African American Heritage Initiative Committee


  • 2:00 p.m.
  • First Wednesday of every month


Method of Appointment

The committee shall be composed of nine members.  Members of the committee shall be residents of the city who possess depths of knowledge about the local African American community and the challenges faced.  Members shall be appointed by the City Council upon the recommendation of the Mayor.

Number of Members


Terms of Office

Three Years

Chief Staff Person

Wanda Allen-Abraha
Human Relations Director
Phone: 336-734-1226

Current Membership - City Council Appointments

Linda DarkBlack Female1August 2022
Robert DurrahBlack Male1August 2022
William F. FultonBlack Male1August 2022
Joycelyn JohnsonBlack Female1August 2021
Jane Penn, Vice-ChairBlack Female1August 2020
Donald ScalesBlack Male1August 2021
Cynthia Villagomez, ChairBlack Female1August 2022
Beverly WilliamsBlack Female1August 2021
Annette WilsonBlack Female1August 2020

Authority for Creation

The African American Heritage Initiative Committee was established by a resolution adopted by the City Council on April 15, 2019.


To mobilize all sectors of the African American community to participate in uncensored sharing of life as an African-American during segregation and the efforts of desegregation.


To connect all sectors of the African American community and creating a vision for incorporating African-American contributions into the ongoing history of the City.


To preserve the oral, written, and photographical history of African-American culture in the City of Winston-Salem.


  • Seek to coordinate the partnerships of individuals, agencies, and organizations, public and private, to frame a vision for the preservation and melding of African-American contributions.  The partnerships would provide various community input opportunities.
  • Provide leadership to create an African American collection of oral histories, photos, and relics, community-wide.
  • Formulate a vision on how local African American history could be melded into the permanent history of the City.
  • To perform such other tasks as the Mayor and City Council may direct.

November 6, 2019 - Orientation Meeting

AAHI Social Media (2)

The committee is casting a wide net and wants to capture information relating to churches, neighborhoods, schools& education, civic groups, government, arts and culture, the professions and businesses, and more. Their ultimate goal is to create an archive that can be searched and used by anyone researching some aspect of African-American history in Winston-Salem.

Learn about how to submit your information.

To assist with the effort, each committee member is leading a collection team that will lead the effort to capture the history in a particular area. The teams and their committee leaders are:

  • Church Team: Donald Scales
  • Neighborhoods Team: Beverly Williams
  • Education Team: Jane Penn
  • Civic/Service Group Team: Annette Wilson
  • Government Team: Joycelyn Johnson
  • Arts/Cultural Team: Cynthia Villagomez
  • Professionals Team: Robert Durrah
  • Businesses Team: William Fulton
  • Oral Histories Team: Linda Scales Dark

To sign up for a team, send an email to with your contact information (name, phone and email address) and the team that you would like to serve on. You can also sign up by calling CityLink at 311.