The Inclusive Museum: A Conversation and Book Signing with Dr. Johnnetta Cole - SOLD OUT

February 24, 2019
5:30 to 7 P.M.


Free | Registration required | Doors open at 4:30 p.m.

Schedule of evening:
4:30 to 5:30 p.m. - Cash bar and snacks available for purchase
5:30 to 6:30 p.m. - Lecture and Q&A
6:30 to 7 p.m. - Book Signing

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens invites you to a conversation on the state of art museums, with distinguished guest speaker, Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Ph.D. The talk will address diversity and inclusion work in museums, starting a much-needed dialogue and igniting inspiration for continuing to correct inequities across the museum field, better represent the communities museums serve, and build on the lessons of the past.

Cole is one of the most decorated museum professionals of her generation. Currently, she co-chairs the American Alliance of Museum’s Working Group on Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion; is a fellow of the American Anthropological Association; a member of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences; and serves on the board of Martha’s Table.

Previously, Dr. Cole served for eight years as the Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, was the president of the Association of Art Museum Directors, and served as the president of both of the historically Black colleges for women in the United States, Spelman College and Bennett College.

Dr. Cole earned a Ph.D. in anthropology, specializing in African Studies, from Northwestern University; was named the seventh President and Board Chair of The National Council of Negro Women; and has authored or edited dozens of books and articles for scholarly and general audiences. Dr. Cole has received numerous awards and is the recipient of 64 honorary degrees. Throughout her career and in her published work, speeches, and community service, she consistently addresses issues of racial, gender, and all other systems of inequality. Additionally, she was the first African American to serve as the chair of United Way of America’s board, the first woman to serve on the board of Coca-Cola Enterprises, and has served on the boards of Home Depot, Merck, and NationsBank.  

Cole is also a native of Jacksonville where she, her family, and ancestors have played leading roles in North Florida’s rich Black history. Born Johnnetta Betsch in Jacksonville, Florida, on October 19, 1936, Cole is a granddaughter of Abraham Lincoln Lewis, Florida's first Black millionaire, entrepreneur and cofounder of the Afro-American Industrial and Benefit Association, and Mary Kingsley Sammis. Sammis' great-grandparents were Zephaniah Kingsley, a slave trader and slave owner, and his wife and former slave Anna Madgigine Jai, originally from present-day Senegal. Jai’s Fort George Island home is protected at Kingsley Plantation, a National Historic Landmark. Johnnetta’s sister MaVynee Betsch, known as The Beach Lady, is a notable figure in North Florida as she spent her life on American Beach (on Amelia Island) helping protect, preserve, and promote the history of the African-American resort beach of the mid-1900s founded by her grandfather Lewis.
 Dr. Cole’s book will be available for purchase in the Cummer Shop. For further information or to register, please call 904.899.6038.

All reservations are will-call only. Check-in will be in the Cummer Museum Lobby.