The Laurel County African American Heritage Center Inc. was founded by Director Wayne Riley in 2004 in honor of his late aunt, Lutishia Riley Bailey, in order to preserve African-American Heritage and History in Laurel County.
Our trustees and volunteers are currently working to remodel the historic Mill Street Baptist Church in London, which will serve as a meeting place and public archives for the community.
The center is also currently accepting any and all donations of historical documents, artifacts, photographs and any other items related to the history of African-Americans in Laurel County. The center is accepting monetary or material donations to aid with remodeling.
To Research, Store, and Preserve the African-American Heritage of Laurel County
We are located in the Old Mill Street Church which was saved from being condemned by the efforts and construction skills of members. The building is currently undergoing renovations.
Future plans for the building include:
- An Office
- Storage Space
- Outdoor Patio
The main hall will serve as a meeting place and public archives with history exhibits that tell the history of African-Americans in Laurel County and highlight some of the archive’s treasured photographs and artifacts.
A carpenter by trade, Wayne Riley founded the African American Heritage Center in London in 2004 with the mission of conserving the traditions and legacy of the African American community.
Wayne is also well known for carrying forward his own family food way traditions of barbecue and fish fries and has been a featured demonstrator at the Kentucky Folklife Festival in Frankfort, the Redbud Folklife Festival, and the Multicultural Folklife Festival in London among other venues. As CEO/Director of Laurel County African American Heritage Center Inc., he has coordinated one oral history project, several youth summer program, Ten community-wide celebrations of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, including speakers, music, a parade and a dinner. Has managed and directed the Grow Appalachia Food Security Project in Laurel County for seven years, starting on his Eighth. He has completed the Brushy Fork Institute programs for Management of Non-Profit Organizations, and Ordinary Communities Achieving Extraordinary Results. Mr. Riley has also received the 2016 Berea College Service Award, and attended the 2008 inauguration of President Barrack Obama.
Laurel County African American Heritage Center Inc.
The LCAAHC was founded by Director Wayne Riley in honor of his late aunt, Lutisha Riley Bailey, in order to preserve African American Heritage and History in Laurel County. The trustees and volunteers of the LCAAHC are working to remodel the historic Mill Street Baptist Church in London, which will serve as a meeting place and public archives for the community.