NMAfA Director Johnnetta Cole to Lecture at UM

Cole will present 'My Love Affair with Art' on March 23.

Coral Gables (March 12, 2012) — Attend a special event sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences Center for the Humanities featuring Johnnetta Cole, director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art (NMAfA) on Friday, March 23. She will present "My Love Affair with Art" at 4:30 p.m. at the Lowe Art Museum, 1301 Stanford Drive. Click here to register.

Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole was appointed the Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art (NMAfA) in March, 2009. Founded as a small museum on Capitol Hill in 1964, NMAfA became a part of the Smithsonian Institution in 1979, and in 1987 it moved to its current location on the National Mall. The museum's collection of over 10,000 objects represents nearly every area of the continent of Africa and contains a variety of media and art forms. NMAfA also has an extensive education program. Since the mid-1980's, Dr. Cole has worked with a number of Smithsonian programs. She currently serves on the Scholarly Advisory Board for the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, the construction of which will be completed on the National Mall by 2015.

Before assuming her current position, Johnnetta Cole had a long and distinguished career as an educator and humanitarian. Through her work as a college president, university professor and through her published works, speeches and community service she has consistently addressed the issues most important to her; creating racial and gender parity and redressing all other forms of inequality.

Dr. Cole served as president of Spelman College and Bennett College for Women. She is the only person to have served as president of these two historically Black colleges for women in the United States. She is also Professor Emerita of Emory University from which she retired as Presidential Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Women's Studies and African American Studies. Johnnetta Cole has been awarded 55 honorary degrees and she is the recipient of numerous awards, including the TransAfrica Forum Global Public Service Award, the Radcliffe Medal, the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal, the 2001 Alexis de Tocqueville Award for Community Service from United Way of America, The Joseph Prize for Human Rights presented by the Anti-Defamation League, The Uncommon Height Award from the National Council of Negro Women, The John W. Gardner leadership Award from The Independent Sector, the Lenore and George W. Romney Citizen Volunteer Award from the Points of Light Foundation, Ebony magazines most influential 100 in 2010, George Washington Carver award 2011, Benjamin Franklin Creativity Laureate Award and Washingtonian Magazine's 100 most powerful women 2011.

Dr. Cole grew up in Jacksonville, Florida where in 1901 her maternal great-grandfather began the first insurance company in the state of Florida, an endeavor that earned him accolades as the state’s first black millionaire. She has conducted research in Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States, and she has authored and edited several books and scores of scholarly articles. Publisher’s Weekly stated, referring to Gender Talk: The Struggle for Women’s Equality in African American Communities co-authored by Cole and Beverly Guy-Sheftall, “Thoughtful, provocative, concerned and urgent, this work ignites a much-needed debate over the state of true black community and the role of women within that community.”

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