Joshua Burford (Director of Community Engagement) is an award-winning historian, archivist, and educator with over 20 years of experience creating stronger communities for Queer and Transgender people across the U.S. He is perhaps best known for his work to preserve and make accessible the Queer history of the American South through the development of archival collections and oral histories. Josh is a nationally recognized educator and trainer who has worked with K-12 schools, colleges and universities, corporations, and non-profits to bring greater knowledge about the ways each can be more inclusive of diverse identities, engage in self-evaluation about best practices, and can create pathways for increased retention of minority individuals.
Josh is a native of Alabama who grew up in Anniston. He attended The University of Alabama for his undergraduate degrees in English and History. Josh finished his Master’s degrees in 2006 with an MA in American Studies (with a concentration in LGBT history of the late 20th century) as well a Masters in Library and Information Studies. His specialties include working with communities of color, diversity education, student development, and the creation of archives for the preservation of community history. A historian and archivist by training, Josh is passionate about education and advocacy for Queer Youth and the preservation and documentation of Southern Queer History.
In 2013 Josh began a project to document the Queer and Trans history of Charlotte North Carolina. This project has created new pathways to understand the complex and invisible history of Queer and Trans communities in the American South and has allowed Josh the opportunity to take the history of Charlotte into museums, boardrooms, schools, and virtual spaces all over the world. Josh is committed to the work of creating more affirming spaces for underrepresented groups in all walks of life and continues to advocate for those without a voice whenever he can.