The Real Rosewood Foundation, Inc. is supported by a diverse and nonpartisan Board of Directors, members, and volunteers.
Lizzie Polly Robinson Brown Jenkins
I had struggled for years to let people know that Black lives do matter, even before the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement became a part of our collective consciousness. Since 2003, the Real Rosewood Foundation has sought to preserve knowledge, spread awareness and foster cultural sensitivity around a massacre that wiped out the small African American community of Rosewood, Florida nearly a century ago. Even now, I am committed to keeping the story of the 1923 Rosewood massacre alive, because it is part of my family history, because it directly impacts us all.
Remembering is an integral part of moving forward. Today, the BLM movement is replaying and reflecting on the civil rights work laid down by previous generations, while educating new generations of people who did not know the seriousness of hate and injustice. It is bringing forth awareness of the experiences that Black people in America have endured all our lives. I grew up with hate and injustice, through which white society turned a blind eye to my needs and never accepted me as an equal. I remember the stares and glares very well.
From the age of five, my mom relayed to me the tale of how my aunt was attacked in her home during the Rosewood massacre. I struggled to stay awake, but the fabric of the story attached itself to me and my heart. It was fresh on my mind the next morning, and I said, ‘Mom, I want to hear more.” That story became our story, and we talked about it often. I carried it with me to school every day. I took it to college, and I took it to work. But I never talked about it (outside of our home).
I have long labored to keep the memory of Rosewood alive. My passion was fueled by the stories my mother told me. Through the Foundation, I pass along the stories and histories handed down to me, educating the public in memory of the Rosewood victims, as well survivors (like my aunt and uncle) and their descendants. In looking at to work ahead of us, the Foundation is spearheading two major educational initiatives:
- The establishment of a museum in Archer, Florida
- The development of a K-12 curriculum requirement for the Rosewood massacre to be taught in all Florida public schools.
I am continuously humbled, honored, and blessed to meet people daily and invite them to join in peace-building, healing, and reconciliation through learning about the history of Rosewood.
Lizzie Polly Robinson Brown Jenkins, President & Founder
John Jenkins, Sr., Co-Founder
Retired, Gainesville Region Utilities
Pedro Jermaine, Vice President
Tower Hill Insurance & Resident Artist
Stephanie Birch, Executive Board Chair
African American Studies Librarian, University of Florida Libraries
Joy Glanzer, Secretary
Broker + Owner, Glanzer Realty
Daryl Jackson, Treasurer
Retired Veteran, Supply Chain Management
Anita Jenkins-McCarter, Vice Treasurer
Parliamentarian – Vacant
Dr. Alice Walton, Administrative Assistant
Owner, We Insure Agency
State Attorney, Eight Judicial Circuit
CEO, NHISG Sports Media, LLC
Chairman of Deacons, Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church
Master Sergeant USMC (Retired)
National Montford Point Marine Association, Chapter 29
James Weldon Johnson Branch ASALH, Inc.
Deaconess, Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church
J. Hebert Companies, LLC
Mayor, City of Newberry
EJI Social Justice Advocate + Teacher, Newberry High School
Dr. Kalai Mathee
Professor of Molecular and Infectious Diseases, Florida International University
Student, Newberry High School
Dwight Samuel, Jr.
Vice President + Director, Auto ER
Historian, Black Masonic Grand Lodge