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Richard Bland College Announces Civil Rights Historian as Commencement Speaker

Justin G. Reid, a cultural preservationist and civil rights public historian, will deliver the keynote address at Richard Bland College of William & Mary’s 56th Commencement Ceremony on May 11, 2019 at 4:00pm at the Multi-Purpose Center at VSU.

As director of African American Programs at Virginia Humanities, Reid serves as the manager of the General Assembly’s African-American Cultural Resources Task Force. Prior to joining VH, he served as Director of Education and Public Programs at the Moton Museum & National Historic Landmark in his hometown of Farmville. In his role, Reid helps develop and support cultural heritage initiatives across the state and is leading the continuing development of VH’s African-American Historic Sites Database, an interactive guide to hundreds of African-American historic sites across Virginia.

“Justin Reid’s perspective and message is particularly timely and poignant,” said President Debbie Sydow. “Mr. Reid’s contributions to the preservation of African American culture and history throughout the Commonwealth simply cannot be overstated, and we are honored to have him deliver the 2019 Commencement address.”

Prior to joining Virginia Humanities, Reid was the manager of the General Assembly’s African-American Cultural Resources Task Force, a position he still holds. He served as Director of Education and Public Programs at the Moton Museum & National Historic Landmark in his hometown of Farmville. While there, he oversaw the 2013 opening of Moton’s national award-winning $6 million permanent exhibition.

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.

Reid is a former founding board member of the annual Virginia Children’s Book Festival and co-founder of the College of William & Mary’s Lemon Project on History & Race. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in American Studies/Africana Studies from William & Mary. Reid is currently pursuing his Master of Arts, Cultural Heritage and Nonprofit Management from Johns Hopkins University.

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