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New Chair and Vice Chair Announced by Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture

The Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture Announce New Chair and Vice Chair


JULY 12, 2023

Dr. Edwin T. Johnson poses with arms folded
Dr. Edwin T. Johnson, Chair of MCAAHC

Annapolis, MD – The Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture (MCAAHC) is pleased to announce the newly elected leadership of Chair Dr. Edwin T. Johnson and Vice Chair Maya Davis effective July 1, 2023. 

Dr. Edwin T. Johnson is a son of Maryland– a product of the Prince George’s County Public School system and Maryland’s public higher education system with degrees from Morgan State and Towson State Universities. Johnson was appointed to the MCAAHC by Governor Larry Hogan in March 2016 and has served representing Baltimore City since that time, which includes his election to Vice Chair of the Commission in July 2022.

Vice Chair Maya Davis, representing Prince George’s County, was appointed to the Commission in 2017 by Governor Larry Hogan. Davis is currently the Director of the Riversdale House Museum in Riverdale Park, MD and brings twenty years of public history experience to the commission.

Chair Johnson plans to build upon the legacies of his immediate predecessors, Rev. Dr. Tamara E. Wilson and Professor Dale Green, who developed the African American Heritage Preservation Program (AAHPP) grant into a national model. In the 2022 legislative session, the Commission successfully petitioned the state government to increase the funding for the grant program to $5 million up from $1 million. The AAHPP was established under the leadership of  Chair Emeritus Theodore “Ted” Mack in 2010.  

In light of recent challenges to the legitimacy of African American Studies as an academic discipline, Chair Johnson endeavors to establish the Commission as a state-wide resource for educators, organizations, agencies, and generally interested individuals to be effectively equipped to teach African American History.

“As race relations in America have become increasingly polarizing, we want to ensure that the Commission remains true to its mission of preserving, protecting, defending, and illuminating the history of people of color in the state of Maryland”, said Chair Johnson.

Among his administration’s priorities, Chair Johnson aims to address the omission of women from the landscape of Maryland’s African American history. “The Honorable Verda Freeman Welcome, who co-founded both the Commission and the Museum, is largely unknown and that needs to change,” said Chair Johnson.

Professionally, Johnson serves as Special Assistant to the Provost, and University Historian at Morgan State University.  He is also an adjunct professor at Stevenson University and the University of Maryland Global Campus, where he teaches African American Studies.  Johnson is the fourth Morgan Historian to chair the Commission.  He follows in the legendary footsteps of Commission Co-founder, the late Dr. Benjamin Arthur Quarles, the late Dr. Roland C. McConnell, and Prof. Dale Glenwood Green.  As a three-time Morgan graduate and one of the last doctoral students of the late Dr. Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, Johnson understands the historic relationship between the Commission, Morgan State University, and the stewardship of African American History in the state of Maryland. 

Chair Johnson will host the upcoming MCAAHC Public Meeting on August 7th at Morgan State University. 

August 2023 Public Meeting

Monday, August 7, 2023 | 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Morgan State University
University Student Center, Room 316
1700 E. Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21251

In addition to new leadership, the Commission welcomes a host of new commissioners that will serve various regions across the state, who will be announced and featured on social media channels this month.  


Contact: Jan Lee, Director of Marketing and Communications / (410) 216-6185

About the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture 

The Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture is committed to discovering, documenting, preserving, collecting, and promoting Maryland’s African American heritage. The Commission also provides technical assistance to institutions and groups with similar objectives. Through the accomplishment of this mission, the MCAAHC seeks to educate Maryland citizens and visitors to our state about the significance of the African American experience in Maryland. To learn more, visit

About the Banneker-Douglass Museum

The Banneker-Douglass Museum is the State of Maryland’s official museum of African American heritage. It serves to document, interpret, and promote African American history and culture through exhibitions, programs, and projects in order to improve the understanding and appreciation of America’s rich cultural diversity for all. The museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Admission is free. To learn more, visit Follow on social media: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube