Elizabeth F. Cheney Director of Education
Experience: Chicago History Museum, Elizabeth F. Cheney Director of Education, 2021–present. Chicago History Museum, Public and Community Engagement Manager 2020–21. DuSable Museum of African American History, Director of Education, 2018–20. DuSable Museum of African American History, Associate Director for Membership and Volunteer Services, 2017–18. DuSable Museum of African American History, Educational Services Manager, 2014–17.
Education: MA, Museum Studies, Johns Hopkins University. BA, Biological Anthropology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Erica G. Griffin is the Elizabeth F. Cheney Director of Education at the Chicago History Museum (CHM). She joined the CHM staff 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 served as CHM’s Elizabeth F. Cheney Director of Education since 2021, leading the Museum’s school programs and public and community engagement efforts. She is committed to the design of meaningful programs, resources, and experiences inspiring learners of all ages and backgrounds to investigate Chicago’s rich histories and encourages their potential to be active history makers. Erica holds that actively contending with history will contribute to shaping an urban society that is inclusive, empathetic, and understanding. She has a BA in Anthropology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and more than 15 years of experience in the museum field.
Prior to her tenure at CHM, Erica served as director of education at 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, co-curated South Side Stories: The Art & Influence of Dr. Margaret Burroughs, 1960–1980, participated in the widely recognized National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Community Curation Chicago Project, and represented the DuSable Museum in the award-winning Chicago 1919: Confronting the Race Riots project.
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 Association of American Anthropologists and, in her personal time, advises with the Humphrey’s County Cultural Museum (HCCM) in Belzoni, MS. The HCCM is dedicated to the amplifying the history of Humphrey’s County’s African American farmsteads, sharecropping, and tenant farming.
More with Erica
- Connect with her on LinkedIn