Skip to main content

Alexa Harris the History Maker

The HistoryMakers Awards 2023-2024 Innovations in Pedagogy and Teaching Fellowship to Norfolk State University Assistant Professor Alexa Harris (Chicago, IL – June 1, 2023) – The HistoryMakers, the nation’s largest African American video oral history archive, has awarded its 2023-2024 Innovations in Pedagogy and Teaching Fellowship to Norfolk State University Assistant Professor Alexa Harris.

Harris is one of twelve awardees who also include:

  •  Lisa Bratton, Assistant Professor, Department of History and Political Science, Tuskegee University
  • George Daniels, Associate Professor, Department of Journalism and Creative Media, University of Alabama
  • Jana Duckett, Assistant Professor, Department of Strategic Communication, Morgan State University
  • Deborwah Faulk, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Richmond
  • Robert Hanserd, Associate Professor, Humanities, History and Social Sciences Department, Columbia College Chicago
  • Anna Kaplan, Professorial Lecturer, Department of History, American University
  • Nafeesa H. Muhammad, Assistant Professor, History Department, Spelman College
  • Ezelle Sanford III, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Yehuda Silverman, Instructor, School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University
  • Shively T. J. Smith, Assistant Professor of New Testament, Boston University School of Theology
  • Hassan Zamir, Associate Professor, School of Information Studies, Dominican University

Harris’s course, “Professional Development,” will use The HistoryMakers Digital Archive to help students explore an array of career disciplines through the lens of Sankofa; looking to African American leaders of the past to serve as a roadmap to guide students towards successful futures while they engage in exercises focused on transferrable skills in the arenas of leadership, organization communication, and intra/interpersonal communication.

Now in its fourth year, The HistoryMakers Innovations in Pedagogy and Teaching Fellowship is designed to foster classroom innovation and teaching, and to diversify curricula while furthering student learning and research skills during the upcoming academic year. Award recipients will receive a $7,500 award and the opportunity to demonstrate how faculty can creatively incorporate The HistoryMakers Digital Archive into a 2023 semester course and syllabus.

The fellowship’s inaugural program was established in 2020 at the University of Virginia under the leadership of Associate Dean Michael Gerard Mason, Director of the Luther Porter Jackson Black Cultural Center, and with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“The fellowship has proven that The HistoryMakers Digital Archive is a unique electronic resource that can transform higher education across disciplines—from the humanities to the sciences, business to art—for both faculty and students. The incoming cohort is our largest and most diverse yet, and we look forward to working with each fellow as they develop ways to use the archive to foster innovation in their classrooms,” said The HistoryMakers Founder and President, Julieanna L. Richardson.

About The HistoryMakers

The HistoryMakers, a 501(c)(3) national non-profit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, is the largest digital repository of the Black experience in the country. The HistoryMakers Collection represents the only massive attempt to record the black experience since the WPA Slave Narratives of the 1930s. In 2014, it was announced that the Library of Congress would serve as the permanent repository for The HistoryMakers Collection. To date, the organization has interviewed over 3,300 African American leaders in the U.S. from 413 cities and towns as well as abroad, including General Colin Powell; civic leaders Franklin A. Thomas, Julian Bond, and Marion Wright Edelman; business leaders former American Express CEO Ken Chenault, Merck CEO Kenneth C. Frazier, and former Xerox CEO Ursula Burns; poets Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni and Sonia Sanchez; actors James Earl Jones, Whoopi Goldberg, and Phylicia Rashad; sports Halls of Fame inductees Hank Aaron, Barry Sanders, and Oscar “The Big O” Robertson; music icons Berry Gordy and Quincy Jones; 211 of the nation’s top scientists including Katherine Johnson, who was featured in the Hollywood movie Hidden Figures; lawyers Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and NAACP Legal Defense Fund president Sherrilyn Ifill; and political leaders like the late Congressman John Lewis, Congresswoman Maxine Waters and President Barack Obama (when he was an Illinois State Senator), among others.

The HistoryMakers Digital Archive, a state-of-the-art electronic resource, provides users access to these firstperson testimonies from desktops, portable devices, and smart phones 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, anywhere in the world. The HistoryMakers Digital Archive makes the collection available to 194 K-12 public schools, colleges, universities, and public libraries—with more being added each year.

For more information on The HistoryMakers or The HistoryMakers 2023-2024 Faculty Innovations in Pedagogy and Teaching Fellowships, visit: