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Governor Larry Hogan Appoints Six New Members to Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today announced six new appointees to the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture. The Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture is a legislatively-created commission tasked with discovering, documenting, preserving, collecting, and promoting Maryland’s African American heritage. Commissioners are appointed to four-year terms, and can serve up to two consecutive terms on the commission.

“I commend the work of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, and look forward to seeing the contributions of the incoming commissioners as they move into their new roles,” said Governor Hogan. “Our commissioners represent respected leaders, scholars, and historians, all committed to the preservation and promotion of the rich history and culture of Maryland’s African American communities.”

The six new commissioners include:
Reggie Turner – Mr. Reggie Turner serves as a Financial Advisor and Vice President for PNC Investments. Mr. Turner has spearheaded and advised Investment Clubs for several Historically Black Colleges and Universities including Florida A&M, Morehouse, and Alabama A&M. He is the current President of the Doleman Black Heritage Museum. Mr. Turner resides in Hagerstown, Maryland with his two daughters, Kayla and Sidney.

Maya Davis – Ms. Maya Davis previously served as the Interim Director of the Banneker-Douglas Museum and the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture. Previously, Ms. Davis was a research Archivist for the Maryland State Archives’ Legacy of Slavery Department. Ms. Davis resides in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

Janis Curtis Greene – Ms. Janis Curtis Greene is an accomplished storyteller and author, who has been telling African, African American, and Multicultural stories for over 25 years. She is Past President and Life Member of the Griots’ Circle of Maryland, Inc. and a Life Member, Board Member and President Elect of the National Association of Black Storytellers (NABS). Ms. Greene is also a member of the National Storyteller’s Network and the Network of Biblical Storytellers International. Ms. Greene resides in Baltimore, Maryland.

Elinor Thompson – Ms. Elinor Thompson is a genealogist, historian, and author with over 35 years of industry experience providing research, documentation, preservation and archival records. Ms. Thompson is committed to preserving history through her work with churches, cemeteries, schools, and genealogical documents. Ms. Thompson resides in Harwood, Maryland.

Anthony Cohen – Mr. Anthony Cohen is a historian trained in the research of African-American history emphasizing the identification of primary documentation through oral history and alternative methodologies. He currently serves as the Founder and Executive Director of the Menare Foundation, Inc., which is dedicated to preserving the history of the Underground Railroad. Mr. Cohen is also a lecturer specializing on the Underground Railroad and American Slavery. Mr. Cohen currently resides in Germantown, Maryland.

Iris Barnes – Ms. Iris Barnes serves as the executive director of the Hosanna School Museum, which works to collect, preserve, and interpret the history of Harford County, Maryland through the lens of the African American experience within national contexts. A doctoral student of History, Ms. Barnes has earned her Master’s degree in historical preservation from Morgan State University, and currently serves as curator of the Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum in Baltimore.

 The six appointees will hold interim seats on the commission until they go before the Maryland State Senate for confirmation during the 2018 Legislative Session.

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