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Aleia Brown, Adrianne Russell, and Jamil Smith in conversation

Wednesday November 8, 2017
9:15am - 10:30am - Keynotes in Conversation
10:45am - 12:00pm - Taking Action: a follow up conversation with keynotes

To celebrate MCN’s 50th birthday, we are delighted to welcome 3 keynote speakers this year! 


About Aleia Brown

Aleia Brown

Aleia Brown is a Mellon/ American Council of Learned Societies Public Fellow, with an appointment as the Programs Manager at the Humanities Action Lab. She holds a Ph.D. in Public History from Middle Tennessee State University.  
As a public historian, Dr. Brown engages digital humanities projects, curatorial interventions, and experimental programming to foster transformative justice communities in and outside of the museums. 
Deeply invested in the state of the field, Brown is also involved in a number of organizations and workgroups including: The American Association for State and Local History Women’s History Affinity Group, The National Council on Public History’s Nominating Committee and Diversity Task Force, Interpreting the History of Racialized Violence in the Age of Black Lives Matter, and Museums and Civic Discourse: Past, Present, and Emerging Futures. 
Her forthcoming manuscript project explores the rise of Black women’s fiber art collectives that created their own distinct space that differed from the goals and ideologies of the Black Arts Movement and the Feminist Arts Movement. 
She has written for a number of online platforms including Slate, History@Work, Remembering the Ladies, and Black Perspectives. 
Dr. Brown also co-founded and leads two acclaimed digital humanities projects- #BlkTwitterstorians and #museumsrespondtoferguson.

Aleia tweets as @CollardStudies


About Adrianne Russell

A museum educator, writer, and arts consultant, Adrianne Russell has written and presented about the intersections of art, race, equity, and culture for Fusion, Temporary Art Review, Smithsonian Magazine, PBS Parents, American Alliance of Museums, MuseumNext, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, and her blog, Cabinet of Curiosities. 

She is the co-founder of the digital humanities project #museumsrespondtoFerguson, an ongoing series of Twitter chats and in-person investigations of museums and anti-Blackness began in the aftermath of Michael Brown’s state-sanctioned murder in Ferguson, Missouri on April 9, 2014.

Russell believes that museums can effect transformative change through community partnership but if their internal cultures remain stagnant, that change is performative and futile. 

You can find her checking museums off her must-see list, taste-testing craft beers, visiting comic book shops, and listening to k-pop. 

Adrianne tweets as @adriannerussell.


About Jamil Smith

Jamil Smith

Jamil Smith is committed to tough truth in these transformative times. Most recently, he’s a Senior National Correspondent at MTV News, where his writing focuses on politics, race, and gender. Prior to that, he was a Senior Editor at The New Republic magazine, and a segment and digital producer for the Melissa Harris-Perry Show and The Rachel Maddow Show. He’s got three Emmy Awards on the shelf and over 50K Twitter followers. Over and over again, Smith leverages his influence to get the undiscovered story or surface the forgotten angle on one that everyone is talking about. He’s also the host of Intersection, The New Republic’s first podcast, which examines identity at all the complex crossroads of American life. Though he’s spent most of his career in television and online media, he’s got the voice for radio.

Whether he’s calling out police violence in his beloved hometown of Cleveland or celebrating maligned campus activists, Jamil’s analysis is full of heart and hope. He loves speaking to audiences that are engaged in the biggest questions of our day: Where do popular culture–sports, music, Hollywood–and social justice collide? How is the Black Lives Matter movement going to create structural, long-term change? Where is the new frontier of radical activism?  

Jamil tweets as @JamilSmith.

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