Five Exhibitions now on view

About MoAD

MoAD celebrates Black cultures, ignites challenging conversations,
& inspires learning through the global lens of the African Diaspora.

Our Mission

MoAD, a contemporary art museum, celebrates Black cultures, ignites challenging conversations, and inspires learning through the global lens of the African Diaspora.

Board of Directors

  • L. Wade Rose, Chair
  • Peggy Woodford Forbes, Vice Chair
  • Eric McDonnell – Treasurer
  • Julius Robinson – Secretary
  • Susan E. Brown
  • Jill Cowan
  • Elisa Durrette
  • Michelle Gaskill-Hames
  • Christine Keener
  • Robert S. Kenney
  • Beryl Potter
  • Tiffany Stevenson
  • Ammanuel Zegeye
  • Vimbayi Kajese

Advisory Council

  • Katie Allen – Chair
  • Daniel Boggan
  • Marc Loupe
  • Erik Moore
  • Toni Rembe
  • Margaret M. Russell
  • Geetha Vallabhaneni

Our Staff

Monetta White
Executive Director and CEO

Monetta White, a native San Franciscan has strong ties to the city both personally and professionally. In 2007 when she and husband Chef David Lawrence opened 1300 on Fillmore, the duo were excited by the opportunity to help revive the neighborhood through good food and music. For the past ten years, White’s business savvy and passion for food and community continues on with her opening 1300 on Fillmore at SFO International Airport. White manages and oversees all business operations and marketing for the restaurant group. White has been recognized for her knowledge and leadership by the City of San Francisco, for which she served as Vice President of the Small Business Commission. She sits on the board of directors for several non-profit and business organizations including SF Travel.

Charlena Wynn
Visitor Experience Manager

Charlena Wynn, raised in Charlotte, North Carolina is an arts educator, fine arts curriculum designer, art historian, part time curator, and amateur fiber and collage artist and painter exploring the Black queer Atlantic, death, and memory. They graduated from the University of North Carolina Greensboro with a BA in Studio Art and minor in Psychology and earned their MA in Liberal Studies focused on museums and racialized gender from North Carolina State University. Before relocating to The East Bay, they lived in Alexandria, VA; Raleigh, NC; Richmond, VA; and Greensboro, NC and spent several months in Carmarthenshire, Wales, UK studying Blackness within 18th century British art. They are deeply invested in building and cultivating Black, southern queer communities through mutual aid and other material resources, prison abolition (including in schools), and advocating for disabled educators and living wages.

In September 2021, Charlena joined MoAD as the Visitor Experience Manager in which they are excited to continue the work of their predecessor in sharing a wide range Black and African literature, representing the goals and mission of MoAD, and ensuring MoAD continues as a valuable resource to the community it serves. In this role, they plan to extend the reach of the bookstore, the last Black owned bookstore in San Francisco, to a wider audience and share more literature focused on art, children and young adults, disability, and Black LGBTQ history as well as maintaining and expanding the scope of an accessibility.

Dayonna Tucker
Visitor Experience Associate

Dayonna Tucker joined MoAD in September 2021 as one of the first faces you’ll see when entering the museum. As Visitor Experience Associate, Dayonna makes sure every guest receives a warm welcome into the exhibitions and can always find an interesting read in the museum’s bookstore.

She graduated from Stanford University in 2020 with honors in African and African American Studies – thematic emphasis in Arts and Cultural Expression. Her Creative Honors Thesis was entitled Womb Space: Marvels of Our Own Inventiveness, an exploration of biological warfare against Black womb holders, and how the ritual use of clothing can be a means of liberating the energetic significance of the space.

Outside of MoAD, Dayonna is exploring and expanding her textile artistry. She is currently the Assistant Costume Designer to Dana Kawano for House/Full of Black Women in Oakland. Her work focuses on sustainable clothing for black femmes as ritual garments of wellness and protection and further cultivating ancestral practices of using textiles as tools for activism.

Demetri Broxton
Senior Director of Education

Demetri Broxton joined MoAD in January 2016 as the Senior Director of Education. Born and raised in Oakland, CA, Broxton has over 20 years of experience working in the fields of education and the arts. At MoAD, he leads the educational programs that enhance the visitor experience at the Museum. His department connects youth, educators, and the public to contemporary art and artists of the African diaspora. This appointment marks Broxton’s second tenure with MoAD. He previously served as Education Program Manager for MoAD from 2007 through 2010.

Outside of his role at MoAD, Broxton is a practicing fine artist represented by Patricia Sweetow Gallery in San Francisco. He also serves as a board member of California Association of Museums and Bay Area Emerging Museum Professionals.  He is an advisor for the SFSU Museum Studies Department and Black [Spaces] Residency. Demetri graduated from San Francisco State University earning an M.A. in Museum Studies with a dual emphasis on Education and Curatorial Practice. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from UC Berkeley with a major in Art Practice and minor in Education.

Elena Gross
Director of Exhibitions and Curatorial Affairs

Elena Gross is an independent writer and culture critic living in Oakland, CA. She received an MA in Visual & Critical Studies from the California College of the Arts in 2016, and her BA in Art History and Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2012. She specializes in representations of identity in fine art, photography, and popular media. Elena was formerly the creator and co-host of the arts & visual culture podcast what are you looking at? published by Art Practical. Her most recent research has been centered around conceptual and material abstractions of the body in the work of Black modern and contemporary artists. She has presented her writing and research at institutions and conferences across the U.S., including Nook Gallery, Southern Exposure, KADIST, Harvard College, YBCA, California College of the Arts, and the GLBT History Museum.

Elizabeth Gessel, Ph.D.
Director of Public Programs

Elizabeth leads MoAD’s Public Programs department; she is a critical thinker with excellent research, writing and communication skills. She has been developing and running public programs at MoAD since 2010. She has launched new program series on spiritual practices, folktales, sacred music, film and dance and overseen the development of two residency programs, the Chef-in-Residence and Poets-in-Residence programs at MoAD. She directed the transition to exclusively virtual programming during the novel coronavirus pandemic for MoAD. Elizabeth has a B.A. (with highest honors) and a Ph.D. in History from University of California, Berkeley.

Elizabeth participated in a Museum Studies program at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation that ignited her interest in working in museums. She loves to tell the extraordinary stories of resilience and joy, and to showcase the historical, cultural, and intellectual contributions of the global African Diaspora. She enjoys collaborating with other institutions and non-profits in the Bay Area and around the world. Elizabeth likes almost any activity she does with her family and her dog, Nova.

Linda Spain de Bruin
Chief Financial Officer

Linda joined MoAD in March 2013. Her financial career began as a cost accounting instructor at the University of Texas in Austin. Since then she has logged over 25 years as an accomplished financial and operational manager in the private and non-profit sector. As CFO, Linda successfully organized and grew a consumer product company to a multi-million business catering to Fortune 500 retailers.

She has also managed a cross-cultural exchange program and an international economic policy program. Linda’s expertise includes annual budgeting, financial modeling, cash flow forecasting, lending and legal negotiations, and audit management. Linda is also adept at creating order out of chaos and streamlining processes, making her an ideal member of FENG, the Financial Executives Networking Group. Before diving into the world of finance, Linda studied the German, Spanish, French, Arabic, and Japanese languages.

Maya Sadler
Education Program Coordinator

Maya Sadler joined MoAD in February 2022 as the Education Program Coordinator, previously serving as a Teaching Artist. Born in Berkeley, CA and raised throughout Northern California, Maya has spent over 10 years supporting and leading elementary classrooms.

Maya is returning to MoAD after spending 2 years in Baltimore, Maryland, where she worked as an Early Literacy Tutor and Elementary Art Teacher within Baltimore City Public Schools. At MoAD, Maya supports the development and implementation of the MoAD in the Classroom (MIC) Program, docent program, and summer teen program. She also manages the ongoing development of art and visual literacy curriculum designed to support the MIC Program and third grade classrooms locally, nationally, and internationally. Outside of her role at MoAD, Maya is a cook, gardener, and visual artist. Maya is currently completing her bachelor's degree in Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of California at Davis.

Nia McAllister
Public Programs Manager

Nia McAllister is a Bay Area born poet, writer, environmental justice advocate working at the intersection of art, activism, and public engagement. She received her B.A. in Environmental Analysis: Race, Class, Gender, and the Environment from Pomona College. Nia went on to join MoAD in December 2017 where she worked in the Visitor Experience Department and managed the museum bookstore.

In her current role as the Public Programs Manager, Nia creates participatory spaces for creative expression and literary dialogue. She leads the museum’s literary events under the MoAD Lit program and is the host and founder of the Open Mic series at MoAD. Since launching the series in April 2018, Nia has been integral in growing a vibrant poetry community at the Museum. At MoAD and beyond, Nia creates platforms for amplifying the work of Black artists on a global scale. Nia’s writing and poetry have been featured on Poets of Color Podcast and published in Radicle magazine, Meridians journal, and Painting the Streets: Oakland Uprising in the Time of Rebellion (Nomadic Press, 2022).

Paul Rodriguez
Director of Facilities

Paul joined the MoAD in Fall 2021 and has led extensive renovation projects at the museum.

Sedey Gebreyes
Senior Education Program Manager

(T)sedey Gebreyes, born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and beekeeping enthusiast. Her creative work and teaching style are greatly influenced by the wonderful visual artists, theater performers, and storytellers of her childhood community. After moving to the United States, she studied Studio Arts at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and Fine Arts and Spanish at University of Veracruz, Mexico.

Following her passion, she moved to San Francisco, California in 2007 where she has held a variety of positions including Adjunct Educator at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Teaching Artist at the DeYoung Museum, Co-founder and Teaching Artist at MiCultura Art Project, After School Program Manager at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, and San Francisco Unified School District.

Sheeka Arbuthnot
Chief Development Officer

Sheeka deeply believes that art and culture are functions of a progressive and evolving society. She has committed her career as a development professional to ensuring that art institutions are securely funded and have the ability to thrive. Knowing that artists are innovators of societal change on all levels, and art institutions play a key role in fostering a public space and community dialogue for innovation, she is humbled to be a part of this community process. Prior to joining the team at MoAD, she worked as the Development Director for Path with Art, an arts organization in Seattle providing access to creative engagement for adults navigating trauma. Sheeka was born, raised, and educated in the Bay Area: graduating from Mills College with a B.A. in Art History and from San Francisco Art Institute with an M.A. in Contemporary Art History. She is thrilled to be back in San Francisco with her family.

Tinashe Wertz Chidarikire
Digital Content Manager

Tinashe Wertz Chidarikire is a videographer, photographer, and web designer. He designs and produces online experiences that share the insights, personality, and stories of his subjects. Tinashe develops functional digital tools and grows online audiences for inspired projects. As the Digital Content Manager with MoAD, Tinashe creates and distributes social media, website, live-stream, and graphic design content to expand the community’s relationship to art and to cultivate art accessibility. Tinashe received a B.A. in Film and Digital Media Production from the University of California UCSC and was born in Harare, Zimbabwe.

When not behind a camera, Tinashe enjoys agritourism and spending time in nature.

Smithsonian Affiliate

  • San Francisco's Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) is a Smithsonian Affiliate. Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term partnerships with museums and other cultural and educational organizations. Through the Affiliate network, the Smithsonian shares content, resources, and expertise including educational programs, exhibitions, and other activities. Affiliate organizations work in collaboration with the Smithsonian to catalyze critical conversations in their communities, introduce issues of historic and contemporary importance, and help their audiences to better understand the world around them.

  • Read All About It - Affiliates in the News
  • African American Smithsonian sets a new standard for museums as destinations

Our History

MoAD building exterior and sign on building

The Museum of the African Diaspora opened to the public in 2005 and is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization.

MoAD is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and plays a vital role in the local arts community. MoAD is uniquely positioned as one of the few museums in the world focused exclusively on African Diaspora culture and on presenting the rich cultural heritage of the people of Africa and of African descendant cultures all across the globe.

MoAD Funders

MoAD relies on the generous support of our donors and members. The Museum is also deeply grateful for the year-round grants we receive from foundations, corporations, and government funders, who have helped make this Museum what it is today.