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Elizabeth F. Cheney Director of Education 

Experience: Chicago History Museum, Elizabeth F. Cheney Director of Education, 2021–present. Chicago History MuseumPublic and Community Engagement Manager 2020-2021. DuSable Museum of African American History, Director of Education, 2018-2020. DuSable Museum of African American History, Associate Director for Membership and Volunteer Services, 2017-2018. DuSable Museum of African American History, Educational Services Manager, 2014-2017.

Education: MA, Museum Studies, Johns Hopkins University. BA, Biological Anthropology, The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Erica Griffin is the Elizabeth F. Cheney Director of Education at the Chicago History Museum. Erica joined the staff at Chicago History Museum in February 2020 as the Public and Community Engagement Manager to develop a framework to increase civic and cultural literacy along with a deeper understanding of historiography related to Chicago stories.  

Erica has over 15 years of experience in the museum field and has served as the Director of Education at the DuSable Museum of African American History where she developed and facilitated innovative public engagement and K-12 learning programs focused on accessibility, equity, and object-based engagement for over 65,000 participants annually. She also co-curated South Side Stories: The Art & Influence of Dr. Margaret Burroughs, 1960-1980 at the DuSable Museum.  

Erica’s work on the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Community Curation Chicago Project garnered national media attention and was featured in Smithsonian Magazine (September 2019). She was also a part of the Chicago 1919: Confronting the Race Riots project that earned the 2020 Outstanding Public History Project Award. The award is presented annually to a project that contributes to a broader public reflection and appreciation of the past or that serves as a model of professional public history practice. She has also presented at conferences around the country including the Communicating the Museum Conference, the Global Diplomacy Lab Summit, and the Association of Midwest Museums. 

Erica is a member of the American Association of Museum, The Association of American Anthropologists, and is on the Ambassadors Council of Chicago Young Women’s Christian Association. In her personal time, Erica is an advisor with the Humphreys County Cultural Museum (HCCM) in Belzoni, MS. The HCCM is dedicated to the amplifying the history of Humphreys County’s African American farmsteads, sharecropping, and tenant farming. 

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