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the gibbes museum of art
Women Builders, 1945, by William H. Johnson (American, 1901-1970). Oil on paperboard. 37 5/8 x 34 1/8 inches. Image courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

For Which it Stands: Brick by Brick, Black Women Breaking New Ground (In Person and Virtual)

July 28, 2022 @ 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Avery Research Center

Inspired by William H. Johnson’s Women Builders, a painting that celebrates the contributions of Black women to the enrichment of their communities, the Gibbes Museum in partnership with the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, will reprise our ongoing series For Which it Stands. Join us for a joint in-person and virtual town hall-style discussion with co-founder of Fresh Future Farms, Germaine Jenkins, president and CEO of the International African American Museum (IAAM), Dr. Tonya Matthews, 2022 South Arts Emerging Leader of Color recipient and co-founder of local nonprofit TINYisPOWERFUL, Victoria Rae Moore, and executive director of the LGBTQ nonprofit Alliance for Full Acceptance (AFFA), Holly Whitfield. We’ll explore art, activism, and how Black women are helping to shape our physical and sociopolitical landscapes.


This program is made possible by the generous support of the Art Bridges Foundation.

Our Speakers:

Germaine Jenkins, Co-Director of Intentional and Strategic Development at Fresh Future Farms (FFF).  Germaine Jenkins is a passionate advocate for food justice. Born in Hartsville, SC and raised in Cleveland, OH, Germaine returned to South Carolina in pursuit of liberation for her family through food. Motivated by her own lived experience of inadequate food access, Germaine was inspired to make a difference in the lives of her neighbors and began working to end the food apartheid she witnessed in her community.  In 2014, she co-founded Fresh Future Farm on a vacant city lot in North Charleston, where systematic exclusion had led to poor health and wellbeing for her under-resourced community. FFF continues to make an impact at the local and national levels, serving as an example of how sustainable, urban farming can help end food apartheid and eliminate bureaucracy in community development. Germaine and her team embody the past, present and future of agriculture. They celebrate and teach ancestral, sustainable practices to not just grow food, but to grow neighborhood self-determination. They provide access to affordable, fresh, and healthy food to those who need it most in their community.

Dr. Tonya M. Matthews is President and CEO of the International African American Museum (IAAM) located in Charleston, SC at the historically sacred site of Gadsden’s Wharf, one of our nation’s most prolific former slave ports.  As a champion of authentic, empathetic storytelling of American history, IAAM is one of the nation’s newest platforms for the disruption of institutionalized racism as America continues the walk toward “a more perfect union.”

A thought-leader in inclusive frameworks, social entrepreneurship, and education, Matthews has written articles and book chapters across these varied subjects. She is founder of The STEMinista Project, a movement to engage girls in their future with STEM careers. Matthews is also a poet and is included in 100 Best African American Poems (2010) edited by Nikki Giovanni. Matthews received her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University and her B.S.E. in engineering from Duke University, alongside a certificate in African/African American Studies.

Victoria Rae Moore is a part of South Arts' Emerging Leaders of Color program. She is a writer, dancer and co-founder of TINYisPOWERFUL — an interracial, intergenerational, grassroots organization and community hub linking artists, cultural workers, youth and tiny business partners to embrace THE ARTS AND THE SPIRIT OF THE ARTS as activators of sustainability; to support and promote TINY BUSINESS in the South as a vital part of neighborhood and commerce; and to build a MENTORSHIP LEGACY awakening in YOUTH a spirit of imagination and agency. Victoria is the executive director of TINYisPOWERFUL and received a three-year Partners For Change award from Alternate ROOTS and the Surdna Foundation, continuing a long history of art in/with community to affect structural and systemic change.

Holly Whitfield is the Executive Director of Alliance for Full Acceptance (AFFA). AFFA is an LGBTQIA+ advocacy non-profit organization that provides cultural competency training for organizations, funding for LGBTQ youth-serving organizations, and legislative advocacy support throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.  Holly is a champion of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access and this focus has shaped her career as a nonprofit professional, workplace culture expert, educator for businesses and nonprofit organizations. She comes with a depth and breadth of fundraising experience spanning across universities, healthcare systems, multiple agencies, both small and large. Holly is a Ph.D. candidate in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and uses her scholarly expertise in her work as an organizational consultant and adjunct faculty member in psychology, program development/evaluation, and business communication.