Dr. Charles Chavis, Jr., Ph.D. is the Director of African and African American Studies at George Mason University. He is also the founding Director of the John Mitchell, Jr. Program for History, Justice, and Race at George Mason University’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, where he is Assistant Professor of Conflict Analysis and Resolution and History.
Dr. Chavis is a historian and museum educator whose work focuses on the history of racial violence and civil rights activism and Black and Jewish relations in the American South, and how the historical understandings of racial violence and civil rights activism can inform current and future approaches to peacebuilding and conflict resolution throughout the world. His areas of specialization include Civil Rights oral history, historical consciousness, truth racial healing, and transformation. He has received over twenty-five grants, awards, and fellowships from organizations including the Robert M. Bell Center for Civil Rights in Education, Knapp Family Foundation, American Jewish Archives, The National Museum of African American History and Culture, National Trust for Historic Preservation, National Park Service, and the US. Department of Justice.
Professor Chavis has published more than twenty-five refereed articles, reference articles, essays, reviews, op-editorials, chapters, and government reports and is the editor of For the Sake of Peace: Africana Perspectives on Racism, Justice, and Peace in America (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020). His upcoming book, The Silent Shore: The Lynching of Matthew Williams and the Politics of Racism in the Free State (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020).
Outside of academia, Dr. Chavis has emerged as national and regional policy advocate serving as national co-chair for the United States Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Movement and the vice chair of the Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the first state commission in the United States, dedicated to investigating cases of racial terror lynching.