Welcome New Board Members

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History has announced the addition of eight prominent community leaders to its board of directors. With the addition of the new members, the board has reached its maximum of 35 members.

“Our new board members possess deep knowledge of African American culture and a passion for the museum’s mission and work,” said Neil A. Barclay, CEO of The Wright. “We know they will strengthen our efforts to expand and deepen the museum’s connection to the community we serve and extend the museum’s regional and national reach.”

The museum’s directors selected the new board members at the board’s most recent meeting. The new board members are:

Marseille L. Allen

Marseille L. Allen, a longtime community activist and political consultant. Allen has a long track record of leadership that includes creating the WaterForFlint GoFundMe campaign in the wake of the Flint water crisis and establishing the Warriors Trust Fund, which helps military veterans in the criminal justice system. Her career has included stints on the staff of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy and as a lobbyist for UAW Local 600.

Abdul-Musawwir Aquil

Abdul-Musawwir Aquil, an architect who retired from the City of Detroit as Assistant Chief for Building Inspections in 2010 after 26 years. Aquil’s professional journey included stints with local and international companies including AMA and Associates, a construction consulting firm he established more than 40 years ago.

Jasmin Barnett

Jasmin Barnett, Director of Constituent Services for the City of Detroit. Barnett’s career includes extensive non-profit and governmental experience including stints with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and as CEO of Ladies in Training, a non-profit mentoring program for Detroit youth.

Scott Benson

Detroit City Councilman Scott Benson, who has represented the city’s 3rd District since 2014. Benson, a former Coast Guard officer and community development expert, has prioritized boosting public safety, quality of life and job opportunities in Detroit neighborhoods. His legislative initiatives include efforts to shut down non-compliant and violent adult entertainment venues and close illegal marijuana facilities.

Herb Boyd

Herb Boyd, an award-winning journalist, author and activist who has written or edited 25 books and countless articles for national magazines and newspapers. Boyd’s works include the 1995 book “Brotherman – The Odyssey of Black Men in America – An Anthology and “We Shall Overcome: The History of the Civil Rights Movement As it Happened,” a book and CD that featured narration by celebrated actors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.

Tamira T. Chapman

Tamira T. Chapman, an entrepreneur and lawyer who is the founder of Storehouse in a Box, LLC, a retail company that offers consumer products in online subscription packages. Since 2012, she has served as corporate counsel for Ford Motor Co.

Marion Elizabeth Jackson

Marion Elizabeth Jackson, distinguished professor emerita in Art History at Wayne State University and co-founder and co-director of Popular Arts of the Americas, a non-profit organization that promotes understanding and appreciation for the diverse cultures of the Americas through popular art, exhibitions and educational programming.

Dr. Richard E. Smith

Dr. Richard E. Smith, a physician for Henry Ford Medical Group whose leadership includes service as the 144th president of the Michigan State Medical Society and a former trustee for Henry Ford Health System. Dr. Smith’s research on infant mortality has led to the establishment of national and state governmental programs.

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History has been a leading institution dedicated to the African American experience for more than half a century. Founded in 1965 by Detroit physician Charles H. Wright, the museum houses more than 35,000 artifacts and archival materials. The museum serves more than one million people annually through its programs, exhibits and events such as the annual African World Festival. 


Edward Foxworth III, Director of External Affairs, 313-494-5863, efoxworth@thewright.org