Mayor Stoney Announces Appointments to the History and Culture Commission

Today Mayor Levar M. Stoney announced appointments to the History and Culture Commission, which will advise the mayor on issues of historical and cultural significance within the city.

Early work of the commission will center around memorializing the deep history of Shockoe Bottom as the area where enslaved Africans were brought hundreds of years ago and providing direction on implementing the recommendations of the Monument Avenue Commission.

“In order to move forward in creating more equitable spaces and opportunities for all Richmonders, we must ensure the stories we tell uplift and empower, not tear down or divide,” said Mayor Stoney. “We must reclaim our complete history and dismantle the systemic racism and inequities that resulted. I am confident this commission will provide appropriate and rightful guidance in this important task.”

Commission members include:

  • Jamie O. Bosket, President of the Virginia Museum of History and Culture
  • Melanie Buffington, Associate Professor in the Art Education Department at Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Free Egunfemi, Independent Historical Strategist and founder of Untold RVA
  • Julian Hayter, Historian and Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies, University of Richmond
  • Maurice Henderson, NASA
  • Hakim Lucas, President of Virginia Union University
  • William “Bill” Martin, Director of the Valentine Museum
  • Ryan Rinn, Executive Director for Storefront Community Design
  • Paula Saylor-Robinson, Director of Audience Development and Outreach, Virginia Museum of Fine Art

In addition to the nine voting members, the commission consists of four non-voting members, including Richmond City Council President Cynthia Newbille and Kimberly Chen, principal planner in the Department of Planning and Development Review. Two youth members will be appointed by the nine voting members of the commission, which will convene later this spring.

“I am grateful for the service of these talented and committed experts,” Mayor Stoney said. “And I look forward to their work to ensure the complex narrative of the City of Richmond is told accurately, inclusively and holistically.”

For more information, please contact Osita Iroegbu at or call (804) 646-4336.