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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 


  • 2022    Panelist, “The Underground Railroad in Maryland’s Ports, Bays, and Harbors.” Sailing to Freedom: Maritime Dimensions of the Underground Railroad Book Launch, New Bedford Whaling Museum.

  • 2022    Presenter, Harriet Tubman & Leadership: Her Legacy for the 21st Century, United States Capitol Historical Society, Virtual. 

  • 2021    Facilitator, National Park Service Superintendent Leadership Program for Dialogue, NPS Stewardship Institute, Virtual.

  • 2021    Keynote Speaker, Conversation with Dr. Cheryl LaRoche, National Capital Area Cultural Resource Conference, National Park Service, Virtual.

  • 2020    Keynote Speaker, Harriet Tubman and the Combahee River Raid: A Lesson in Leadership. Batten School of Leadership Retreat, University of Virginia.

  • 2019    Keynote Speaker, What You Know, What You Can Say, What You Can Verify: Strategies for Researching Underground Railroad Sites (with Judy Wellman), Network to Freedom Training, Niagara Falls, NY. 

  • 2019    William Paul Quinn, the Underground Railroad, and the Expansion of the A.M.E. Church, Gottschalk Lecture, University of Louisville.

  • 2018     Facilitator, An Interactive Workshop: Myth, Reality & Mapping the Underground Railroad, Spring Symposium, Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire, Portsmouth.

  • 2018     Presenter, Hampton Mansion, Towson, MD, Slave Route Project International Seminar: New Approaches in Interpreting and Representing Slavery in Museums and Sites, UNESCO, Monticello and the University of Virginia.

  • ​2018    Keynote Speaker, Leadership and the Underground Railroad, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, University of Virginia, Leadership Retreat.

  • 2017    The Iris McGillivray Memorial Lecture, Archeology’s Role in African American Critical 
    Geography, 52nd Annual Symposium on Maryland Archaeology, the Archeological Society of Maryland, Inc.

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

  • 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, Skidmore College.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.


  • 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. 



  • 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.



  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • “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.


  • “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.


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


  • “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.


  • “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.


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

  • “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,

  • “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.




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