African American Heritage Commission Staff

Adrienne Nirdé

Associate Director

Adrienne Nirdé (pronounced "Near-day") has served as the Associate Director of the NC African American Heritage Commission since 2020 where her role focuses on grant project management and communications. Prior to her time with the Commission, she spent almost ten years working in museums and cultural institutions including the President James K. Polk State Historic Site in Pineville, NC, and the Earl Scruggs Center in Shelby, NC. She holds a Master's degree in Museum Studies from Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis as well as Bachelor's degrees in History and Anthropology from Indiana University. She is a proud member of the Smithsonian's Interpreting African American History and Culture Workshop 2020 cohort. She has always had a primary interest in sharing diverse stories, particularly those have not yet been told and centering the communities that hold them. Adrienne lives and gardens in Wendell, NC with her husband, a high school social studies teacher, and their two dogs.

Rodney Dawson

Education and Interpretation Specialist

Rodney Dawson is a native of High Point, North Carolina where he attended Guilford County Schools. Upon graduation, Rodney entered the United States Army where he served stateside and overseas including South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq. While serving, Dawson was recognized for meritorious service in combat during the Persian Gulf War. After the military, Rodney Dawson returned home to Greensboro, North Carolina working in radio and in education as a behavioral support liaison, CPI Instructor, media specialist, and technology teacher for K-12 schools. Rodney obtained a bachelor’s degree in music production, plus a master's in Instructional Technology and an Education Specialist degree in Educational Leadership. Rodney is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Education Leadership. Rodney now serves as the Education Interpreter Specialist for the NC AAHC, and continues fostering education by serving with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the Curriculum writing and review team for The History of Black Education in North Carolina: A Teaching Guide for High School Educators, the North Carolina Humanities Council, Guilford County Schools Enrichment Fund, Greensboro Historical Teacher’s Alliance, and as the Polemarch/President of the Burlington Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated. Education has always been the tool that Dawson has used to promote and help others achieve “Educere” the Latin derivative of the word education which means to lead someone to their fullest potential.  

Vincentt Craft Sutton

Program Coordinator

Vincentt Craft Sutton is a native implant of Danville Virginia. He is a graduate of William Peace University and a current student at North Carolina Central University pursuing a Master’s in History. 


Mikayla Medley

Administrative Assistant


Biography coming soon.