Do you steward African American historic structure, cemetery, or artifacts? Join us for presentations from leading professionals in buildings, cemetery, and object preservation to learn about available state and local resources.
Beginners Guide To African American Cemetery Preservation
Melissa Timo joined the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology in 2019 as a Staff Archaeologist and historic cemetery specialist. She obtained her BS. in anthropology and archaeology from Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA in 2004. She received her MA in historical archaeology, with an emphasis in public archaeology from the University of West Florida in Pensacola, FL in 2013. Her master’s thesis focused on the maintenance of memory, tradition, and cultural landscape by examining a 19th century African American cemetery in Bay County, Florida. She has a passion for connecting people to their local history, historical cemeteries, and archaeological resources.
Emergency Preparedness for African American Cultural Spaces
State Archives Outreach Coordinator, Adrienne Berney, has worked in statewide fields services for history and collecting organizations since 2010 and joined the N.C. department of State Archives and History staff in 2020. With a background as a museum objects curator and historian, Berney has helped colleagues develop skills in historical interpretation, collections, preservation, and disaster recovery. She coordinates the Traveling Archivist Program, the Federation of N.C. Historical Societies, and DNCR's Cultural Resources Emergency Support Team.
Adrienne Nirdé, Associate Director, NC African American Heritage Commission 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 over eight 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 a 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 currently lives and gardens in Wendell, NC with her husband, a high school social studies teacher, and their two dogs.
Preserving Historic African American Properties in NC: State Resources
Sarah Woodard began her preservation career as an only child looking out the car window as her parents crisscrossed North Carolina on visits to grandparents. Eventually, she received formal training and earned degrees from Guilford College and the University of Georgia. Sarah has been the Branch Supervisor for the Architectural Survey and National Register Programs at the State Historic Preservation Office since 2019. She likes to joke that she likes old buildings more than she likes most people.
Preserving African American Historic Properties Through Local Designation
Kristi Brantley is the Local Preservation Commission/Certified Local Government Coordinator for the North Carolina Historic Preservation Office. She graduated from Barton College with a B.S. in American Studies and from East Carolina University with a M.A. in History (concentration in Public History).
Kristi Harpst, AICP, is the Program Manager of the Charlotte Historic District Commission for the City of Charlotte Planning, Design + Development Department. She holds a Master of Urban Planning with a Certificate in Historic Preservation from Texas A&M University and BA in Historic Preservation from Mary Washington College.
Nichelle Bonaparte Hawkins, is an At-Large Commissioner of the Charlotte Historic District Commission for the City of Charlotte. She has spent the last 18 years of her career in the Information Technology space and currently works as a Release Train Engineer within the financial services sector. Nichelle is a community stalwart, serving on various community councils, review committees and advisory teams to advocate for historic west end community interests. She is a graduate of a Historically Black College/University (HBCU), Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, NC where she earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Computer Science.
Kim Parati is the Chairperson of Charlotte’s Historic District Commission and a Wesley Heights resident. Kim holds a degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and works as a real estate agent in the area.