More Controversy Surrounding Board of African-African American Historical Museum (with Video)

By Rachel Martin

February 12, 2013 Updated Feb 12, 2013 at 10:29 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – Emotions ran high at Monday night’s African American Historical Society meeting as questions arose to remove the Board of Trustees.

The meeting was to address some issues surrounding the future of the African-African American Historical Museum. Members of the African American Historical Society were under the impression they were going to vote on whether museum Founder Hanna Stith would remain Executive Director of the museum.

Board members say she resigned, but Stith says she was fired. Instead, during the meeting the heat was turned on the Board and whether those members should remain in their positions.

Stith and other members complained that the Board has not been fulfilling their duties when it comes to fundraising, keeping minutes, and properly following the by-laws. A motion was taken, asking to remove the current board.

The vote was favorable, but Board President Pompia Durril says it's invalid. He says half plus one of the total membership needs to vote for it matter, and there wasn't enough present Monday night. Now the question remains, is there a Board or not?

"The Board, as is, are trying to say that they're legitimate, but they never have been legitimate because some of them have not even had membership to the museum,” said Stith.

"There is a Board. The motion failed because they did not meet the threshold for the affirmative vote of the motion,” said Durril.

There are a total of 146 members of the African American Historical Society. Only 83 members were present and voted, but a vote of 74 was needed to pass.

As far as who is Executive Director, Hanna Stith says she remains in that position. However, the Board hired a new director, Dr. John Aden, who was present at the meeting. He says he was hired Jan. 28 and plans to fulfill his contract. Durril says he and the Board, along with the new Executive Director, would like to meet privately with Stith and her associates and come to an agreement.

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