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The California African American Museum Appoints Naima J. Keith As The New Deputy Director For Exhibitions And Programs

Naima J. Keith

Naima J. Keith

LOS ANGELES, CA- The California African American Museum (CAAM) is pleased to announce Naima J. Keith as their new deputy director for exhibitions and programs. Keith joins the Museum after having served for nearly five years at The Studio Museum in Harlem. She comes to CAAM as the first senior staff member hired by CAAM’s Executive Director George Davis following his recent appointment. Keith will oversee CAAM’s art, history and education programs. She will also continue to curate exhibitions.

“I am trilled to have Naima join CAAM’s management team as she brings a solid reputation that is well recognized in the art world, in addition to being a Los Angeles native,” says CAAM’s Executive Director George Davis.  “With Naima as our Deputy Director, we can count on a cutting-edge future that charts a new path for our Museum. The energy and creativity that she will bring to the programs and exhibitions we offer will be a valued asset to our institution and Los Angeles.”

Prior to joining CAAM, Keith served as associate curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York.  During her tenure at the Studio Museum, Keith organized several critically acclaimed exhibitions, including Samuel Levi Jones: UnboundKianja Strobert: Of This Day in TimeTitus Kaphar: The Jerome ProjectGlenn Kaino:19.83Robert Pruitt: WomenThe Shadows Took Shape (co-curated with Zoe Whitley) and Fore (co-curated with Lauren Haynes and Thomas Lax) among many others. Her exhibition Charles Gaines Gridwork 1974-1989 traveled to the Hammer Museum and was nominated for a “Best Monographic Museum Show in New York,” award by the International Association of Art Critics. Her final exhibition for the Studio Museum, Views of Main Street, opens spring 2016 and will be the first major New York solo museum exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Rodney McMillian.  Additionally, Rodney McMillian: Views of Main Street will be accompanied by a full-color scholarly publication titled Rodney McMillian, co-edited by Keith and Anthony Elms, Chief Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia.

“I am delighted to join George Davis in leading this nationally recognized and essential cultural institution,” says Keith.  “As a native Angeleno, I have long admired the California African American Museum, and now it will be exciting to play a pivotal role in its continued growth.”

Keith has lectured for leading arts and culture institutions including the Zoma Contemporary Art Center located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Brooklyn Museum. Her essays have been featured in publications for the Studio Museum, Hammer Museum, LAXART, MoMA PS1,  NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art, among many others.

Keith received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Spelman University and a Masters of Arts in history from the UCLA.

Community to Celebrate Riverside’s Legacy at the 37th Annual Black History Parade, Expo and Car Show

rbhmRIVERSIDE, CA- Thousands of local area residents are expected to line the streets of downtown Riverside when the 37th Annual Riverside Black History Parade, Expo and Car Show kicks off Saturday, February 13 starting at 10 a.m. The theme this year, “Riverside’s Legacy” will highlight the rich and proud heritage of the city.

Traditionally, parade-goers line up along the route excitedly waving and cheering on the procession, which is led by government and city officials riding in emergency vehicles such as Riverside fire trucks followed by local high school drill teams, vintage cars, and other parade vehicles. Distinct automobiles from several local car clubs will be showcased, including Cochér Car ClubThe Ultimate Riders, and 12-15 Euro cars. Also joining the line-up of classic cars this year is Hispanic car club “Bomb Life”. Kids will be able to climb aboard a colorful caboose, a new attraction sponsored by T.K.’s Go Karts.

The route starts at Riverside City College (at the corner of Ramona and Magnolia) and will proceed north along Magnolia toward Downtown Riverside’s civic district to 10th Street, turning on Main Street past the historic Riverside County Courthouse where parade participants are announced from the main parade stage as they go by. This year’s Grand Marshall is distinguished community leader, Jack B. Clarke, Jr.

The 37th Annual Riverside Black History Parade, Expo and Car Show highlights the strength of the community by bringing people together from all walks of life and various cultural and ethnic backgrounds to celebrate Black history through food, music, and fun-filled family activities.

For more information visit www.adcrfoundation.org.

Assemblymember Brown’s Committee Hearing Focused on Increasing Diversity in Business

20160122_AD 47 (Brown) Women and Girls of Color

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Increasing diversity in corporate America, entrepreneurship and academia were the major issues discussed at the Select Committee on the Status of Girls and Women of Color hearing that was chaired by Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown (D-San Bernardino) in Fontana.

“We convened this hearing to examine issues that impact women of color in California who own businesses and work in corporate America.  Our major objective is to learn what the state can do to create a pipeline for girls and women of color to pursue business careers,” stated Assemblymember Brown. “Ultimately, our goal is to improve business opportunities for women of color.”

The hearing included testimonies by women of color who own and operate small to mid-sized businesses throughout the Inland Empire. Additionally, panelists from major corporations provided guidance on climbing the corporate ladder. Program participants included: Kimberly Freeman, Assistant Dean for Diversity Initiatives and Community Relations, UCLA; Dr. Adina Sterling, Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior, Stanford Graduate School of Business; Dr. Sacha Joseph-Mathews, Associate Professor, University of the Pacific; Dr. Michele Turner, Executive Director of the Black Alumni Association, USC; Hilda Kennedy, President, AmPac Tri State CDC; Maria Molina Solano, Executive Director, National Latina Business Women Association-IE; Kiana Webb-Severloh, President/CEO, Webb Family Enterprises; Quita Highsmith, Franchise Head/Sr. Director for Tamiflu, Genentech; Jennifer Fisher, Intellectual Property Counsel, Boeing; Evelin Martinez, Area President (Inland Empire), Wells Fargo & Co.; Annabel Chang, Director of Public Policy, Lyft; Mahlet Getachew, Senior Legal Counsel, GoPro, Inc.;  Luz Rodriguez-Roldan, Assistant Manager of Human Resources, California Steel Industries; Lupita Sanchez-Cornejo, Director of External Affairs, AT&T; and Kim Winston, Senior Manager of Government Relations, Starbucks.

All panelists agreed that we need to inform women of color that business is a viable career path. Additionally, we need to make intentional efforts to encourage them to pursue business careers because they ultimately create more jobs for both men and women. Kiana Webb of Webb Family Enterprises spoke about her experience as the owner and operator of 16 McDonald’s restaurants and employer of approximately 1,300 individuals.

“As a business owner, one of the best things about what I do is that I get to create my own experience,” said Webb. “It’s not necessarily just the challenges that we’re facing, it’s also the opportunities that we are creating, and the path that you can make for yourself.”

Ms. Webb suggested that we need to continue to have conversations about what we can do to help women of color succeed in business professions. Likewise, panelist Quita Highsmith of Genentech, a biotechnology company, suggested that women of color need an advocate to open doors for them.

“For women of color, you need a sponsor that can open the door for you when the door is closed as they are having discussions about talent. You need someone in a position of power who can be your advocate; someone who’s willing to put their neck on the line for you. You need a champion, and a personal board of directors to provide you with professional guidance and emotional security,” she said.

Evelin Martinez of Wells Fargo Bank called upon corporations to rise to the challenge of supporting students and their educational needs. She stated, “I would not be where I am today if I did not have mentors along the way. I think the hardest thing to do is to ask for help. We can’t wait for people to ask for help, we need to reach out to them. We need to have a call to action for corporations to provide access to mentorship and information so we can fix the issues that we have.”

The academia panel echoed some of the same concerns, and added that not enough women are pursuing business degrees.

“Women of color are more likely to pursue degrees in social sciences than in business,” said Dr. Adina Sterling, Stanford University. “The UC system indicated that 209 women of color graduated with an undergraduate degree in business last year compared to almost 3,000 that graduated with social sciences degrees. One way to encourage girls and women of color to pursue degrees in business is to increase the number of professors and teacher assistants who look like them.”

Many studies suggest that faculty makeup has a direct impact on academic success among students of color. According to Dr. Sacha Joseph-Matthews of the University of Pacific, women of color represent only eight percent of faculty nationwide.

“We really need more faculty of color in positions on campuses,” said Dr. Joseph-Matthews. “Often, on campuses, women of color do not feel they’re included. They feel this is not a place where they can get a sense of community and that becomes a huge problem. If we do not have women of color in key administrative roles, where they can influence campus-wide decision making on recruitment, admissions, retention and student life; and furthermore, how can we make campuses inclusive spaces for women of color?”

The committee concluded that additional mentorship programs are needed to encourage women of color to pursue business. To view the hearing in its entirety, please visit: http://asmdc.org/members/a47/.  For more information, contact Ashley Jones at (909) 381-3238.