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Professional Resume

Formal Education Recent Employment Present Projects Papers Presented Past Lectures Memberships Appointments Awards and Honors

Joan C. Browning
PO Box 1147
Lewisburg WV 24901-4147


·         Georgia State College for Women (now Georgia College and State University), Milledgeville, GA. 1959-61.  Two years, pre-med major, English minor.

·         Georgia State College of Business Administration (now Georgia State University), Atlanta GA.  1962-65 (part time).  Two years, philosophy & English majors, biology & chemistry minors.

·         West Virginia State College, Institute WV.   Regent's B.A., December 1994.  4.0 average. 

·         Marshall University Graduate College, 1995-96.  12 hours (all course grades “A”) toward M.A. in Humanities/History.

·         Fisk University, three-week intensive course in Race Relations, 1962

·         United States National Student Association, intensive three-week course in southern history, 1962

·         Training in Marketing Management, American Management Association, 1969

·         Multitudes of other specialized training programs


1990-Present:  After many years as an independent bookkeeper, I began a career change to freelance writer.   First-year publication included more than 200 by-lined articles in newspapers and magazines.  The volume is now in the thousands.

            For four years, I wrote a weekly column, "History Lesson," in the West Virginia Daily News and the Greenbrier Valley Ranger newspapers.  I had to suspend the column due to my heavy schedule.  I am currently Development Director (part time) for Greenbrier Community College Foundation, Inc..  I have taught as adjunct instructor in Contemporary Ethics at Greenbrier Community College, Lewisburg WV; Writing for Print Advertising at Concord College, Athens, WV; and as guest instructor for Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University via Internet, in “Black Literature and the Civil Rights Movement.”  Most recently, I was e.mail consultant to classes at the University of Southern Mississippi as they read my autobiographical chapter, “Shiloh Witness,” in the volume, Constance W. Curry, Joan C. Browning, et. al, Deep in Our Hearts:  Nine White Women in the Freedom Movement (University of Georgia Press, 2000).


Author of “Shiloh Witness,” autobiographical chapter in Curry, Browning, et.al., Deep In Our Hearts:  Nine White Women in the Freedom Movement (University of Georgia Press, November 2000).

Published article, “Invisible Revolutionaries:  White Women in Civil Rights Movement Historiography” in Fall 1996 Journal of Women’s History


·         editing Rodney Collins’ notes into encyclopedia of West Virginia Architects and Architecture for West Virginia University Press

·         completing the writing of the biography of Reverend Joseph A. Rabun.


·         “Where Credit is Due” aired February 14, 2005 on Alabama Public Television – Production Associate, writing and narrating biographical documentary of life of John Earnest Johnson, specialist in organizing and sustaining credit unions among low income rural southerners

·         “Gwen Clingman” tribute to Greenbrier County business woman and Shepherd’s Center of the Greenbrier Valley, March 2003

·         “He Went About Doing Good,” tribute to Greenbrier County minister The Rev. Carl Renick and Shepherd’s Center of the Greenbrier Valley, March 2005

·         “Standing on Holy Ground.”  Tribute to the Rev. Dr. Patricia A. Jarvis for Lewisburg United Methodist Church, June 2005.


·         American Historical Association, Washington, D.C., “We Stand on Their Shoulders:  Freedom Movement Activists as Biographers” with Constance Curry (biographer of Aaron Henry of Mississippi), Joanne Grant (Ella Baker:  Freedom Bound) and myself (The Political Stump is My Pulpit:  The Reverend Joseph A. Rabun), January 1999.

·         College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, Southern Association of Women Historians Fourth Conference on Women’s History, Plenary Panel, “Deep In Our Hearts: Four White Women in the Freedom Movement -- How the White South Viewed White Southern Women in the Freedom Movement” June 13, 1997

·         Georgia Association of Historians, Savannah, Georgia:  “Breaking Out of the Cage of Race” 1999;  & Albany, Georgia, “The Albany Movement:  A Personal Perspective” 2000

·         Indiana Association of Historians, DePauw University, “We Stand on Their Shoulders:  Freedom Movement Activists as Biographers” with Constance Curry (biographer of Aaron Henry of Mississippi), Joanne Grant (Ella Baker:  Freedom Bound) and myself (The Political Stump is My Pulpit:  The Reverend Joseph A. Rabun), February 27, 1998

·         Oklahoma State College, Stillwater, OK, Mid-American History Conference, “Sinister Tyranny: Public Scrutiny of White Women Who Transgressed Jim Crow in Atlanta, Georgia, 1940-1968" on a panel, “We Remember!  Women Testimonies About Participating in the Civil Rights Movement” September 18, 1997

·         Oral History Association annual conference, presented paper “We Stand on Their Shoulders,” at Durham NC 2000

·         Oral History Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, Roundtable: Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement; Deep in Our Hearts: “White Women in the Freedom Movement, Interviews and Memory: What Really Happened?” September 26, 1997

·         Shenandoah Valley Regional Studies Seminar, Harrisonburg, VA “Getting to the Springs of Virginia: Commercial Transportation and Roads before 1850,” April 18, 1997

·         Shenandoah Valley Regional Studies Seminar, Harrisonburg, VA, “Healing with Local History,” April 2002

·         Southern Association for Women Historians, University of Richmond, VA, June 17, 2000:  comment on panel of papers, “Strategies of White Women Activists in the Civil Rights era”

·         Southern Historical Association, Atlanta, GA, “White Women in the Freedom Movement -- The Albany Freedom Rides” November 8, 1997

·         10th Southern Labor Studies Conference at The College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA, “Ministering to All God’s People: The Rev. Joseph A. Rabun’s Turbulent Witness to Labor and Negro Rights in Georgia, 1944-1955,” on the panel “God and Labor in the South” September 18, 1997

·         Tennessee Association of Historians, “We Stand on Their Shoulders:  Freedom Movement Activists as Biographers” with Constance Curry (biographer of Aaron Henry of Mississippi), Joanne Grant (Ella Baker:  Freedom Bound) and myself (The Political Stump is My Pulpit:  The Reverend Joseph A. Rabun), September 25-26, 1998

·         Washington & Lee University, Plenary Panel, “Deep In Our Heart: Four White Women in the Freedom Movement --Oral History Techniques for Autobiographical Research” April 19, 1997: Mid-Atlantic Oral History Organization & Southern Oral History Organization Annual Meeting

·         West Virginia University’s Senator Rush Holt History Conference on “Power in Society:  Culture, Religion and Politics” -- “The Power to Witness: Religious Motivation for ‘Putting Your Body on the Line’ as a Freedom Rider” September 1999


·         Albany Civil Rights Museum Annual Dinner, introduce Tom Hayden as keynote speaker, November 2001

·         Fortieth Anniversary Freedom Riders Reunion, Tougaloo College, Jackson, Mississippi – one of five Freedom Riders chosen to address entire group and also a “Women in the Freedom Movement” discussion leader

·         Albany State University:  May 15, 1998:  commentator on presentations, “Women in the Civil Rights Movement” & Friday, November 20, 1998:  Albany Freedom Ride; Political Science class

·         Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, Women’s History Month lecturer, 2001

·         Athens (Alabama) State University, 2001

·         Auburn University, Women’s History Month lecturer March 2003

·         Booker T. Washington Birthplace National Park, “Shiloh Witness,” June 2001

·         California State University at San Bernardino sponsored by The History Club, Phi Alpha Theta, & the Women’s Resource Center, 2000

·         Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI, Keynote speaker for regional Phi Alpha Theta, class presentations in African American Studies & Religion, 2001

·         Fairmont State College: diversity classes

·         Georgia Southern University, Women’s Studies and African American History, March 2000

·         Georgia State University, Center for Urban Educational Excellence, 2000, 2001

·         Georgia State University, Atlanta GA, “Who Rules Georgia?”-- a symposium on Georgia elections of 1948 and 1998, November 10, 1998

·         Georgia College and State University, sponsored by Black Student Alliance and History, 2001; 

·         Georgia State University, Center for Urban Educational Excellence, “Psychological Aspects of Leadership” October 21-22, 2000

·         Glenville State College, Summersville campus, 2003  Black History Month speaker co-sponsored by Ivy & Stone

·         Greenbrier Community College, Lewisburg WV, Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday speaker, January 2002

·         Hollins College:  Women’s History Day speaker co-sponsored by the Women’s Center and Women’s Studies Program

·         Ivy & Stone, Summersville, WV, “Shiloh Witness,” September 2001

·         Jackson State University:  Fannie Lou Hamer Institute on Citizenship and Democracy, “Young People in the Movement” & “White Reactionaries to Freedom Struggle,” June 2000; 2001; 2002 and Fannie Lou Hamer Annual Lecture, November 2001

·         James Madison University:  American History since 1865

·         Milsaps College, Jackson, MS, April 2002 – History class, keynote speaker for Black History Month

·         National History Day, Teacher Institute, faculty member, “Teaching the Civil Rights Movement,” Atlanta , GA, July 2002

·         Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, Inc., “European Origins of the American Log Structure,” Log Structure II Workshop, Lewisburg WV, October 15, 1998

·         Southwest Minnesota State University, lecturer in history and women’s studies classes, Women’s History keynote speaker 2001 & 2004

·         State University of West Georgia:  Oral History, Georgia History and a public lecture “A Conversation about White Women in the Civil Rights Movement”

·         University of Alabama at Birmingham:  November 16, 1998:  SNCC press relations and media campaigns

·         The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa:  Social Work Community Practices, Civil Rights Movement Seminar, Oppression and Social Injustice, African American Experience, and Issues & Problems in Women Studies Research; Women of the South, April 2001; November 2001;  Introduce Anne Braden, second Annual Rose Gladney Social Justice lecturer, March 2005;

·         University of Memphis: “Who, What, When, Where? -- Conflicting Memories of the Albany Freedom Ride” – keynote speaker for First Annual Graduate Students Conference on Civil Rights History & seminar on civil rights history

·         University of Virginia: 1995, 1996, 1997:  Julian Bond’s class, “The Civil Rights Movement,” and his seminar, “The Black and White Sixties”

·         Baker Peace Conference, “1968” Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, February 2000

·         Valdosta State University, Annual Women’s Studies Conference, March 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003

·         Virginia Festival of the Book, “Shiloh Witness,” 2001

·         Virginia Institute of Technology and State University, Women’s History Month lecturer, with Rutha Harris, “Challenging Boundaries/Challenging Ourselves:  An Interracial Conversation about Activism and Experience in the Civil Rights Struggle.  Sponsored by the Departments of History, English, and Sociology with the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Amnesty International (Virginia Tech chapter), and Womanspace March 2003

·         Washington and Lee University, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003:  Southern History, American History since 1865, and African-American History;

·         West Virginia African American Arts and Heritage Camp, West Virginia University, June 2002

·         West Virginia  Book Festival, “Shiloh Witness,” 2001

·         West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, Lewisburg, WV, Martin Luther King. Jr. Holiday speaker, January 2002

·         West Virginia State College:  substitute for instructor Adrienne Belfonte Biesmeyer, “South Africa and the United States - The Apartheid Years”

·         West Virginia State College Homecoming speaker, “Race, Gender and Identity,” September 2002

·         West Virginia State College teleconference “Views of the Past, Voices of the Present, Visions of the Future,” on panel with Naomi Tutu, June 2001 

·         West Virginia University:  diversity class;  Black History, Public History & Women’s Center public lecture

·         James Madison High School, Vienna, Virginia, Martin Luther King Day lecturer, January 2005

·         Bluefield State College, black history month lecturer, February 2005

·         Prince William County Diversity Institute, faculty member, 2005

Biography of Joseph A. Rabun

I am writing the biography of Rev. Joseph A. Rabun, a white Baptist minister fired from McRae, Georgia Baptist Church in 1947 by allies of Talmadge political machine because he spoke in favor of black voting rights and race-blind religious practice.  I have presented papers on this subject:

West Virginia/backcountry Virginia:

·         Independent research project on Greenbrier Valley furniture

·         Independent research on roads and vehicles to the antebellum Virginia mineral springs resorts

·         Independent research on Appalachian and Greenbrier Valley black history

Presentations as Co-chair, WV Advisory Committee, Institute for Women’s Policy Research Status of Women in West Virginia. 

·         January 20, 2003 – Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday in Lewisburg - display

·         March 1, 2003 Coalition for West Virginia Women Charleston

·         March 14, 2003 – Valdosta State University Women’s Conference w/Sumter County Ga.

·         March 29, 2003 – Appalachian Studies Association, Richmond Kentucky w/ barb

·         April 23, 2003:  Sally Harrington’s Department of Education Nontraditional Education conference

·         April 26, 2003 - American Association of University Women state convention, Martinsburg--  plenary speaker

·         June 7, 2003 Southern Association of Women Historians Athens GA w/ Barb Howe and Alabama

·         early June:  prepared display for West Virginia United Methodist Annual Conference, presented by Bettijane Burger and Clare Sulgit

·         June 21, 2003 National Association for Women’s Studies New Orleans with Barb Howe of WVU & Ann Cudd, U. Kansas

·         June 24, 2003 Institute for Women’s Policy Research Annual Meeting, Washington DC on a panel with Kentucky study people

·         September 6, 2003 – Business and Professional Women, District - keynote speaker

·         September 9, 2003 Lewisburg BPW

·         October 3, 2003:  Chapter O, PEO

·         October 23, 2003:  Appalachian Women’s conference, Zanesville, Ohio w/ Barb Howe and Judith Smith Wilkinson (accepted but unable to attend)

·         October 27, 2003:  Oak Hill BPW annual National Women’s Business Week banquet

·         November 1, 2003:  West Virginia United Methodist Annual Conference Children’s Ministry Expo 2003, “Economics & Appalachia”

·         November 17, 2003:  presented one-hour testimony to West Virginia Legislature Joint Committee on Pay Equity Commission.

·         April 18, 2004.  Hinton BPW Pay Equity (regular dinner meeting).


·         Teach “Homemade History” Shepherd’s Center of the Greenbrier Valley, 2001, 2002

·         writer and narrator for “Gwen Clingman” video with Gary Aide, © Red Oaks Productions for Shepherd’s Center of the Greenbrier Valley, 2003

·         Freedom is a Constant Struggle – organized only exposition of black history in Lewisburg,  2002

·         Greenbrier Hometown Heroes organizer

·         Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Lewisburg WV, “Cage of Race” sermon August 2000

·         AAUW Lewisburg Branch, “Shiloh Witness,” October 2000

·         Chapter O, PEO, “Shiloh Witness,” October 2000

·         West Virginia Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission, keynote speaker, 2001


·         Greenbrier County Democratic Women

·         Georgia Historical Society

·         Greenbrier Historical Society

·         Lewisburg Business and Professional Women

·         Monroe County Historical Society

·         Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts

·         Organization of American Historians

·         Pocahontas County Historical Society

·         Rural Women’s Study Association

·         Shenandoah Valley Regional Studies Seminar

·         Southern Association of Women Historians

·         Southern Historical Association

·         Williamsburg District Historical Society


·         Commissioner, West Virginia Human Rights Commission, 2002-2005

·         Co-Chair, West Virginia Advisory Committee to Institute for Women’s Policy Research study, The Status of Women in West Virginia

·         Chair, Visiting Committee, West Virginia University Center for Women’s Studies, 2002-present

·         West Virginia Women's Commission:  Women Leader group; juror for 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 & 2000 "Celebrate Women" awards

·         Southern Regional Council: 1996,1997 and 1998 juror for Lillian Smith Book Awards for best nonfiction book about the American South; presently on Advisory Committee for Lillian Smith Book Awards

·         West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, District III Fatality Review Task Force to review court procedures when a domestic violence petition fails to prevent murder of a family member - completed 5-year term, reappointed for additional 5 year term

·         Chair, Greenbrier County Public School Facilities Review Committee, 1999

·         Member, Greenbrier County Building Commission

·         Two-term Trustee, Greenbrier County Public Library

·         Greenbrier County Committee on Aging, Inc., Board of Directors (2003-


·         2000 West Virginia Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission’s highest award, the “Governor’s Living the Dream” award

·         2002, Business and Professional Women of West Virginia’s first annual “Women Mean Business” Business Woman of the Year

·         2003, inducted by Governor Bob Wise in the first class of West Virginia Civil Rights Hall of Fame

·         appointed by Governor Bob Wise, and reappointed by Governor Joe Manchin, to serve on a four-member committee to plan the second & third West Virginia Civil Rights Days and to screen second & third class of West Virginia Civil Rights Hall of Fame

·         2004, awarded “Mountaineer Spirit” at the West Virginia Women’s Commission “Celebrate Women” awards banquet

·         2005, awarded West Virginia University’s Martin Luther King., Jr. Achievement Award

REFERENCES  Supplied upon request.

© Joan C. Browning.  All Rights Reserved