Director’s Message

Althemese BarnesFounder and Executive Director
20th Anniversary Message
Visioning, Creating, Sharing, Sustaining

As we approach the twentieth (20th) anniversary of the creation of the Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network (FAAHPN), I take great pride in extending my appreciation to all who have helped to make our vision and purpose a reality. The concept behind the formation of the Network was based on a commonly repeated quote that “a rising tide lifts all boats”. When people work together intelligently, work together professionally and plan together cooperatively, a transformation takes place. It is with this thought that I return as Executive Director of the Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network. I still believe that we can achieve more when we work together – visioning, creating, sharing and sustaining.

George Prince, one of the masters of creative thinking, says that for creativity to take place we need to “be optimistic, assume valuable implications, protect vulnerable beginnings, give early support, share the risk, deal as an equal, temporarily suspend disbelief, share the burden of proof, focus on what is going forth as an idea and assume it can be done.” (Prince and Prince p.12) 

The transformation from creative thought to actuality can occur in any profession, but the team must work together. We have done this through most of our 20 years of existence. It is in this spirit that I ask for your support as I return to readdress this vision and continue our mission – to research, document, restore, preserve and illuminate African American history as an educational resource through tourism and education. FAAHPN must continue to serve as an informational and technical assistance resource to address the ever-growing interest in preserving Florida’s African American history and culture, as well as that of the African Diaspora and other, related, ethnically diverse cultures.

I look forward to continuing the mission and purpose of the Network and to strengthening our collective efforts to observe accepted standards for our museums, uphold the dignity and honor of the museum and historic preservation profession, safeguard our landmarks, legacies and collections and to inform and educate the public of our purposes, accomplishments and contributions to the State of Florida.

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