Charlottesville, VA—Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) announces Justin G. Reid as the new director of African American Programs. He will begin the position on August 8.
Reid will lead the continuing development of VFH’s African American Historic Sites Database, an interactive guide to hundreds of African American historic sites across Virginia, which will be relaunched for the 400th anniversary commemoration of the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia in 2019. Reid will also represent VFH and its programs to African American communities statewide and institutions that interpret the African American experience in Virginia, collaborating with them to develop resources and promote cultural activities and educational content for events, exhibits, radio programs, and websites.
“Justin brings to VFH a great understanding of the use of technology to further engage the public through the humanities,” said Matthew Gibson, director of digital initiatives at VFH. “His extensive experience and compelling vision for our African American programming will lead to thriving collaborations, valued resources, and deepened public engagement across the state.”
Reid said, “I look forward to continuing VFH’s important community building work. This is truly a turning point in our nation’s history. Our understanding of the African American experience is evolving. It’s an experience that began here in Virginia, so it’s fitting that VFH take the lead in advancing the conversation.”
About Justin Reid
Reid joins VFH having most recently served as director of education and public programs at the Moton National Historic Landmark & Museum, in his hometown of Farmville, VA. The former Moton High School is known today as “the student birthplace of America’s Civil Rights Movement.” While there, Reid oversaw Moton’s 2013 grand re-opening following its $6 million restoration, and developed and managed the museum’s signature events, visitor services, educational programming, and outreach initiatives. As Moton’s acting director from 2014-2015, he oversaw the completion of $500,000 in new construction and helped formalize Moton’s affiliation with neighboring Longwood University. Under Reid’s leadership, Moton established collaborative relationships with school divisions in every region of Virginia and gained inclusion in the newly revised Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs), which are taught to over 1 million public school students each year.
Reid previously worked for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation & Improvement and the George Mason University Center for Social Entrepreneurship, and he has held fellowships with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, U.S. House of Representatives, and Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site. He holds a B.A. in American studies and Africana studies from the College of William and Mary, where he co-chartered the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, worked in undergraduate admissions, and served as a Sharpe Community Scholar and NAACP president. Reid is a founding board member of the annual Virginia Children’s Book Festival and Vice President of the William & Mary Hulon Willis Alumni Association. He is also a gubernatorial appointee to the Citizen’s Advisory Council on Furnishing and Interpreting the Executive Mansion.
About African American Programs at VFH: African American Programs explore the intricate fabric of African American life in Virginia, past and present. The African American experience has been a hallmark of programming since VFH’s first grants and programs were launched in 1974, and the office of African American Programs has managed the African American Historic Sites Database since 1998. Among the program’s major accomplishments are the popular traveling exhibit and book Don’t Grieve After Me: The Black Experience in Virginia 1619-2015 and the establishment and stewardship of Virginia Africana: The Network of Museum, History, and Preservation Professionals, which became an independent organization in 2016.
About VFH: The mission of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities is to connect people and ideas to explore the human experience and inspire cultural engagement. VFH reaches an estimated annual audience of 23 million through Community Programs, Digital Initiatives, Scholarship, and the Virginia Center for the Book. For more information, visit VirginiaHumanities.org.
Assistant to the President and Communications Officer
Virginia Foundation for the Humanities