A renowned professional of nearly four decades, Audrey Landell Perry Williams is backed by expertise across multiple fields, including education, the military and non-profit management. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in education from Norfolk State University and a master’s degree in history education from Hampton University.
In the early years of her professional endeavors, Ms. Williams utilized her degrees to serve the public school system as an educator. She taught history and government at the Hampton Public Schools in Hampton, Virginia, for a decade before commencing tenure with the federal government, which she did for a notable 27 years. During this time, Ms. Williams worked for all the branches of the military, developing and implementing military training materials for shipping. In addition, she met with experts to conduct correspondence courses to train the troops as an education specialist until her change of title to instructional systems design specialist. Ms. Williams also worked for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for three years.
Since 2016, Ms. Williams has excelled as the president of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). ASALH is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, researching, preserving, interpreting and disseminating information about Black life, history and culture to the global community. The organization was founded in 1915 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who was also known as the father of Black history. In her executive-level role, Ms. Williams is responsible for ensuring that the branch runs efficiently and abides by structured guidelines.
Upon reflection on her abundant career, Ms. Williams considers her most notable achievement to be writing a litany in reference to the official landing of the first enslaved Africans in English-occupied territory. Published in 2019, it is also copyrighted in her name. She recalls this accomplishment started in her church, the Healing People Through Education ministry, when she asked her pastor to do a special prayer in memory of the 400th year since the first landing. Ms. Williams attributes her success to her mother, who has always been her most prominent source of support and encouragement.
To remain abreast of her field, Ms. Williams maintains membership with the Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society and the Great Dismal Swamp Collaborative Commission and has served on the board of directors of The 1619 Project since 2010. She is also a life member of Alpha Kapa Alpha Sorority Inc. and continues to be active in the Lambda Omega chapter, where she has served as chapter historian. Furthermore, she led the chapter to become the first and only chapter in the Hampton Roads area to join the Association for the Study of African American Life and History as an institutional member, cementing a longstanding legacy of partnership between the two organizations. Looking toward the future, Ms. Williams hopes to see more effort to include the accurate narrative of Black history in history books.