Cheryl LaRoche uses African American history to inspire audiences and spark new conversations around the uses of history in the present. She combines inspiration, motivation and deep historical insights to deliver presentations, lectures and speeches that help audiences rethink what they know about history and why it matters. She brings new understanding to the commonplace, and a fresh approach to the effective messages that can be delivered using African American history.


For speaking engagement inquiries, contact Vicki Wilson at culturalinsightmd@gmail,com or call (240) 643-5803. 


 Previous Speaking Engagements 


  • 2016     Guest Lecturer, “Mapping the Underground Railroad” The Washington Map Society, Library of Congress.

  • 2016     Keynote Speakers, Black History Month Exhibit “What Remains: Archaeological Discoveries of African American Life in Prince George’s County.” M-NCPPC, Prince George’s County

  • 2016     Plenary Speaker, “From Community Significance to National Importance: The National Park Service and African American Historic Sites.” NPS Cenetnnial. Society for Historical Archaeology Annual Meeting, Washington, DC.

  • 2015     Distinguished Scholar, “The Geography of Resistance.” Visiting Scholars and Artists Program, Western Michigan Univ.

  • 2015     Keynote Speaker, Solomon Northup Day, Scidmore University.

  • 2015     Presenter, “Colored Conventions Movement and Underground Railroad.” Colored Conventions Symposium: Bringing Nineteenth-Century Black Organizing to Digital Life, University of Delaware.

  • 2015    Panelist, “African Americans and the Meaning of Emancipation,” Drummond Emancipation Day Celebration, Hill Center, Washington, DC.

  • 2015    Distinguished Lecturer, “The Geography of Resistance.” The Center for African American Studies, Wesleyan University, CT and presenter, Beman Symposium.

  • 2015    Presenter, “The Underground Railroad: Lessons from the Past—A Beacon for the Future.” Civil Rights and Human Rights Symposium, Albany State University, GA.

  • 2014    Session Chair and Panelist, “William Paul Quinn: Activism and The Black Church Before the Civil War,” Writing Lives: Resistance, Resilience and Civil Rights Activism panel, ASALH Annual Meeting, Memphis.

  • 2014    Guest Speaker, “The Geography of Resistance,” Buxton Homecoming Symposium, Buxton, Ontario, CN. 

  • 2014    Presenter, “Margaret Morgan and Prigg vs Pennsylvania,” National Park Service and Organization of American Historians and National Underground Railroad Conference, Detroit.

  • Featured Speaker, Underground Railroad Teachers Institute, Bunker Hill Community College and African Meeting House, Boston.


  • Closing Speaker, Fair Housing Symposium, Revitalization & Gentrification: Forces for Diversity or Division? Maryland Commission on Civil Rights, Baltimore. 


  • O’Brien Lecture, Preserving Historic Places, Indiana Landmarks and Indiana University, New Albany, IN.


  • “The Geography of Resistance,” Underground Railroad Workshop, Indiana Freedom Trails, Indianapolis.


  • Inaugural Lecturer, Third Friday Art Salon: A Tribute to Norman Parish. Millennium Arts Salon, Washington, DC.


  • Scholars Round Table, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument, National Park Service and Organization of American Historians.


  • Keynote speaker, “Underground Railroad and the Paths to Freedom in the North.” Lowell Lecture Series, Museum of African American History, Boston. 



  • Keynote speaker, Maryland Day Celebration, St. Mary’s City.


  • Speaker, “States’ Rights vs. Human Rights: African Americans and the Path to Emancipation.” In Search of Freedom: African Americans and the Civil War Conference. Frederick Community College



  • Panelist, “Another Portal to Freedom: The War of 1812.” History in the Making: Community Conversations. Prince George’s County Historical & Cultural Trust, in partnership with Prince George’s Heritage Inc., Anacostia Trails Heritage Area Inc., and the African American Heritage Preservation Group.


  • Discussant, Knowledge Woven of Many Threads: Interdisciplinary Investigations at the National Historic Landmark Site of New Philadelphia, Illinois. Panelist, African Diaspora Archaeology Newsletter Annual Forum: A Conversation with Mark P. Leone, Society for Historical Archaeology Annual Conference, Baltimore. http://www.anthro.illinois.edu/faculty/cfennell/NP/reports.html



  • Invited Scholar, The Dynamics of Inclusion in Public Archaeology, The Wenner-Gren Foundation grant, African Burial Ground National Park, NYC.


  • Panelist, PA. The President’s House. Statewide Conference on Heritage. Preserving the African-American Past, Harrisburg, PA, May.


  • Panelist, Lifting the Double Burden: A Critical Review of Race and Gender. For the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site and the Historical Society of Washington D.C., Public and Education Program. http://www.weta.org/local/calendar/event/94642


  • Guest Speaker, Archaeology at the America’s First White House in Philadelphia. For Time Sifters, Sarasota, FL.


  • Keynote speaker, Emancipation Day Celebration, Montgomery Cty, MD.


  • “Preservation of The African Meeting House in National Historical Context, ”African Meeting House Archaeology Month Lecture, Boston, MA.


  • Keynote speaker, “The Challenges of African American Preservation,” presented for the annual preservation reception co-hosted by Prince George’s County Historical Society, the Prince George’s County Historical and Cultural Trust, and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.


  • Presenter, “Harriet Ross Tubman: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” State of Maryland 9th Annual Harriet Ross Tubman Day of Remembrance, Annapolis, MD.


  • Keynote speaker, “Quest for Black Citizenship in the Americas.” National Park Service Northeast Regional Office and Independence National Historical Park.


  • Presenter, “Race, Place and Space at President’s House Site Philadelphia. ”Society for Historical Archaeology Annual Meeting, Toronto.


  • Contributer, The Real George Washington, National Geographic Television.



  • Presenter, “Color in Freedom Symposium: Journey Along the Underground Railroad Educational Symposium” (with a gallery talk by the artist Joseph Holston). University of Maryland University College and the David C. Driskell Center, University of Maryland, College Park.


  • Keynote Speaker, “The Measure of a Life: Ona Judge, 1774-1848.” Remembering Oney Judge: A Symposium co-sponsored by University of New Hampshire and Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail, Portsmouth NH.


  • Panelist, “Public History and the African Burial Ground Archaeological Site.” Public History and the Legacy of Slavery Panel, National Council on Public History, Louisville, KY.


  • Plenary Session Panelist, “The Public Benefits of Historical Archaeology.” Society for Historical Archaeology Annual Conference, Albuquerque, NM.


  • “What Archaeology Teaches Us About African American History.” Philadelphia Archaeological Forum.


  • Moderator, Researching the Underground Railroad, Looking Forward, Moving Back, Friends of the Network to Freedom Inaugural Conference, Georgetown, KY.


  • “Material Culture and the Commoditization of Human Beings: Technology, Archaeology, and Modernity.” Seventh International Colloquium for African American Research, “Blackness and Modernity,” Madrid, Spain.


  • Women and the Underground Railroad Workshop, “Researching Local Underground Railroad Sites: Setting the Research Agenda.” Uncovering the Voices of Women, The College of St. Rose, Albany, NY.


  • “Beneath the City Streets: Archaeology and African American History.” Urban History Biennial Conference, Tempe, AZ.


  • “Envisioning Escape from Slavery: Landscapes of Resistance in the African Diaspora.” American Studies Annual Meeting, Oakland, CA.


  • “Case Study: African-American Sites in the USA” (with Beverly Morgan-Welch, Museum of African American History, Boston). ICOM/ICMAH Annual Meeting, Minnesota Historical Society.


  • “David Walker: Institutional Intersections and Geographic Interconnections.” Association for the Study of African American Life and History Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA.


  • “Archaeology and the Interrogation of Race, Pedagogy, and Conflict.” Race and Pedagogy Conference, The University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA.


  • “Archaeology and the Underground Railroad.” Deleware State Archaeology Month Lecture, New Castle, DE.


  • “The Role of Archaeology in African American Preservation.” Maryland’s Preservation and Revitalization Conference, Preservation Maryland. Annapolis, MD.


  • “Nantucket in National Contexts: Free Black Communities.” Preservation Month Lecture, African Meeting House, Nantucket, MA.


  • “The Geography of Resistance: Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad—Setting the Research Agenda.” Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.


  • “Marbles to Medicine Bottles: What Archaeology Teaches Us About African American History and Culture.” Museum of Afro-American History Annual Meeting, Boston, MA.


  • “Archaeology and the Underground Railroad.” Society for Historical Archaeology Annual Meeting, Sacramento, CA.


  • “The Geography of Resistance: Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad.” American Studies Association Annual Meeting. Washington, DC.


  • “The Role of Archaeology in African-American Preservation.” Maryland African American Preservation Conference, Easton, MD.


  • “Coerced but Not Subdued: Gendered Resistance of Women Escaping Slavery.” Gendered Resistance: Women Opposing Sexual and Economic Subjugation in Global, Historical and Contemporary Contexts. Miami University and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Oxford, OH.


  • Session Chair, Tourism, Representation and Heritage Sites. “Touring the Painful Past: Archaeology, Tourism, and African-American Heritage.” Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meeting, Santa Fe, NM.


  • “The African Burial Ground in the Age of Revolution: A Landscape in Transition.” Society for Historical Archaeology Annual Meeting, York, UK.


  • “Archaeology and African American History.” Public Meaning of Archaeological Heritage Seminar for the National Park Service, Univ. of Maryland.


  • “Notes Toward a Chronological Biography of William Paul Quinn, 4th the AME Church.” Annual meeting, Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society, Inc. (co-author).


  • “Archaeology, the Free Black Community and the Underground Railroad.” Society for Historical Archaeology Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO.


  • “Northern Plantations: An Archaeological and Historical Overview.” Annual Conference of Ford Fellows, San Juan, Puerto Rico,


  • “Archaeology, Public Engagement, and the Black Community.” Chesapeake American Studies Association Annual Meeting. University of Maryland.


  • “Plantations in the North.” National Public Radio, All Things Considered with Bob Edwards.


  • Session Chair and Presenter. Northern Plantations Symposium. Society for Historical Archaeology, Providence, RI.


  • Keynote speaker, “The Geography of Resistance: Archaeology and the Underground Railroad.” Council for Northeast Historical Archaeology Annual Meeting. Wilmington, DE.


  • “From Slave Ship to Cemeteries to the Underground Railroad: Archaeology, Public History, and the African American Experience.” Academic Exchange Sessions, Conference of Ford Fellows, Albuquerque, NM.


  • “Sites of History, Sites of Memory, Sites of Hope: Preservation and the African-American Historical Landscape.” Association of African American Museums (AAAM) Annual Meeting.




Dr. Cheryl LaRoche

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Cultural Insight

Vicki Wilson

Email: culturalinsightmd@gmail.com



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