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Leadership & Service

Organizations & Affiliations 


  • Advisory Board of the John Mitchell, Jr. Program for History Justice and Racial Reconciliation, George Mason University.

  • Walters Art Museum’s Engagement Committee

  • Lincoln University, Future of African American Cultural Heritage Symposium

  • Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission

  • Chair, Harford County Committee, Maryland Lynching Memorial Project

  • Vice President, Maryland Lynching Memorial Project

  • Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture

  • Harford County Historic Preservation Commission

Community Leadership


Dr. Barnes serves the community in several leadership capacities. She leads the effort to collect, document, preserve, and interpret the history of Harford County, Maryland through the lens of the African American experience. As a result, she has led the effort to save iconic historic sites that reflect the Reconstruction Period and the Jim Crow years. 

She was appointed by Maryland State Governor Larry Hogan to serve on the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture. In this role she is committed to discovering, documenting, preserving, collecting, and promoting Maryland’s African American heritage and provide technical assistance to institutions and groups with similar objectives. 


Just this year she has also been recruited to serve
on the Maryland Lynching Truth and and Reconciliation Commission, the Harford County Historic Preservation Commission, and the Walters Museum's Engagement Committee.

"Dr. Barnes' ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and work with a variety of age levels, personalities, and people from various backgrounds and cultures seemingly effortlessly is impressive, to say the least."

Alyssa Ehrsam,

Harford Community College 

Screen Shot 2019-10-09 at 11.09.52

Top Photo| Courtesy of Iris Barnes

Dr. Barnes is sworn in by the Harford County

Court Clerk to serve her appointment by

Governor Hogan as a Commissioner on the Maryland Commission for African American History and Culture (MCAAHC).

Bottom Photo 

Iris Barnes with Governor Hogan, First Lady Yumi, and members of the MCAAHC.

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