adelejohnsonAdele Johnson, Interim Executive Director

Adele previously served as a consultant to the Black History Museum and has a unique and keen grasp of the tremendous opportunities the museum can embrace. Her advice and support have been a vital asset to the museum, and we look forward to her contributions as Interim Executive Director

Adele brings more than 25 years of experience in nonprofit leadership and management, resource development, and strategic planning. She previously served as Executive Director of the Richmond Public Schools Education Foundation, as Community Relations Director at Capital One, and as President of the Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council. She currently is Principal Consultant of The Inclusive Edge, a management consulting firm.



Black History Museum - MlauderdaleMary C. Lauderdale, Operations Manager

Mary Lauderdale is a “new Virginian” who moved to Richmond, VA from Philadelphia, PA in 1995. She first learned about the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia after viewing a spot on the 12 o’clock news – the museum was looking for new volunteers – and she was hooked! Two years later, she was offered a temporary position, and now it has been an 18-year labor of love.

Mary’s museum experience started while still in college, spending two summer vacations working at the Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia. She later worked full time at the museum for two years. She spent the next decade working as a project manager and specifications writer for contracted systems furniture for corporate offices. Throughout the years, Mary has served as front line staff – chief docent, visitor services, gift shop manager and overall museum manager.

Mary loves to say that “coming from Philadelphia, Richmond’s deep history was new to learn – and Black history in Richmond and Virginia has opened up a whole new world of history and culture to me.”

Mary’s best experiences here have come from the visitors. “We have many tourists from Germany, France and the United Kingdom, senior groups, church and school groups. I love interacting with our patrons.”

Mary is a founding member of Sisters of the Yam, an African American Quilters’ Guild, which has been meeting at the museum since beginning in 2001. The group has raised money for the museum through their quilting efforts.

Mary looks forward to the enhancement of the museum experience in the Armory location through the use of “high tech with high touch” – interactive exhibitions coupled with interpretive tours.