Barbara Lau is director of the Pauli Murray Project at the Duke Human Rights Center/Franklin Humanities Institute where she connects her commitment to justice with her belief in the power of community practice. She is also the Executive Director of the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice, a historic site anchored by Murray’s childhood home. Center programming focuses on history, education, the arts, faith and social mobilization. The Pauli Murray Family Home was named a National Historic Landmark in December 2016 and will be open to visitors in 2021.

Lau’s 30 years of experience as a folklorist, curator, professor, oral historian, media producer and author include curating exhibitions, performances and public art projects. She has produced To Buy the Sun, an original play about Pauli Murray; co-directed the Face Up: Telling Stories of Community Life community mural project; curated Pauli Murray: Imp, Crusader, Dude, Priest, two major exhibitions about Cambodian American traditions and many small traveling exhibits about Durham history. Her co-authored children’s book was honored with the National Association of Multicultural Education’s Children’s Publication Award in 2003.

She is a recipient of the 2014 Samuel DuBois Cook Society Award, the 2013 Outstanding Faculty Award from the Duke Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity,  and the 2012 of the Carlie B. Sessoms Award from the Durham Human Relations Commission for her leadership. She earned a BA in Sociology/Urban Studies from Washington University in St. Louis and an MA in folklore at the University of North Carolina.