Archiving African American history in Columbus. Preserving Columbus' African­American landmarks. Working to empower global Africans. Julialynne Walker is acknowledged in this issue as our Free Press hero for being a keeper African­American history in our city.


Julialynne serves as an Advisory Committee member for the Columbus African American Digital Collection and is a Steering Committee member for the local African­American Landmarks Preservation Initiative. She also brings to Columbus a rich background as a human rights advocate with a desire to provide cross­cultural opportunities for all people.


Julialynne is well­known as an international hero who lived for 15 years in South Africa working on many fronts ­­ with the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and the Orphans and Vulnerable Children Directory Project, to name a few. She served as a Technical Expert in 2011 and 2012 for the Sixth Region of the African Union, working to develop draft recommendations presented to the Heads of State and as a guest at the adoption of the Programme of Action in May 2012. She is a member of the International Black Women's Congress, who awarded her the 2013 Oni Award as someone who protects, defends and enhances the general well­being of African people.


Currently, Julialynne lives in Columbus and is CEO of Africa and Diaspora Development Linkages (ADD Linkages), an organization whose mission is to focus on "strategic interventions at the intersection of development and culture while addressing the needs of marginalized populations through social entrepreneurship." The organization provides support networks for "Diasporans who repatriate to the African continent or desire skills transfer placement"; creates and promotes "positive culture and development initiatives for Global Africa"; and "provides constructive input in significant exercises that address culture and empowerment of Global Africans."


Another of her initiatives is Crossing Cultures Travel and Tours, a unique online travel agency based in Columbus known for its customized, specialized travel packages, specializing in Global Afric Diaspora


Tours for members and non­members of the Global African Diaspora, that is people of African decent living outside of the African continent. The tours include community interactions, folklore and festivals, exposure to indigenous knowledge systems, the creative arts, history and politics in appropriate ways for all ages.


Julialynne’s commitment to the empowerment of people, preserving precious landmarks and archiving the unique history of African­Americans in Columbus makes her our hero as we start Black History Month. We thank her for keeping the faith.