson Branch of Central Florida member.
What I Hope to Accomplish as an Executive Council Member of ASALH: The Council has clearly been successful in continuing the legacy of Dr. Woodson. I hope to continue that journey as a council member by promoting the entire and inclusive American experience through many lenses. As an Institutional Member (University of Central Florida), I also hope to promote the organization to a broader student base on a national level. ASALH is an outstanding organization and I hope my experience and background will add to the expertise currently residing in our core Council members.
Nominee for General Member Nominee #2
CORNELIUS L. BYNUM
Current Employer: Purdue University
Director, African American Studies and Research Center (2021-present), Purdue University
Associate Director, African American Studies and Research Center (2012-2015)
Editorial Board Member (2013-2017), Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
Previous ASALH Book Award Committee Member (2017-2019)
Major Accomplishments: Promotion with tenure, Department of History (2011), Purdue University and prior ASALH Executive Council and committee chairpersonships.
Previous Service to ASALH: Extensive committee work and leadership. Previous Executive Council member.
What I Hope to Accomplish as an Executive Council Member of ASALH: As a life member and former Executive Council member, I would work to develop new initiatives to draw younger scholars, especially undergraduate researchers, into the organization and grow their presence and profile in the annual conference meeting. As an organization, it is crucial that ASALH position itself effectively to engage the next generation of Black Studies scholars and individuals interested in Black Studies generally. College and university undergraduates engaged in independent research in Black Studies are the exact cohort that will produce the future professional scholars and supporters of Black Studies that will fundamentally shape the discipline in the years to come; they are a cohort that I would work to draw closer to the association if elected to the Executive Council.
Nominee for General Member Nominee #3
Current Employer: Ramapo College of New Jersey
Professional Background: I am an Adjunct Professor of Africana Studies and Social Science and Associate Director of Educational Opportunity Fund Program at Ramapo College of New Jersey. My professional background includes working in higher education for over 20 years in the areas of teaching, curriculum design, faculty development, financial planning, budget management, counseling and advisement, grant writing, staff supervision, fundraising and programming. My research interests include Africana Studies, Urban Sociology, Urban Anthropology, Urban Health, and Social Inequality. My philosophy of teaching emphasizes a commitment to providing a profound understanding of African and African-America history and culture through the humanities and social sciences. I developed my teaching philosophy based on my work in the United States and Africa. I am passionate about emphasizing African centered perspectives which encourage the development of intellectual and practical skills to fully examine a global society.
Major Accomplishments: A notable accomplishment is my work at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana. I was guest lecturer, and coordinator and moderator for the first Annual Ghanaian and U.S. Relations Conference at the university. I designed the curriculum and taught the first African American Relations with Ghana: Service, Culture, & Society course. In addition, I wrote the grant, secured the funding, and managed the budget for the Ghana Study Abroad Program to provide an opportunity for low-income college students to travel to Africa. I founded the Ghana Research Action Project. I have presented papers at several professional conferences domestically, and internationally in Ghana, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, England, and the Dominican Republic. I have also attended and presented at several ASALH national conferences since becoming a member and look forward to attending the upcoming meeting in September. I have participated in several media interviews to include CBS with Ms. Dana Tyler.
Previous Service to ASALH: Extensive branch work and leadership. Current President of the Manhattan Branch.
What I Hope to Accomplish as an Executive Council Member of ASALH: If selected to be a member of the Executive Council, I would like to apply my wide range of experience to strengthen the ASALH brand, identity, reputation, and connections to the world. I would like to contribute to the expansion of community partnerships and increase in domestic and international memberships. I would like to assist with the financial planning, grant writing, publications, the Annual Meeting and Conference and other national program initiatives.
Nominee for General Member Nominee #4
RANDAL MAURICE JELKS
Current Employer: University of Kansas
Professional Background: Professor of American Studies/African and African American Studies.
Major Accomplishments: Author of two award winning scholarly books.
Previous Service to ASALH: Extensive committee work and leadership. Current Executive council member.
What I Hope to Accomplish as an Executive Council Member of ASALH: As a life member and current Executive Council member, I hope to establish an ASALH Endowment. In addition, to also improve and increase our budget.
Nominee for General Member Nominee #5
ZEBULON VANCE MILETSKY
Current Employer: Stony Brook University
Professional Background: Dr. Zebulon Vance Miletsky is an Associate Professor of Africana Studies and History at Stony Brook University. His new book “Before Busing: A History of Boston’s Long Black Freedom Struggle'” is being published by the University of North Carolina Press for release in December of 2022. https://uncpress.org/author/129550-zebulon-vance-miletsky/
Major Accomplishments: His articles have appeared in the Trotter Review, the Historical Journal of Massachusetts, the Journal of Civil and Human Rights and the Journal of Urban History. He is a regular contributor to the award-winning blog Black Perspectives, hosted by the African-American Intellectual Historical Society (AAIHS). Miletsky has given a Tedx Talk at Stony Brook University entitled “Tracing Your ‘Routes’” featured on Ted.com. He has appeared on Huffington Post Live, various radio shows including WBAI NYC 99.5 FM radio and WEAA 88.9 FM in Baltimore and interviewed for the “Multiracial Family Man” Podcast. He has been quoted by NBC News, TheRoot.com, and many others. Miletsky was awarded the Game Changers’ Award from the Long Island Area NAACP branches at their Freedom Luncheon in 2020. Dr. Miletsky was the honoree for the 2021 Town of Brookhaven Black History Month Celebration in which he was given a proclamation from the Town of Brookhaven, NY making February 4th “Dr. Zebulon Miletsky Day (in the Town of Brookhaven, NY).
Previous Service to ASALH: Extensive committee work and leadership. Current Executive council member. Current member of the Manhattan Branch.
What I Hope to Accomplish as an Executive Council Member of ASALH: As a current Executive Council member and committee chair, I hope to build on the work I have accomplished as Chair of the Marketing & PR Committee, which was accomplished through some pretty critical chapters in its history, including a pandemic. Being a part of the “Program Cluster” and having now chaired two committees–the Academic Program and Marketing and PR committee–I have a good sense of how we can continue to bring even greater attention to this noble and grand association. While we balance the ongoing grant programs and critical programming that have made ASALH the preeminent Black History professional organization in the world. We have a high standard to continue with the phenomenal success of the Black History Month Festival–with ASALH TV and our social media platforms, which we will also expand–as well as tie ins and large scale cross promotional opportunities which can and will result in dollars for the coffers of ASALH–so that we can continue to let our light shine–without the added burden of a lack of funds. I believe because of experience “under the hood”–with Marketing and PR, as well as the APC–I pledge to ensure that ASALH’s economic and programming engine will run for a long, long time. Nothing would make me prouder than to work with the amazingly talented, gifted, and motivated volunteers of ASALH. As such, I would continue to work very closely with the VP for Membership, and all the officers to bring about a continued prosperity for ASALH.
Nominee for General Member Nominee #6
Current Employer: Brown University
Professional Background: Currently, I serve as the inaugural Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Brown University Library. In my short time at Brown University, I have begun developing a strategic plan to increase diversity, strengthen relationships across campus, Providence, and the wider academic community. As an adviser to the University Librarian, I have been an integral part of strategic planning and relationship building for the library across the campus, in the region, and with other academic and institutions. I have led the efforts to improve onboarding of new staff, developed series to introduce newly restructured and existing departments to campus community, and serve as an adviser to special collections and digital publishing initiatives. Additionally, I am developing the structure for an emerging library leaders’ fellowship program that recently received funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Prior to joining Brown University Library, I was the Johanna- Marie Fraenkel Curator for Race and Ethnicity at Harvard University’s Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America. In that position, I lead the library’s efforts to diversify the collections and programming to be more inclusive of racial and ethnic populations across the country.
Major Accomplishments: In 2017, I was part of the organizing team and a participant in a two-day workshop, A More Complete Record: A Case for Archival Partnerships. The workshop brought together archivists, librarians, curators, historians, and the public to discuss how technology can be used to facilitate partnerships to increase access to related to African American history. As an organizer, I was able to contribute to the structure and direction of the workshop. As a participant, I was able to speak with and facilitate the conversation with archivists and librarians who work on the frontlines about their challenges and achievements. The workshop helped to move the conversation about institutional partnerships, collections access, and building trust forward for participants including, Harvard Library, Historically Black Colleges and University libraries, historically white institutions, private collections, and the Federal Government.
Previous Service to ASALH: Extensive committee work and leadership.
What I Hope to Accomplish as an Executive Council Member of ASALH: As a life member of ASALH, I am dedicated to continuing the legacy of Carter G. Woodson in the preservation and promotion of African American life and history. As a member of the Executive Council, I hope to work with the other council members and membership in increasing the impact of traditional programming as well as help create new initiatives. I would add my experience and perspective to expanding ASALH’s existing digital initiatives like the ASALH-TV. Finally, I look forward to working with existing partners and helping to establish new partnerships to move the mission of ASALH forward.