We are thinkers. We are collaborators. We are facilitators. The Alabama Humanities Alliance team helps drive creativity and inquiry. We believe our state is better when people are engaged in storytelling, lifelong learning and civic purpose.
Chuck Holmes is Deputy Managing Editor for NPR News. He works closely with NPR's Arts, Business, International, National, Science and Washington Desks to coordinate and facilitate daily news coverage and long-term planning for NPR News.
A distinguished career in journalism formed Chuck’s passion to lead Alabama Humanities. Chuck believes in the power of storytelling and civic engagement to propel positive change. The humanities, he says, provide the vital ingredients that tell us who we are, where we’ve been and where we’re going.
Years in public radio and newspapers took Chuck around the world, but he has deep roots in Alabama (his mother from Decatur, his father from Birmingham). In 2017, he came back South from Washington, D.C., to lead and expand WBHM, Birmingham’s NPR affiliate.
At NPR and Atlanta-based Cox Newspapers, he served in leadership roles and as an editor and correspondent, including postings in Jerusalem and Moscow. At NPR, he shared a Murrow Award for Afghanistan war coverage and a Peabody Award for The Race Card Project, a grassroots storytelling initiative.
Chuck holds a B.A. from George Washington University and an executive leadership program certificate from Harvard Business School. He serves on several nonprofit boards and is active in Leadership Alabama (2020) and Leadership Birmingham (2018).
Melanie is a community-minded professional who has worked in diverse settings to assist organizations in expanding their initiatives to meet the communities’ growing needs.
Melanie has significant experience in educating and guiding nonprofit and government organizations, including serving a term as Mayor of Lipscomb. Melanie previously worked for the Jefferson County School System as a special education teacher at Gardendale and Clay-Chalkville High schools.
An alumna of the University of Montevallo, Melanie has also earned postgraduate degrees from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Juris Doctor degree from Miles Law School.
Laura brings significant public history, museum and non-profit experience to her role at AHA. She is a graduate of the Seminar for Historical Administration, Getty NextGen Leadership Institute, and Jekyll Island Management Institute. She served as president of the Society of Alabama Archivists, a term on the national History Leadership Awards committee of the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), and currently serves on the board of PACERS, Inc. and Alabama Historical Association Executive Committee. Before joining AHA, Laura worked as Celebration and Documentation Coordinator for the Program for Rural Services and Research at the University of Alabama, followed by 15 years at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) in the positions of Archivist, Oral History Project Director and Director of Special Projects.
Laura’s publications include contributions to Museums in a Global Context: National Identity, International Understanding (AAM Press, 2013), Fostering Empathy Through Museums (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) and AASLH’s History News magazine, as well as Civil Rights in Birmingham (Arcadia, 2013), a book of photographs on behalf of BCRI.
An alumna of the University of Montevallo, Laura earned graduate degrees in American Studies from the University of Alabama and History from the University of West Georgia.
With significant experience in office management and nonprofit operations, Alma provides the highest quality administrative and accounting management service to the daily operations of AHA. She did her undergraduate work in business administration at Samford University and has served in many capacities to assure that AHA operates effectively. She also serves as a liaison to the AHA Executive Committee and Board of Directors, as well as plans and executes all aspects of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors meetings.
A longtime resident of Prattville, Graydon received a bachelor’s degree in history from Auburn University at Montgomery and a Master of Library and Information Studies degree from the University of Alabama.
Before joining AHA, Graydon worked as a student in the Reference Room at the Alabama Department of Archives and History and as operations specialist for the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, where he managed the commission’s grant program and the Alabama Bicentennial PastPort project.
Graydon also spent three years working in sustainable agriculture, including farms in the rural areas of Dallas and Perry Counties in Alabama’s Black Belt.