In 2016, the Menokin Foundation spearheaded the formation of the African American Advisory Work Group (AAAWG). The primary goals of the AAAWG are to assist the Menokin Foundation in:
- telling the story of African Americans at Menokin to inspire a fuller understanding of and appreciation for their central role in Menokin’s story.
- engaging and involving the African American community in ongoing efforts to preserve and interpret Menokin, and developing the historic site into a cultural learning center.
- acting as a leading pilot or prototype for engagement of any community type.
- telling the big picture story. (What are the lessons to be extracted from our local history? How do we relate this history to the state in general and, in bigger terms, the world?)
The group now consists of the following advisory members:
- Alice French – Menokin Staff; Education and Outreach Coordinator
- Dudley Olsson – Menokin Board; Education Committee chair
- Tom Duckenfield – Menokin Board; Education Committee member
MUSEUM AND HUMANITIES PROFESSIONALS
- Bessida Cauthorne White – Genealogist; Member of Middle Peninsula African American Genealogical Society
- Lauranett Lee – Virginia Foundation for the Humanities Trustee; former curator of VHS African American exhibits
- Mariaelena DeBenignio – College of William & Mary history doctorate and researcher
GORDON FAMILY DESCENDANTS & LOCAL COMMUNITY MEMBERS
- Evelyn Parker
- Juanita Wells
- Mark Cox
- Brenda Leigh Wells
- Beatrice Robinson Ball
- Vera Robinson Rich
- Skip Taylor
EDUCATION AND PROGRAMMING INITIATIVES AT MENOKIN ARE MADE POSSIBLE – IN PART – BY THE 56 SIGNERS SOCIETY OF MENOKIN.