AAERO Conversations with Treasures of Our Heritage

Conversations with Treasures of Our Heritage is a series of oral history forums at which elders are interviewed and their history and memories recorded in the presence of community members of all ages. The program has three goals:

  • to document the experience and   perspectives of African American people
  • to increase awareness among younger generations of the history, experiences, and perspectives of African Americans, during the twentieth century
  • to provide educational materials

We interview African American elders (80 years of age or older) in a 2-part (in-home and public) process during which they share their memories and experiences. We conduct the public interviews in churches or historic sites in the city of Fayetteville, North Carolina.  If you would like to host a Conversation in your area, let us know.

We are expanding this program to assist others in documenting the stories of elders outside of our immediate area.  To learn more about our process, view these slides about Conversations.  If you are interested in a “Conversations Kit” or would like to have us arrange a Conversation in your area, please email us at

AAERO Internshipsbriana-moore-kayla-holland-2013

College students have the opportunity to work on one or more of the programs while earning course credit and learning about this nonprofit organization.  Internships may be arranged for one or more semester or term, during fall, winter, spring or summer.  Students who complete AAERO internships are eligible to participate in other programs, including AAERO Memorial Awards.

If you would like to serve AAERO as an intern, or arrange for your students to have internships with AAERO, contact

AAERO Mentorship

Relationships for informal teaching, learning, and companionship, with a focus on sports, hobbies or skills that mentors and young people can share.

AAERO Memorial Awardsviolet-baffour-1999-award-recipient

AAERO Memorial Awards celebrate admirable characteristics and accomplishments of loved ones by giving financial contributions to the education of African American students. We have created a number of memorial awards to honor cultural treasures of our community who have passed on.  As you read about some of the men and women we honor with these awards, consider how your family might participate in creating or contributing to AAERO Memorial Awards.

AAERO Research Briefs

Research briefs are concise explanations of issues that affect educational and career opportunities of Black people in the United States.  These papers may be distributed at public events and printed from the AAERO website.  Previously published AAERO News provides an example of this feature.

More features of this kind will be provided on topics including higher education, historically Black colleges, online learning, charter schools, home school, and informal education.  College students serving as research assistants help choose topics of interest and develop the briefs.  We welcome your questions and suggestions of topics that you would like us to address.

Somebody Had To Do It

Desegregation pioneer, Dr. Jerome Goodwin shows his high school yearbook to Dr. Hall & AAERO intern, Kayla Holland.

The “Somebody Had to Do It” project is a multidisciplinary research project documenting the experience of the first African American children to attend formerly all‐White schools.  This project seeks to identify and interview those who desegregated formerly all‐white schools in the U.S.  Details are available at the project’s website.

Teacher Recognition

AAERO Recognition of Outstanding Teachers program honors teachers for their outstanding performance while teaching at schools with majority African American enrollments. Teachers can be nominated by students, peers or parents. Take a look at our teacher recognition awards at Teresa C. Berrien Elementary School in Fayetteville, NC as one example of our expression of appreciation for teachers.

African Diaspora Conversations

These informal gatherings provide opportunities for sharing experiences and perspectives to dismantle stereotypes about Black people from various parts of the world.  Black people who have immigrated to the United States and those born in this country are invited to talk about assumptions, questions and ways to build bridges among various cultural groups.

AAERO Partnerships

Collaborative relationships with groups whose purposes are compatible with AAERO’s mission allow us to strengthen the programs and realize mutual benefits that neither of us could produce alone.

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