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Board of Directors

The following individuals have each agreed to serve as a member of the IAAHS Board of Directors for a three-year period:

Phebe Hayes, PH.D.
Founder/President
Dr. Phebe Hayes, a life-long resident of Iberia Parish, retired from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette after 26 years of service (Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders, 1986-2013; and Dean of the College of General Studies, 1998-2013). Dr. Hayes is the descendant of West African ancestors who were enslaved on local plantations. Four of her ancestral grandfathers fought for their freedom as members of the United States Colored Infantry (USCI) formerly, the Corps d’Afrique, and one fought as a member of the Union Navy. Following retirement, Dr. Hayes began researching the history of African Americans of Iberia Parish from the pre-colonial Louisiana period to the end of the Jim Crow era of segregation. What she found was exciting and demanded to be shared with the Iberia Parish community.

Rose Susan E. Dorsey, Esq.
Vice President
Rose Susan Eugenia Dorsey, named for my progenitors, blood descendant of the Simon Freetown massacre; descendant by adoption of the June, 1944 expulsion; daughter of loving, courageous, supportive and generous parents; reader, movie watcher, writer, traveler and art collector.

Rosalind M. Garrett
Secretary
Ms. Rosalind M. Garrett is a native and resident of New Iberia. She has been an educator in Iberia Parish public and private schools for 23 years. Currently, she serves as the master teacher for grades 3-6 at Park Elementary. She has been a member of the New Iberia Historic District Commission since 2003 and currently serves as Vice Chairperson. Ms. Markle is a descendant of African American brick masons whose work is evident in many New Iberia homes, including those in the historic district.

Doris Robert
Treasurer
Ms. Doris Robert is treasurer of The Iberia African American Historical Society. She is also a retired educator from the Iberia Parish School System. She is the owner of Robert Tax & Notary Service and a longtime member of the Star Pilgrim Baptist Church. Doris is recognized as a Christian Educator at the State & District Levels. She is also a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

John Reedom
Mr. Reedom, a local historian and musician, was a founding member of the Bunk Johnson Jazz, Arts & Heritage Festival, Inc., of New Iberia. He retired as a sociology instructor from the South Louisiana Community College. Mr. Reedom serves as the historian and music director of St. Edward Roman Catholic Church, located in a historically African American Catholic parish. He recently oversaw the documentation of the church’s rich history for its 100th anniversary celebration. A member of a jazz ensemble, Mr. Reedom enjoys researching the history of local African American musicians. His interest also includes the local history of the Maroons, African slaves who created independent settlements in the Americas and sometimes mixed with indigenous people after escaping their plight.

Ian Beamish, PH.D.
Dr. Beamish is an assistant professor of History at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He received his PH.D. in U.S. history from Johns Hopkins University. His research focuses on slavery in the South and specifically in the Lower Mississippi Valley. He is currently interested in the public history of slavery in Louisiana. Before coming to Louisiana, he taught at universities in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Canada. Dr. Beamish resides in Lafayette.

Cheylon Woods, MLIS, MA
Mrs. Cheylon Woods is the Director and Archivist of the Ernest J. Gaines Center in the Agnes Dupre´Library at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She graduated with the MLIS from LSU-BR. Mrs. Woods is a certified Library of Congress trained in Digital Preservation, Outreach, and education. She holds dual undergraduate degrees in History and Political Science from Louisiana Tech University. She is a member of the Association of the Study of African American Life and History. Mrs. Woods has an MA in Heritage Resources from Northwestern State University. After graduating, she was awarded an IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Studies) fellowship through HistoryMakers (oral history archive based out of Chicago) where she was assigned to work as an archivist at the Alabama State Department of Archives and History. She actively worked with communities and prominent figures in the region to fill in information gaps related to African-American history in the state of Alabama.