Jada Wright-Greene is a self-proclaimed museum activist, lover of history and passionate about changing the African-American museum culture. Jada was introduced to the museum field, through her extensive volunteer work with the Mary McLeod Bethune Foundation, Home of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. While volunteering at the home she was fascinated with the artifacts, people and spirit of Dr. Bethune. This fascination drove her to spend countless hours at the home from her freshman to junior years at Bethune Cookman (College) University. She met many influential people including the late Rosa Parks and the late Johnnie Cochran. After completing college and moving to Michigan, she began a new life in law school. After three terms in law school, she knew that the world as a lawyer was not for her.
In August 2002 she enrolled at Michigan State University as a graduate student in Urban & Regional Planning. After one semester she discovered the museum studies department and instantly fell back in love. She was bold enough to convince the department heads of her master’s program and the museum studies department to integrate all of her electives from the museums program to replace her master’s courses. After receiving a grant from the university and fulfilling the dream of a research trip that would include six historic homes, she was certain this was her life’s work. After earning her degree and discovering she was the 1st African-American to complete the museum studies program at Michigan State University, she was excited and sad at the same time. Her thoughts were “How could I be the only African-American to complete this program?” At that point, she knew she had to do more than just love museums; this had to be a way of life. In 2009, Jada began Heritage Salon as a national African-American Museum blog dedicated to the museum culture. Not only was she exposing museums, but cultural institutions and historic homes and sites. Jada has encountered intriguing people through her many interviews, discussions and conversations.
She most recently served as a lecturer at the Houston Museum of African-American Culture, on the topic of the “Performances & Challenges of African-American Museums.” She has worked in non-profit management for over 14 years, with program management in museums, community organizations and arts organizations. She has served on grant panels, in 2009 was a National Arts Strategies Leadership Fellow and was named a Phenomenal Michigan Woman by Michigan Women’s Forum in 2011. She has been featured in blogs and was profiled in TheRoot.com as one of 8 Hot Causes for Black Philanthropists. Jada Wright-Greene is continuing her persistence and determination of changing the face of the museum world with more African-Americans as museum professionals, as audiences and constant supporters of these institutions. Jada has published Heritage Salon as a magazine to further share the message of the museums, cultural institutions and historic homes/sites. Jada has a personal goal of diversifying the field.
She envisions a world where every historically black college and university has a museum studies program, more audiences are visiting museums and museums are a way of life. Jada continues to have a thirst for knowledge and ways to assist museums. In her quest, she is earning her second master’s degree, in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University. She resides in Houston, Texas with her husband, Darryl and their two children.
Twitter: @JadaWGreene & @HeritageSalon