Read Honoree Corey Lewis’s Remarks on Receiving the Gertrude Makell DEIA in Programming Award
On Thursday, November 4, Chesapeake crossroads hosted its 20th Annual Heritage Awards ceremony. On that occasion, the Board of Directors announced an award in a new category, for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility in Programming, named for longtime Board member, Gertrude Makell, who passed away in August. The recipient of this award was Corey Lewis of the Maryland State Archives. Read the remarks written by Mr. Lewis for the occasion here:
“I would first like us to all give Ms. Gertude Makell a hand for her contributions to Maryland and for leaving a legacy that we all should hope we will leave behind. I did not have the pleasure of meeting Ms. Makell, but in talking with my colleagues that knew her, Ms.Makell is well respected and loved at the Maryland State Archives. She is rembered as a champion of African Americanchistory of not only Galesville but the State of Maryland.
“I would like to thank the Chesapeake Crossroads Heritage Area for being nominated and selected for this award. I am truly honored. Additionally, I want to thank the Maryland State Archives and the amazing leadership that I have had the pleasure to work under for the past 24 years (with a special recognition of State Archivist Elaine Rice Bachmann and former state archivist Tim Baker). They have given me the support and saw my vision to conduct outreach and offer our expertise and resources to preserve the stories of everyone.
“I commend everyone in this room who have dedicated their careers to the preservation of Maryland history, in whatever form that may take. This is truly selfless work. While there is an immediate impact our work has on the public, the significance of our contributions will be felt long after our work is done, and as is the case of someone like Ms. Makell, the impact will be felt long after we are gone. For those that are forming relationships with community groups, I ask that you simply listen. While well intentioned, too often we bring our own preconceived notions and objectives to these spaces. The true goal is to provide the resources that are needed for communities to not only preserve and make accessible their history but remain in control of the narrative. I can only hope by the work we are all collectively doing, years from now diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility has truly been achieved. At that time this award should simply be known as the Gertrude Makell award and is awarded to those who exemplify the qualities she is remembered for: purpose, passion and a resolute dedication to the preservation of Maryland history.”
Thank you for sharing these remarks, and congratulations, Mr. Lewis!