Arvenita Washington Cherry joined the AAA staff in February 2014 as project manager for the new public education initiative on Migration and Displacement. Arvenita is a socio-cultural and educational anthropologist. She is also adjunct faculty at University of Maryland University College and principal of Phoenix Cultural Resources, LLC, where she has had substantial experience in philanthropy and with non-profit organizations. She earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology with a concentration in Race, Gender, and Social Justice and a M.A. in Public Anthropology from American University. Arvenita received a Master in Teaching Middle/Secondary Biology and a B.S. in Biology from Hampton University, as well as a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Studies from Johns Hopkins University. Arvenita’s primary research focuses on the African Diaspora in Prince George’s County, Maryland with emphasis on social constructions of race and ethnicity among diverse African Americans and Afro Latinas/os in predominately Black suburban spaces and in public education. She is particularly interested in Diaspora as an important aspect of migration and as a tool for teaching and community building.
Her work with museums has included being Scholar-in-Residence and History Keepers Program Coordinator at the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center. She also completed a competitive two-year post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Maryland Baltimore County in the Department of Africana Studies and Language, Literacy and Culture program.
Arvenita will draw upon her project management experience and formal training in anthropology to oversee the development and implementation of this initiative that will encompass a traveling museum exhibit, web site, curriculum guides, interactive multi-media applications, and other suitable public education activities. She will also contribute to fund-raising efforts, manage publicity and promotional activities, and establish partnerships with appropriate organizations. Additionally, Arvenita will make public presentations about the initiative and its outcomes, and coordinate the activities of the AAA Steering Group that provides technical and policy guidance concerning the initiative.
Arvenita lives in Maryland with her husband Richard, their son Bryce, and their dog Bruno (their other son) and enjoys traveling, genealogy research, and exercising.