Photo of Joy G. Kinard, first superintendent of Charles Young Buffalo Soldier National Monument

NPS names 1st head of Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers site

In NAHA News /

The National Park Service has selected Joy G. Kinard to be the first superintendent of the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Wilberforce, Ohio, officials announced this month. Kinard will begin her new assignment in late February.

“We are delighted that Dr. Kinard will be the next superintendent of Charles Young,” Acting Midwest Regional Director Patricia Trap said in a prepared announcement. “She is also well-known and well-respected throughout the Mid-Atlantic region as a scholar of African American history and culture, having led African American national historic sites for three years.  We know she will have great success working with the partners and community leaders to ensure the preservation and enjoyment of this monument, honoring such an accomplished leader like Colonel Charles Young and resilient veterans who served this country as Buffalo Soldiers.”

As one of the newest additions to the National Park System, Charles Young is currently open to the public only during park sponsored events and open houses. Kinard will focus on visitor use and the development of interpretive programs and exhibits.

President Barack Obama established the nearly 60-acre national monument under the 1906 Antiquities Act on March 25, 2013, to preserve the home of Colonel Charles Young and its surrounding farmland, where Colonel Young raised a family, mentored a successive generation of leaders and did some of his most important work.

Charles Young is the newest National Park Service site within the National Aviation Heritage Area and “has good connections to the stories we tell already in the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park and the Heritage Area,” said Tony Sculimbrene, executive director of the National Aviation Heritage Alliance, which manages the Heritage Area.

“Charles Young was a friend of Paul Laurence Dunbar and a mentor to Benjamin Davis Sr., who became the first African American general in the U.S. Army, and it was his son who became the first African American general in the U.S. Air Force. This site should become a major attraction within the National Aviation Heritage Area as time passes,” Sculimbrene said.

“I am extremely honored to have been entrusted with the awesome responsibility of leading the stewardship efforts for Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument, and I cannot wait to begin working with the incredible partners and community to create the next generation of stewards and supporters of this special place,” Kinard said. “Together, we will care for, restore, and share these amazing stories and resources with all people as we prepare to celebrate the Centennial of the National Park Service in 2016.”

Central District Manager of National Capital Parks-East since September 2011, Kinard is experienced in connecting with local communities in the Washington, D.C. area and national partners, such as the National Council of Negro Women, Inc., the Association for the Study of African American Life and History and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Her experiences with these groups will add depth to the work that is happening at Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument.

Kinard is a native of Washington, D.C. For the past 18 years, she has worked for the National Park Service (NPS) in various capacities. She served as a park ranger at Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial, the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site and other locations. She also served as acting chief of interpretation, education, and cultural resource manager at the Martin Luther King, Jr., NHS in Atlanta, Georgia, and Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, Virginia. Kinard has also served as acting Southern District manager of National Capital Parks-East.

Kindard has been a contributing author in many publications, including the Oxford University Press, W.E.B. DuBois Institute of Harvard University and the New York Historical Society. She has been featured in the HGTV documentary African American Historic Homes and was recently featured on C-SPAN to observe Women’s Equality Day by the Sewall Belmont House and Museum.

In addition, Kinard has studied race relations abroad in Paris, London, and St. Catherine’s, Canada as part of a Howard University Cultural Study Tour. She also served as an adjunct professor in the Department of History at the University of the District of Columbia for seven years. She is a graduate of Livingstone College, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and Sociology. She is also a graduate of Howard University, where she earned a Master of Arts Degree in History and a Ph.D. in U.S. History with a minor in Public History and Caribbean Studies.

The Midwest Region encompasses 56 park areas and 3 National Trails in 13 states (Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Arkansas, and North and South Dakota), and has been headquartered in Omaha since the mid-1930s.