Faculty Spotlight

Clark Lewis

Elizabeth Clark-Lewis, PhD, currently holds the position of Professor of History at Howard University and has been directing the Public History Program since 1990. She previously served as the Director of Graduate Studies and has actively contributed to the field, holding roles on the Executive Board of the Organization of American Historians and as the National Director of the Association of Black Women Historians. Additionally, she is a founding member of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Association.

After years of being dormant, meetings were held to restart a successful program for low-income public housing residents in Alexandria, VA. From March of 2022 until May of 2023, Dr. Clark-Lewis worked with community members to help reestablish a program of educational courses to be taught in their public housing site. The first of the reestablished classes (in conjunction with Northern Virginia Community College) began on June 13, 2023.

“For many years, Dorothy Evans Turner was an organizer for low-income public housing residents in Alexandria, VA. As a Professor at NOVA we worked together to establish a series of community-based educational courses. All the courses were taught at locations in public housing communities. The program was successful because it assisted people in public housing communities. Residents become real change agents and for about five years the program thrived. The classes helped residents secure jobs while still living in public housing communities. (One former student is now a Vice President at Men's Wearhouse - a U.S. men's apparel store.) The program had many other successes. Unfortunately, the building housing the program was demolished (to make way for the Metro) and the program was never reestablished at another location. In April of 2022, tenants began to push for the restoration of this successful program. For over one year these public housing activists (and I) advocated for the re-establishment of community-based courses with college credit from Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA). Finally, the first class started on June 13, 2023. The class has become a great opportunity for the leadership of Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA) to feature programs it is creating for public housing residents.”


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