BIRMINGHAM / February 6, 2023 — The board of directors of the Alabama Humanities Alliance has named Ed Mizzell as its new chair. Mizzell, a longtime executive at Birmingham’s Luckie & Co., officially began his term on January 1.
Mizzell’s appointment comes as the Alabama Humanities Alliance looks toward its 50th anniversary in 2024. As a nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, AHA offers public programs and grant opportunities that support impactful storytelling, lifelong learning, and civic engagement statewide.
“It’s an honor and a joy to support the work of the Alabama Humanities Alliance,” Mizzell says. “The humanities do all those things that help us learn more about our past, explore our different cultures, and get to know our neighbors better. And AHA is all about using the humanities to uplift our state and bring Alabamians together.”
Mizzell knows Alabama well. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Auburn University and his MBA at Samford University. In 1981, he joined Luckie & Co., the Birmingham-based marketing solutions firm. Today, he serves as Luckie’s EVP managing director and as a member of its board of directors. Mizzell also recently served as project director for The Official United States Civil Rights Trail: What Happened Here Changed the World. The book, published in 2021 and supported by the Alabama Tourism Department, takes readers on a journey through some of the most important sites of the civil rights movement.
“We’re so fortunate to have Ed’s leadership and experience,” says Chuck Holmes, executive director of the Alabama Humanities Alliance. “His enthusiasm for our work is infectious and his guidance will be crucial as we approach our 50th anniversary next year.”
Grantmaking has been a constant for AHA during its first half-century. Each year, the organization offers a variety of public humanities grants that help fund everything from literary festivals and special exhibits to documentaries, oral history projects, and more. In 2022, AHA awarded more than $300,000 in funding statewide.
The Alabama Humanities Alliance also regularly brings traveling Smithsonian exhibitions to the state. Beginning this fall, Crossroads will appear in five Alabama towns, exploring how rural America — and rural Alabama — has transformed over the past century.
Also, this fall, AHA will present its annual Alabama Colloquium, a public event honoring its newest Alabama Humanities Fellows — individuals who use the humanities to make Alabama a smarter, kinder, more vibrant place to live. In 2022, AHA honored Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, and the late Rep. John Lewis.
Among its other work, AHA offers ongoing teacher workshops and teacher scholarships; produces podcast series on democracy and history; and offers a Road Scholars speakers bureau that includes more than 30 scholar-storytellers who speak in communities across the state.
AHA’s board leadership now includes:
- Chair Ed Mizzell, of Birmingham, EVP managing director of Luckie & Co.
- Vice Chair Dorothy W. Huston, Ph.D., of Huntsville; founder and CEO of Technology Management Training and past vice president at Alabama A&M University.
- Secretary Mark D. Nelson, Ph.D., of Tuscaloosa; past dean of the College of Communication & Information Sciences at the University of Alabama.
- Treasurer Chandra Brown Stewart, of Mobile; executive director of Lifelines Counseling Services and co-founder of the Society of Clotilda.
- Immediate Past Chair Joe Aistrup, Ph.D., of Auburn; political science professor at Auburn University and past dean of Auburn’s College of Liberal Arts.
- Executive Committee, At-Large Robert McGhee, of Atmore; vice chair of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Tribal Council.
- Executive Committee, At-Large Brett Shaffer, of Birmingham; head of community relations at Regions Bank.
About the Alabama Humanities Alliance
Founded in 1974, the nonprofit Alabama Humanities Alliance serves as a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. AHA promotes impactful storytelling, lifelong learning and civic engagement. We provide Alabamians with opportunities to connect with our shared cultures and to see each other as fully human. Through our grantmaking, we help scholars, communities and cultural nonprofits create humanities-rich projects that are accessible to all Alabamians — from literary festivals and documentary films to museum exhibitions and research collections. Learn more at alabamahumanities.org.