Wendi Manuel-Scott was born in Chicago but grew up in the suburbs of Texas, North Carolina, Michigan, and Georgia. She graduated from the College of Charleston where she received a BA in History and then received her Ph.D. from Howard University in History. She is the Director of African and African American Studies and an Associate Professor of History and Art History at Mason. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses that explore race, gender, the African American experience, and the history of black women in the Atlantic World. Professor Manuel-Scott’s research has always been guided by her interest in black resistance and agency from a diasporic and gendered perspective. Her earlier publications examine Jamaican farm workers employed as seasonal contract laborers in the United States during the Second World War and explore issues of labor control, resistance and identity. More recently, Wendi Manuel-Scott has turned to local history projects. She was awarded a Virginia Foundation for the Humanities grant to curate an exhibition titled “Separate and Unequal in Buckingham County: An Exhibition on Segregation and Desegregation in Virginia” and a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to complete an online exhibition, “One Hundred Years of African American Life and Leadership in Falls Church, Virginia.” She also helped to research and curate a permanent exhibit in Loudoun County Virginia documenting the history of the Leesburg Frederick Douglass School and struggles of the African American community in Loudoun County for an equal education. As a result of her research on the Leesburg Frederick Douglass School project, she co-authored a chapter, "More Than Just a School: Interpreting the legacy of the Frederick Douglass Elementary School" in Interpreting African American History and Culture at Museums and Historic Sites.
In addition to her teaching and research, Wendi Manuel-Scott facilitates history and cultural competency workshops with diverse groups, including middle and high school students and secondary school teachers. Since 2005 she has served as a visiting historian for the Teaching American History project associated with Mason’s Center for History and New Media. In addition to lectures and workshops, she engages in courageous conversations around racial justice with academic and community audiences. Professor Manuel-Scott is a regular keynote speaker at graduation ceremonies, libraries, schools, and in August 2014, she offered the keynote address at the Mason New Student Convocation. The speech is available here https://soundcloud.com/georgemasonu/wendi-manuel-scott-new-student-convocation-keynote-2014.
Wendi Manuel-Scott is also deeply committed to community service and the empowerment of youth of color. She helped to initiate Loudoun County’s “College-in-Six” program at George Mason and annually welcomes nearly 400 sixth-graders to the campus. Professor Manuel-Scott started the Paul Robeson Saturday Leadership Academy at Mason, a Saturday STEM program for 7th to 10th grade students that are underrepresented in the STEM fields. Students participate in game design, robotic programming, ebook design, leadership development, goal setting workshops, and time management activities. A video of one Saturday session can be viewed here http://vimeo.com/59770987.
Ph.D. in History, Howard University