History United, a project of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH), welcomes Emma Edmunds as project historian and Karice Luck as project coordinator for this innovative community history initiative. Ina Dixon, who has led the project since 2014, will step down as project coordinator to pursue a Ph.D. in American Studies at the University of Carolina Chapel Hill this fall.
The goal of History United is to revitalize community through engaging history programming that builds a stronger sense of identity for the Dan River Region, which includes the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County, Virginia, and Caswell County, North Carolina.
“The Danville area has a wealth of history from its role as the ‘Last Capitol of the Confederacy’ in 1865 to the ‘Bloody Monday’ Civil Rights protests in 1963,” commented David Bearinger, director of grants and community programs at VFH.“History United’s continued work to highlight these and other stories will unify the community and create a shared vision for the future. The project’s leadership will remain strong, building on considerable groundwork laid over the past three years.”
The new project coordinator, Karice “Ressie” Luck, previously served on the History United Advisory Council and founded the Danville/Pittsylvania Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS). She has worked with local genealogical and historical societies to unite diverse people through a common love for ancestry research and discovery. Luck will coordinate the community aspects of the project, including convening monthly networking meetings for local history and cultural organizations, maintaining the History United website and developing a monthly e-newsletter that highlights local history events.
“I am excited about collaborating on various historical projects with our local historical societies and cultural organizations,” said Luck. “Working on community events like Finding Our Roots–an annual genealogy event History United coordinates with regional libraries– is especially exciting as that event helps residents learn more about their roots, who they are, and how their ancestors contributed to making this area is what it is today.”
The project historian, Emma Edmunds, hails from Halifax and has worked in the Danville area for over ten years researching the Danville Civil Rights Movement. Highlights of the oral histories she collected from those who lived through the movement are on display until September of this year at the Danvillian Gallery on 210 North Union Street in downtown Danville. Edmunds is dedicated to telling untold stories of the region, and among her many tasks as project historian will be to highlight these stories in a regular column in the Danville Register & Bee. This column, called “A Second Look,” will offer a different perspective on history in the region and showcase hidden histories of the Danville area.
“I am honored to continue working with cultural organizations to tell the rich, dynamic stories of this region through the History United project,” said Edmunds.
The new leadership for History United will continue to partner with local historical, cultural and educational organizations to produce community discussions, teacher workshops and other programs that help unite and revitalize the Danville area through history. Edmunds can be reached at [email protected] and Luck can be reached at [email protected]
About History United
A program of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, History United uses local history to encourage investment in the future of the Dan River Region and to build a strong collaborative network of organizations and individuals committed to positive change. For more information, visit HistoryUnited.org.
About Virginia Foundation for the Humanities
The mission of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) is to connect people and ideas to explore the human experience and inspire cultural engagement. VFH reaches an estimated annual audience of 23 million through community programs, websites and digital initiatives, grants and fellowships, radio programs and podcasts, the Virginia Folklife Program, and the Virginia Center for the Book. To learn more, visit VirginiaHumanities.org.