Verdis Levar Robinson is a community college civic learning and democratic engagement specialist and aspiring minister in the Unitarian Universalism tradition. As an advocate of community college civic education, Robinson led Campus Compact’s Community Colleges for Democracy as its inaugural Director for Community College Engagement. Previously, he served as the National Director of the Democracy Commitment and as a tenured Assistant Professor of History and African American Studies at Monroe Community College (MCC) in Rochester, NY, where he taught web-enhanced, writing-intensive, service learning history courses for ten years.
Additionally, Verdis is a fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Faculty Seminar on Citizenship and the American and Global Polity, and the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Faculty Seminar on Rethinking Black Freedom Studies: The Jim Crow North and West. From 2015 to 2017, he was a Public Scholar with Humanities New York, where he delivered interactive presentations on Frederick Douglass and his global search for democracy and equality, and also on the Rochester Race Riots of 1964.
Additionally, Verdis is the author of Bacon’s Rebellion and the Transformation of America (2014); a Reacting to the Past historical role-immersion pedagogical game in development; A Charge to Keep; I Have: The Biography of Bishop Charles Campbell (2001); and has recently co-authored Beyond These Gates: Mountains of Hope in Rochester’s African-American History (2018) as well as contributed to Higher Education’s Role in Enacting a Thriving Democracy: Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Theory of Change (2018).
Verdis has served on the editorial board of Rochester’s History journal and currently serves on the advisory boards for the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, Bringing Theory to Practice, National Issues Forums Institute, and the Reacting Consortium Board of Reacting to the Past as its chair of inclusion. Verdis holds a BM in Voice Performance from Boston University, a BS cum laude and MA in History from SUNY College at Brockport, and an MA in African-American Studies from SUNY University at Buffalo. He is currently the Lenora Montgomery Scholar of Excellence at the Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago.