Shakia Gullette

Shakia Gullette

Manager, Local History Initiatives    

Missouri Historical Society    

Sleepy Hollow, New York

Sleepy Hollow High School

Fisk University, BA, History

Morgan State University, MA, African-American Studies (expected 2019)

RBC Young Professionals

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.,

Young Friends of the Ville

American Association of State and Local History

Association of African American Museums

History Leadership Institute

St. Louis HBCU Alumni

Young Friends of Marian Middle School.

In short, what do you do?

Here at the Missouri Historical Society, I work with the Community Programs department, and I oversee the African American History Initiative. I create and implement programmatic thrusts that uplift and highlight the contributions of African Americans, both regionally and nationally.


What are the most effective ways to engage more young people with African-American history? Which of your programs has been most successful in this regard?

Sometimes the best way to engage an audience is to meet them where they are, make the topics relatable to them so that they understand the significance of their history. When dealing with younger audiences, I always revert to how I fell in love with history. As an 18-year-old freshman on the campus of Fisk University, I was introduced to the horrific murder of Emmet Till—just knowing that he was 14 years old when he departed this earth forced me to look at history differently. I try to bring that same passion and excitement with me to every program that I create. I hope that the enthusiasm and zeal that I have for history is transparent and that any young person that interacts with our programs identifies with my genuine love for what I do.

Two programs stick out to me the most--our annual Emancipation Day program and the Beyond Mapping Decline Symposium. Each program, though different in content, connected with our audience in a deep and meaningful way. Emancipation Day honored the ancestors who lived as enslaved people, and Beyond Mapping Decline merged the ideas and solutions that St. Louis and Baltimore are doing to free communities from blight.


What’s the best part about your job?

What I enjoy most about my job are the collaborations that develop when curating organic ideas that turn into impactful programs. I LOVE our community collaborators, without them, I could not do my job. They keep me focused, energized and happy to do the work that I do.


What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve received?

Believe in yourself and the plan that God has for your life and career. It is ok to fail, but do not allow that failure to determine your outlook on life—trust the process and be your most natural and authentic self. 

What are your top three most-used apps?

IG, Facebook, MarcoPolo* honorable mention Audible

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