President's Message, January 2016 - The Charles H. Wright Museum Blog

President's Message, January 2016

The first 50 years of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History has been a magnificent journey. This journey has involved millions: the millions who make up our ancestral lineage and are the creators of African American history, and the millions who have passed through the doors of The Wright to behold and uphold their legacy. 

In reflecting on the millions who have created and been touched by the work of The Wright Museum, we are reminded of the never-ending wellspring of inspiration, and of the responsibility to carry it forth into the future. There are still many millions to reach, to teach, and to inspire. Our world, now more than ever, is so deeply in need of understanding, acceptance, and unity. Through the exploration and celebration of the adversity and achievement of African American history, our work can help achieve these things.

In carrying forth, change is inevitable. At the end of 2015, Elizabeth "Betty" Brooks completed her tenure as chair of our Board of Trustees, as did vice-chair Keith Cockrell, and we have immense gratitude for their many years of service to The Wright. We are also elated to announce the election of our new chair, Eric Peterson, U.S. vice president, diversity dealer relations for General Motors Company, and vice-chair, Pamela Alexander, director of community development for Ford Motor Company Fund. These passionate and committed supporters of the Museum will surely do an outstanding job of leading the efforts of our board, staff, and institution.

These announcements were made at the Museum's annual meeting held Thursday, December 3, 2015. In addition to her steadfast support of and service to The Wright, Betty Brooks is well known and beloved in the community, having served on numerous boards, including those of the Detroit Historical Museum, Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan Opera Theatre, and Reading Works. She stated that to serve on The Wright's board was something very special, and she was, "extremely grateful to have had the honor and opportunity." Clearly overcome with emotion, Betty concluded her remarks by stating, "I see (the Museum's) impact, in the summer's festive crowds, the togetherness of a family's Sunday visit, and the sparkle of a child's smile as they are lifted up by their community and taught that their voice, and achievements, matter. I will continue to support this great Museum, and look forward to its next half-century of accomplishment." The board also officially named Betty as The Wright's chair emeritus. It is an honor she has certainly earned.

Following Betty's remarks, chairman-elect Eric Peterson promised to continue the trajectory of growth the Museum has seen over the past few years. "We can – and will – aim to be the best... and provide a standard of quality that will take us from being the largest, to the leading, museum of African American history in the world."

Click here to download our January - March 2016 Member Newsletter
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