African American History and Culture Commissioners
- Theodore "Ted" Mack, Chair
Theodore “Ted” Mack is a native of Memphis, Tennessee. He is a graduate of Wonder High School in West Memphis, Arkansas. A retired Military Intelligence Officer, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Mount St. Mary’s College before undertaking course study related to his chosen field of specialization including photography, counterintelligence, terrorism counter action, interrogation techniques and personal management. Mr. Mack has served in many high level positions within the Department of Defense Intelligence, including Chief of the U.S. Army’s Counter Terrorism Team. During his 35 years of military service, Mr. Mack managed human resource departments, budgets, procurement, personnel security teams, logistics, internal controls and specialized accounting programs for a national-level intelligence agency. He conducted and managed Army terrorism investigations around the globe, establishing policy and procedures for counterintelligence/terrorism case investigations along the way. Mr. Mack is a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, President’s Committee for the Morgan State University Choir, Associated Black Charities Board of Directors and the American Society of Travel Agents. He is also a 33 degree Mason, having achieved Illustrious Commander status. Mr. Mack resides in Annapolis, Maryland with his wife Betty. They have three sons, Gregory, Theodore II and Anton.
- Dr. Cheryl J. LaRoche, Vice Chair
Cheryl LaRoche is a native of New York City, where she attended public schools graduating from Uniondale High School. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Art at the University of New York at Buffalo. She later earned a Masters of Art degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park with a concentration on Archeology and African American History. Dr. C. LaRoche has worked as a historical and archaeological consultant for the United States National Forest Service, Shawnee National Forest Service, Joseph Holston Underground Railroad Art Project, and the U.S. National Park Service.
- Denise Barnes
Denise Barnes is a native of Waldorf in Charles County, Maryland. She attended the county parochial schools, graduating from Archbishop Neal High School. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Business Administration degree from Morgan State University and a Master of Science degree in counseling from the University of Michigan. Mrs. Barnes is presently a Guidance Counselor in the Charles County Public Schools system and was instrumental in her current school receiving the State of Maryland Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence.
Throughout her time in the school system, Mrs. Barnes has developed programs that have benefited all students - from the gifted to the needy. Each year she produces activities for African American History month. In addition, she has coordinated the Black Saga Program in her school and established the Black Saga Club.
Mrs. Barnes is a member of numerous organizations including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She resides in Waldorf, Maryland with her husband Wayne.
- Lynn Bowman
Lynn Bowman is a New Jersey transplant to Frostburg in Allegany County, Maryland. A graduate of St. Mary's College of Maryland as well as the University of Maryland at College Park, Mrs. Bowman is currently an Associate Professor in English and Speech at Allegany College of Maryland in Cumberland. Mrs. Bowman has authored two books on Allegany County African-American history, Being Black in Brownsville: Echoes of a "Forgotten" Frostburg and Crossing into the Promised Land: an Appalachian African-American History. Her primary research focus is amplifying the antebellum African-American history of Western Maryland before that history becomes irretrievable.
- Kelsey R. Bush
Kelsey Bush is a native of Lexington Park in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, where he attended county public schools, graduating from Great Mills High School. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Mary’s College of Maryland with dual majors in Political Science and Sociology/Anthropology. He also earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Law. Mr. Bush is presently employed with the St. Mary’s Department of Recreation and Parks and Community Services. In that capacity he develops youth-related initiatives and programs for AmeriCorps/VISTA. He monitors VISTA grants and sites and provides fiscal planning and guidance to volunteers as needed. He also provides supervision and guidance to the Teen Court coordinator. Mr. Bush serves as President of the Board of Directors for Alternatives for Youth and Families, Inc., and the Kawanis Club of St. Mary’s County. Other community-based organization affiliations include the Tri-County Youth and Families Board of Directors, the United Coalition for African American Contributions and the St. Mary’s Teen Court Oversight Committee. Mr. Bush lives in California, Maryland with his wife Catherine.
- Dr. Charles M. Christian
Charles Christian is a native of Woods County, Texas. He graduated from Manual Training High School in Muskogee, Oklahoma. He earned a Bachelor in Arts degree in Social Studies Education at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma and went on to earn a Masters in Teaching and Administration there. Dr. Christian earned two degrees at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign--a Masters in Arts degree and a Ph.D. in Geography. He is widely published and has served on numerous national and state commissions, task forces and committees, including a White House Task Force on Saving Young Black Men, the Governor’s Commission on the Commemoration and Legacy of Slavery in Maryland, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum Task Force on Education and the University of Maryland’s Commission on Minority Issues. In 1992, Dr. Christian founded the Black Saga Competition, an award-winning learning activity that helps elementary and middle school students learn about the African American experience. Based on his book, Black Saga: A Chronology of the African American Experience, the Competition has been implemented in more than one hundred and fifty schools in Maryland and piloted in selected school districts in other states. The Competition has introduced the African American Experience to more than 50,000 students and an even larger number of adults over the past decade. Dr. Christian was Professor of Social and Population Geography at the University of Maryland, College Park for more than 35 years. He is now a Distinguished Professor at Coppin State University in Baltimore. He has two sons, Charles Jr. and Fairbanks III and a daughter, Charla Junee. He resides in Ellicott City, Maryland.
- Najah Duvall-Gabriel
Najah Duvall-Gabriel is a historic preservation specialist in the Office of Federal Agency Programs at the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), an independent federal agencythat advises the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy. Prior to joining the staff at the ACHP, Ms. Duvall-Gabriel worked at the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission where she supported the work of the Prince George’s County Historic Preservation Commission. She has also worked as staff with Preservation Maryland, a statewide preservation advocacy organization.
Ms. Duvall-Gabriel holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a Master of Historic Preservation from the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a National Trust on Historic Preservation, Mildred Colodny Scholar and has extensive volunteer experience in efforts to preserve community historic sites. Currently, she a board member of the African American Heritage Preservation Group, Inc. in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
- Dale Glenwood Green
Professor Dale Glenwood Green is the Chair of the Historic Preservation Program and Assistant Professor of Architecture in the School of Architecture & Planning at Morgan State University. Professor Green earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Architecture and Environmental Design from Morgan State University, a Masters of Architecture and Historic Preservation from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Ph.D. Candidate in Architectural Studies and Historic Preservation from the University of Missouri at Columbia. Professor Green joined the faculty at Morgan State University in 2008 with a mission to infuse historic preservation education, research and scholarship within the existing undergraduate and graduate curriculum and instruction within the School of Architecture + Planning.
Professor Green is distinguished for his contributions in preservation education. His teaching and research explores the essence of context, resulting in engaging, inspirational, and evocative historic built and natural environments that embody, rather than simply contain, the stories being told. Professor Green is also a Historical Architect, in accordance with the Secretary of Interior’s Professional Qualification Standards (36 CFR 61), LEED Accredited Professional, acknowledged for his professional work in historic preservation, and has dedicated his career to preserving and reinvigorating historic places, through rigorous research and creative, sensitive design interventions, while showing great respect for the original architects' and builders' intentions. Professor Green was honored as the recipient of two 2012 Maryland Preservation Awards (the Education and Community Engagement award and the Preservation Partnerships for Project Excellence award).
- Michael Kent
Michael Kent is a native of Calvert County, Maryland where his family has grown tobacco and raised cattle since 1780. Currently, Mr. Kent is working with 25 other African- America farmers to convert their properties to Solar and Wind farms.
After graduating from the University of Maryland, College Park, Mr. Kent received a Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland school of law. Mr. Kent spent 3 years in the United States Naval Reserves as a Judge Advocate General officer before serving as an Assistant States attorney for both the Baltimore city and Prince George's county States attorney's offices.
- Lyndra Marshall (nee' Pratt)
Lyndra Marshall (nee’ Pratt) is an internationally known genealogist, author, teacher and lecturer. She is the Founder and President of GENE-ALL-OF US, Inc. Family Heritage Research and Resource Center in Bowie, Maryland. She is a partner of African Ancestry, Inc. the pioneers in DNA Genetic Testing and African Loom Tours. Mrs. Marshall has appeared as the African American genealogy expert on public television, radio, and in newspapers and magazine interviews such as Good Morning America, 60 Minutes, BBC World News, Ebony, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, and Afro American Newspaper. In 2012, Mrs. Marshall received the Distinguished Genealogy Research Award from the National Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society.
Mrs. Marshall has authored and co-authored several family publications and is currently working on six projects to include a documentary of her family history along with a companion book. She organizes annual and milestone historic events in her ancestral communities. In 2007, she organized and took a delegation of 101 family members and friends to their maternal homeland, Ghana, West Africa, and received a special invitation to the Ashante King’s Palace. She was honored at Ghana’s 50th Year of Independence Celebrations and was presented the Unity Flame Torch that traveled throughout the Slave Routes.
Mrs. Marshall is an alumna of Trinity Washington University where she was a Business Major and has taken additional studies at American University, Prince George’s Community College, and the University of Maryland. She is a graduate of several Genealogical Research programs and the Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore Business Training School.
Mrs. Marshall has been happily married to Roger Marshall, Sr. for over 40 years and has one son, Roger, Jr. and daughter-in-law Tammera. She currently resides in Bowie, Maryland.
- Mike Miller
Mike Miller is principal of The Arundel Group, a private investor in commercial real estate in Maryland. The Arundel Group manages a multi-tenant commercial building located at 820 Ritchie Highway, Severna Park, MD, and has completed various commercial land transactions, primarily related to hotel development. Mr. Miller is also employed as a financial consultant at a Washington, DC area public utility, and has held a range of executive positions in corporate real estate, finance and not-for-profit management.
Early in his career, Mr. Miller served as Business Manager of Miami-based Florida Memorial College. For six years ending in 1985, he continued in the not-for-profit arena as chief financial officer of Africare, in Washington, DC. Mike returned to Africare for two years in 1994, relocating his family to Johannesburg, South Africa in order to work closely with the post-apartheid government of Nelson Mandela.
Mr. Miller began his corporate career at IBM as a financial analyst in 1986, and became program manager of treasury strategy. He then joined PepsiCo as Director of Project Finance and subsequently served as Senior Director of Real Estate, within PepsiCo’s Taco Bell restaurant subsidiary. After returning from South Africa, Mike worked as an Internet start-up executive, participating in a successful IPO, and began to build his private real estate business.
Mr. Miller earned a BA in History from Yale University in 1974 and an MBA in Finance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1976.
- Sharon Parker
Sharon Parker is a native of Calvert County, Maryland where she attended public schools graduating from Calvert High School. Ms. Parker received her Associate Degree in Computer Information Systems Science at the University of District of Columbia. She has over 27 years of Federal service experience at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). She is a certified Project Manager and applies project management skills and technique in the development and management of several program systems in the Office of Multifamily at HUD.
In 2008, Ms. Parker established an organization called Remembering Our Ancestors Synergistic Association (ROASA), Inc. She serves as the President of ROASA, Inc., which is dedicated to capturing, sharing, and embracing the wisdom from elders and sharing their struggles and triumphs with youth in the DMV. Ms. Parker also has extensive volunteer experiences with numerous organziations such as: American Mothers Inc., Capital Speaking Club of Bethesda, MD, Afro-American Historical Genealogical Society, Inc., Washington Area Women Foundation, Greater Washington Urban League, The National Center for Children and Families, Black Enterprise, Black Women Health Imperative, IKG Cultural Center, Union Temple Baptist Church, and a host of others.
- Evan Richardson
Evan Richardson is a native of Newark, New Jersey and attended St. Benedict’s Preparatory School. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology with a concentration on graphics communication from North Carolina A&T University. He also earned an M.L.A. from Morgan State University where he currently works as a retention and transfer coordinator in the Institute of Architecture and Planning. Prior to being employed at MSU, Mr. Richardson worked in the Baltimore Mayor’s office of Neighborhoods, where he coordinated and directed city agencies in responding to neighborhood initiatives and requests and worked to establish neighborhood/government partnerships. He also served as program coordinator for the Neighborhood Design Center and project manager for the Neighborhood Development Center. His teaching experience includes courses on Orientation for Architecture majors and Graphics Communications Skills II. Mr. Richardson has served on the board of several community organizations including the Herring Run Watershed Project, Parks and People, and Community Media of Baltimore City. He resides in Baltimore with his wife Johnette and daughter Zoe.
Dr. Clara Small
Dr. Clara Small is a professor of history at Salisbury University. She teaches courses in American Colonial history, racism and discrimination, and civil rights in American society. Dr. Small’s scholarly work includes two books, A History of African American on Maryland’s and Delaware’s Eastern Shore and Reality Check: Brief Biographies of African-American on Delmarva.
Dr. Small has been honored several times, including the University System of Maryland’s Regent Award for Public Service, the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore’s Frank H. Morris Humanitarian Award, and the Harriet Tubman Lifetime Achievement Award.
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