Zachary A. Stocks has been named executive director of Oregon Black Pioneers. Stocks will officially assume his new role on July 1. In its 27-year history, the organization has never had an executive director, and has expressed confidence and optimism in filling the position with a distinguished and experienced person.
The OBP Board of Directors describes Stocks as having the strategic skills needed to guide and advance its mission.
"It's a privilege to serve as the first executive director for Oregon Black Pioneers.
"I am eager to build a sustainable path for the organization's growth and new excitement around Oregon's unique African American cultural traditions. Now is a turbulent time in our nation's history. But as we continue to reckon with racial injustices and police violence, and the impacts of a global pandemic, which disproportionately affects Black and brown communities, the resilience of our ancestors gives me hope. Along with the board of directors, I look forward to uplifting the stories of our past and our present through OBP's renowned preservation and interpretation work," said Stocks.
Stocks earned an M.A. in Museology from the University of Washington and a B.A .in Anthropology from the College of William and Mary. He comes to Oregon Black Pioneers after a decade of operational and public programs leadership in historical nonprofits. He is the former visitor services manager of the Northwest African American Museum in Seattle and program director for Historical Seaport, and he has interpreted African American history at Colonial Williamsburg and Lewis and Clark National Historical Park. He has been recognized by AASLH, WMA, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and in 2019 developed an independent consulting effort to boost institutional equity efforts in rural Oregon museums. He also brings broad experience in strategic planning, communications, education, exhibitions and community engagement.
OBP was founded in 1993, with a mission to research, recognize and commemorate the culture and heritage of African Americans in the state of Oregon. Its vision is to be the premier resource for information about Oregon’s African American culture and heritage.