RALEIGH, N.C. – Three new members will be sworn in on the African American Heritage Commission (AAHC) on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 10 a.m., at N.C. Central University in Durham. Rep. H. M. “Mickey” Michaux will administer the oath. The new members are the Rev. Dr. Pierre Crawford, Dr. Sylvia Ezelonwu and Dr. Philip Henry.
Launched in 2009, the AAHC has been creating new partnerships and supporting programs to “assist the Secretary of Cultural Resources in the preservation, interpretation, and promotion of African American history, arts, and culture” as was legislatively created in 2008. AAHC Chairman Dr. Freddie Parker and Acting Director Michelle Lanier lead the commission in its work, which has included hosting the N.C. Museum of History’s annual African American Cultural Celebration, partnering with the National Park Service Underground Railroad to Freedom Network to tell the “freedom seeking” story of North Carolina, and producing the educational “Journeys Toward Freedom” poster for educators and students.
“The new members’ experiences and interests make them valuable assets to the commission,” explains Lanier.
The Rev. Dr. Crawford, of Gastonia, is senior pastor to Center Baptist Church in Gastonia and is a board member of the General Baptist Convention. He is professor of African American Christian Studies and director of continuing education at Henderson Christian University in Cramerton, N.C., and also a member of the Gaston Progressive Coalition.
Dr. Sylvia Ezelonwu, of Wilmington, is an instructor of an effective teacher training course at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington. She has been a middle and high school teacher of English and social studies, and assistant principal of a middle and high school. She serves on several committees at Ebenezer Baptist Church, is a member of the African American Historical Society of Lower Cape Fear, and is active in senior citizens’ programs. Dr. Ezelomwu recently was appointed to the Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission, operated by the National Park Service.
Dr. Phillip Henry, of Raleigh, has worked on the Black Abolitionist Editorial Project with libraries and archives in the northeast and served as a counselor at Vance-Granville Community College in Henderson, as a child advocate and consultant with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, and as an administrator and management engineer with the N.C. Department of Transportation. He has published articles on teen suicide, counseling and affirmative action, and is co-editor of the “Heritage of Blacks in North Carolina.”
For additional information call (919) 807-7389. The African American Heritage Commission is affiliated with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.
About the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council, and the State Archives. Cultural Resources champions North Carolina’s creative industry, which employs nearly 300,000 North Carolinians and contributes more than $41 billion to the state’s economy. To learn more, visit www.ncculture.com.
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